Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: Upstairs, Downstairs - Series 2 (1972)

You may have seen a while ago that I started to watch Upstairs Downstairs. Continuing on that, I am reviewing Series 2. You may have remember that I was fairly lukewarm to Series 1, but what did I think of Series 2? Well, read and find out!

Note: This review of Upstairs, Downstairs will contain spoilers from Series 1. If you have not seen Series 1 and do not want to run into spoilers, you may want to wait before you read this review. I suggest that you read my Series 1 review first before watching.

Box Art of Series 2
The series Upstairs, Downstairs continues after the marriage of Elizabeth Bellamy and Lawrence Kirbridge, whose marriage has started rocky. Sarah and Captain James Bellamy see each other more seriously. And downstairs, new servants have arrived: Edward the new footman, and Ruby the new kitchen maid.

The cast from the previous series returns for another series of Upstairs, Downstairs. What I found interesting was that the actor that plays chauffeur Thomas Watkins (John Alderton) was also in Little Dorrit (2008) as Mr. Casby and that he is also married to the actress who plays occasional maid Sarah (Pauline Collins).

Elizabeth Kirbridge (nee Bellamy) is still fairly irritating. She isn't a very sympathetic character even though she does have troubles. She comes off as being too much of a baby at times: she'll sometimes yell at upperhouse parlor maid Rose even though Rose hasn't done anything. She also develops some more scandalous behavior as the series goes on. I felt sorry for Richard Bellamy and Lady Marjorie: they tried to control their daughter, but she just wouldn't be controlled.

Sarah, the under house parlor maid, returns in this series. I really didn't like her for the first series and for a good deal of the second series I didn't care for her much. She was very scandalous and wanted to start a fight whenever someone told her not to do something. She was still scandalous in this series and got herself involved with Captain James Bellamy, Richard and Lady Marjorie's son. She gets a little better as the series goes on, but I still wasn't very fond of her.
Mrs. Bridges cooking. Thomas and Rose look on.

Since the start of Series 1, there had been some changes to the staff of 165 Eaton Place. Emily, the kitchen maid, had been replaced by new kitchen maid, Ruby. Alfred, the creepy footman, had been replaced by Edward, a bit of a girl-crazy footman. Even though Edward is a little girl-crazy, he isn't a bad character. He likes to joke a lot, but overall he is likable. Ruby takes a little bit of getting used to, though. Mid-Series, we see the addition of Thomas Watkins, the new chauffeur who once worked for the Kirbridges. He was mostly likable for the first part of the series, but once he came to 165 Eaton Place and got involved with Sarah he got fairly dislikable.

Mr. and Mrs. Kirbridge at a party.
Most of the scenes were still at 165 Eaton Place, the home of Richard and Lady Marjorie Bellamy. We do get a glimpse of the Kirbridge's new home after they are married, but it is not as nice as 165 Eaton Place. Scenes from the Kirbridge's new home do not last long, however. But we do see scenes from the Bellamy's garage where Thomas works.

The costuming still had Edwardian fashions and hadn't changed very much since Series 1. The costumes were still nice, though.

Overall: 3/5
Well, Series 2 picks up a little quicker than Series 1 and is better than Series 1, but it still can't compare to Downton Abbey. The plot of Upstairs, Downstairs is still a little slow, but it's not entirely bad. There is some content in this series: again, nothing is horribly graphic, but there are still some mature scenes. The content almost borders on TV-14... almost. Like Series 1, you may want to view this series of Upstairs Downstairs first before showing it to a young audience (like preteen or young teenagers).

Upstairs Downstairs: Series 2 is available on DVD on its own or as apart of the Complete Collection. It has 13 hour long episodes.

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