18 thoughts on “Top 5 Downton Abbey-Ish Movies & TV Series

  1. Gosford Park has the women in svelte, glamorous evening wear, but their tweeds/hunting/lunching seats are really ugly to the contemporary eye.

    It also really makes me really happy to not have been born in such a straitjacketed, class-based society!

  2. I *love* the original Upstairs Downstairs, & apparently I’m going to have to get the DVDS & strap Kendra in a chair to make her watch them all! The stories & acting are SO good, the costumes are good, & the masters & the servants get equal time. And yes, it was Downton before Downton, just as massively popular in the UK & US, with cliffhangers & melodrama & rabid fans (like me!) going nuts, which was worse back then bec. we didn’t have the interwebs & you had to wait FOREVER for PBS to get the new eps!

  3. I’m with Trystan on the original Upstairs Downstairs … it was great. Another that kinda fits in this genre is the Duchess of Duke Street … downstairs comes up in the world and lives in the upstairs world.

  4. I love this! I have to say that Love in a Cold Climate is my absolute favorite movie and Christmas classic in my family. All of Nancy Mitford’s books are worth a read too – snarky, intelligent, and very human, a kind of early 20th century Jane Austen but with more realistic situations. That being said,I think your description switched the roles of Polly (in love with Guy, a man who couldn’t care less) and Linda (with her many tragic love affairs and adventures).

    I would also look into North and South which is an industrial revolution retelling of Pride and Prejudice and absolutely delicious.

    1. Yes, Nancy Mitford’s books are great! Thanks for the catch on the character swap. And yes, North & South (not the Patrick Swazye series) was fabulous. I need to rewatch it!

  5. To balance out the upstairs heavy list, there’s also “The Remains of the Day.”

    Also, I recommend Manor House to anyone who wants to see the reality of what downstairs staff had to do back in the day. It’s also a great psychological study. The people playing the upstairs family start thinking of themselves as entitled and that the servants love them, but actually the servants think the Lord’s a twat. And the lady’s maid gets to talk about clothing and hairstyles a lot.

    1. Remains of the Day is wonderful, if sad! And I fully agree on the Manor House series — it was fascinating. I love all of those historical ‘house’ series.

  6. The original “Upstairs, Downstairs” is worth watching – especially for the WWI episodes and the aftermath of the war. It was Downton before there was Downton, and ironically, shares a lot of plot points.
    By the way, there is no “165 ” Eaton Place – tis just a fictional number, and in the re-boot, I believe Alex Kingston played an archeologist.

    another oldie but goodie is “The Forsythe Saga” – yes, it may seem “oddly filmed” and in black and white, but the drama and the acting still holds true. The one major improvement in the newer, color version is a chilling Damien Lewis as Soames. If I remember correctly, I think they wore actual 19th c. clothing in the black and white series.

  7. Kelly Mcdonalds character Mary is not a housemaid but a Lady’s maid. Nitpicking, I know, but isn’t that what we are here for. ;)

  8. The costumes on the new Upstairs Downstairs might be good, but the story is the most PC, revisionist piece of trash to ever come out of the BBC. The history is SO bad, it’s painful. I literally couldn’t finish it… and I can finish anything.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Frock Flicks

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading