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TV Review: Upstairs, Downstairs Redux

TV Review: Upstairs, Downstairs Redux

Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

If you are an Anglophile who grew up as I did with the Bellamys, Mr. Hudson, Rose Buck and Upstairs, Downstairs, you’ll feel right at home with a new set of socially ambitious young aristocrats setting up their new home in 1936 at 165 Eaton Place.

As befits a show targeted at older females, the heroines of this new series are two mature women who actually know how to run such a grand household: Eileen Atkins as the young diplomat’s mother and Jean Marsh as Rose, returning, inevitably, as housekeeper.

Another reason why the show centers on these two is that Atkins and Marsh were the original co-creators of the series and have helped writer Heidi Thomas (Cranford, Madame Bovary) to bring it back to roaring life. They’ve managed to make this old sock feel comfortably familiar, yet slightly edgier than the original.

EW says its “no Downton Abbey.” Here’s a parody.

Masterpiece Theatre is making the new show available for download for a limited time.

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I’m not ashamed to admit that I was absolutely hooked on Upstairs Downstairs back in the day. For a cheaply made show using basically only a few sets it was totally addictive with great characters.

The new version ain’t bad either. In fact I thought this past Sunday’s show was especially riveting. Too bad there are only three episodes this season. What a bummer! I wish it could go on until the summer

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