4 posts tagged downton abbey
4 posts tagged downton abbey
It’s the juxtaposition of the lives of the aristocratic family against the lives of the servants that defines [Downton Abbey creator Julian] Fellowes’ work. Class is a defining and longstanding fascination for him. It began, he says, with his mother and father.
“My parents came from different backgrounds,” he tells [Fresh Air’s Dave] Davies. “My father’s was grander than my mother’s, so my mother had … to put up with the disapproval of my father’s relations. And … I saw it as a child when I didn’t really understand what was going on, and I saw it later as an adult when I did. … From that grew a kind of interest, in a way, of the unfairness of class, the fact that it is so arbitrary in its selection … and yet it shapes a life and creates entitlement.”
“We don’t really like rules. We think, in some way, they are an infringement of liberty. But of course the good thing about rules is that you always know what you’re doing, you always know what you should wear, you always know where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to get there, what you’re supposed to do when you do get there, and, you know, we’ve lost that kind of security.”
On working with Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey
“What I love about Maggie is that she has this extraordinary skill to bring many different aspects of a character into her delineation, but they never seem contradictory. She never turns into a different person. A lesser actor would, you know, find it difficult to be kind and cruel simultaneously, or superficial here but quite deep here. But she manages to synthesize all these elements into a believable woman and, of course, she’s very, very funny, so whatever you write for her always sounds much funnier than it was when you thought of it and, you know, all of those reasons make her very rewarding to write for.”
The Emmy headlines are familiar: HBO dominates, much love for Mad Men, snubs and surprises. But there’s a new story point this year: For the first time, broadcast networks have been shut out of the the Best Drama category, as The Wrap and others reported.
Showtime’s new Homeland joined the drama category for the first time, as did PBS’ Downton Abbey, which moved over from the movie or miniseries category, where it competed last year. Breaking Bad returned to the category after not airing in the eligibility period last year. They bumped Dexter and The Good Wife, which were nominated last year. (Another drama nominated last year, Friday Night Lights, ended its run with that season.)
The exit of CBS’ The Good Wife from this year’s nominees made it a cable and public television sweep of the drama category.
FX’s American Horror Story, like Abbey, benefited from choosing its category wisely. It could have entered as a drama, but instead competed as a movie or miniseries — even though it will return for a second season.
There was also much love for some newcomers, as USA Today pointed out:
Most years we’re happy if even one new series can break into the Emmy mix - this year, Homeland (the worthy leader among new shows), Girls, Veep and their top stars all got nominated. There were also nods for such freshman-class actors as House of Lies’ Don Cheadle and New Girls’ Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield, along with such welcome-to-the-party nominees as Mayim Bialik (the first woman to get a nod for The Big Bang Theory), Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever and Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn.
Find the full list of nominees at Emmys.com. Winners will be announced Sept. 23.