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Downton Abbey (show about rich people in early 20th century Britain)

XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
I bought myself a Prime membership on Amazon yesterday and started watching Downton Abbey on their streaming service. It's really good, even though the cast is huge. After three episodes from the first season, I consider myself a fan now.

Anyone else watch the show?

Anyways, here's a really cool Super Bowl mashup:

Posts

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I fucking love this show. The characters are great, and they capture the time period very nicely. You know what I love even more than this show? That between Downton and Sherlock, Sunday night on PBS is now appointment television in my household. It takes me all the way back to being nine years old and watching Poirot with my mom on a fifty pound television set with rabbit ears and a screen smaller than twenty inches.

    Let me know when you're caught up so we can talk about developments.

    SammyF on
  • DeebaserDeebaser At the corporate garage sale This is cheap and plentifulRegistered User regular
    Such a good show. I have nothing to add

  • XX55XXXX55XX Registered User regular
    I can't help but admire how much style those aristocrats have. Especially the ladies. Dem threads, yo.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    Dowager Countess 4 lyfe

  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    I got a bit bored in season 2 but I'm still in.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Yeah, this last episode to air on PBS might be my least favorite so far, but still it is a pretty solid show.
    Edit: Also, it is pretty much reading a book.

    Neaden on
  • DeebaserDeebaser At the corporate garage sale This is cheap and plentifulRegistered User regular
    Neaden wrote:
    Yeah, this last episode to air on PBS might be my least favorite so far, but still it is a pretty solid show.
    Edit: Also, it is pretty much reading a book.

    I was just going to post that.
    Now I am sad.

  • dojangodojango Registered User
    Yeah, I watched the first season on netflix. Good stuff. The servant/master dynamic is so alien and fascinating.
    Spoiler:

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    dojango wrote:
    Yeah, I watched the first season on netflix. Good stuff. The servant/master dynamic is so alien and fascinating.
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    So as someone largely clueless about period British aristocracy...where did their money come from? I know it was primarily inherited, and there's some oblique discussion in the first couple of episodes (I'm only a few episodes into the first season) about how Downton was on the rocks until Lord Grantham's marriage brought more money into the family. Is that it? They just pass money down and have no means of actually generating any more? I know he tells his cousin that he spends too much time 'maintaining the estate' to have a job; is it meant to be a working estate that sells crops or wine or something and they just don't show that part? Did British people in that period have such thing as investments to generate income?

    I mean, I suppose that if you were sufficiently wealthy it would be a reasonable position that neither you nor your children or grandchildren should ever have a desire to work, but the fact that Grantham needed his wife's money to keep the estate running would seem to imply that they aren't that wealthy. I'm vaguely aware that the aristocracy had a desire to appear wealthy even when poor, so would not work even if they were broke, but I'm not sure I understand how that works from a logistical perspective.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • dojangodojango Registered User
    edited February 2012
    land rich/cash poor is how they're described. They have large estates which produce rents (from "the tenants") but unless they have other investments they can barely scrape by in their huge mansions and servant staffs.

    dojango on
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    dojango wrote:
    land rich/cash poor is how they're described. They have large estates which produce rents (from "the tenants") but unless they have other investments they can barely scrape by in their huge mansions and servant staffs.

    Oh, okay, so they rent land. That makes sense. I wasn't clear on whether the estate included some means of revenue generation or if it was really just that house and the surrounding lands eating up inherited money at a steady rate.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • dojangodojango Registered User
    dojango wrote:
    land rich/cash poor is how they're described. They have large estates which produce rents (from "the tenants") but unless they have other investments they can barely scrape by in their huge mansions and servant staffs.

    Oh, okay, so they rent land. That makes sense. I wasn't clear on whether the estate included some means of revenue generation or if it was really just that house and the surrounding lands eating up inherited money at a steady rate.

    Right now I'm watching "The Way we Live", which is set about 40 years earlier and deals more heavily with the financial scene. Those of them that do have ready funds try to build financial portfolios to sustain them, but many of them appear to not have heard of "diversified portfolios".

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Oh, okay, so they rent land. That makes sense. I wasn't clear on whether the estate included some means of revenue generation or if it was really just that house and the surrounding lands eating up inherited money at a steady rate.

    Yes, they would rent land, and they would probably also have some other forms of investment. However, the investments might not generate enough revenue to sustain the estate, especially since your ancestor 500 years ago being good on horseback doesn't necessarily mean you are great at investment strategies.

  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    I am not an expert but my understanding is that there was a social stigma to generating your money from investing in businesses rather then in land. Lord Grantham has tenant farmers and rents the cottages which is where his income comes from. The problem comes from the fact that they are expected to spend a lot of money to maintain their lifestyle and grounds. Lord Grantham was never really in danger of being poor, the problem was that they were not going to have enough moeny to afford the salaries of all those servants, groundskeepers, etc. Remember that the servants you see and have names in a show are only a small fraction of the number of people Lord Grantham employs. My understanding is that the people who actually own the building that much of the show is filmed in, Highclere Castle, make a fairly large amount of money from rents still today, but have to pretty much spend it all on maintenance until Downton Abbey came along and gave them a new source of income.

  • kaidkaid Registered User regular
    So as someone largely clueless about period British aristocracy...where did their money come from? I know it was primarily inherited, and there's some oblique discussion in the first couple of episodes (I'm only a few episodes into the first season) about how Downton was on the rocks until Lord Grantham's marriage brought more money into the family. Is that it? They just pass money down and have no means of actually generating any more? I know he tells his cousin that he spends too much time 'maintaining the estate' to have a job; is it meant to be a working estate that sells crops or wine or something and they just don't show that part? Did British people in that period have such thing as investments to generate income?

    I mean, I suppose that if you were sufficiently wealthy it would be a reasonable position that neither you nor your children or grandchildren should ever have a desire to work, but the fact that Grantham needed his wife's money to keep the estate running would seem to imply that they aren't that wealthy. I'm vaguely aware that the aristocracy had a desire to appear wealthy even when poor, so would not work even if they were broke, but I'm not sure I understand how that works from a logistical perspective.

    One of the on going story lines is basically the answer is the money currently comes from Lord Granthams wifes inheritance. The big on going issue is pretty much the way Lady Granthams money got tied up to the estate since she had no living male heirs basically when her husband dies her home and money goes to the next male heir leaving her if not pennyless with a significant loss of cash.

    Most agree that the way her money is bundled is pretty grossly unfair including the next male heir the it is tied so closely that it cannot be easily severed and if it was as Lord Grantham has said a few times he did not want the next heir to inherit and then have no way to afford to keep it which would cause it to be broken up and sold off.

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    In addition to the costs of maintaining Downton itself, the Crawleys also appear to be responsible to some extent for a variety of quality of life improvements and initiatives in the surrounding area.

  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    In addition to the costs of maintaining Downton itself, the Crawleys also appear to be responsible to some extent for a variety of quality of life improvements and initiatives in the surrounding area.

    Yes. They're literally landlords for basically everyone in the village.

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