Wednesday, October 21, 2020


Ah Belgravia, Julian Fellowes's followup to Downton Abbey. So it's a neighborhood and not a house, that didn't make me any less interested. In fact, because of being exposed to Upstairs Downstairs at a young age I think setting the series in the newly built neighborhood of Belgravia made me even more excited to watch it, for years it was my dream address after all. What really struck me about this series is it was what Fellowes is known for but on a condensed scale. Six episodes for all the ups and downs, all the betrayals and misunderstandings. Only six episodes to make you fall for characters you were indifferent to in the first episode and make you pity those you despised at the start when the end credits rolled. And he did it all! All the beats, all the ups and downs, this is Regency and Early Victorian Downton Abbey! I think what really made it work was perfect casting. Philip Glenister, Tamsin Greig, Saskia Reeves, Bronagh Gallagher, Harriet Walter, Tom Wilkinson, James Fleet, Tara Fitzgerald, and Nicholas Rowe! What a cast! But there were two standouts, Tamsin Greig as Anne Trenchard and Alice Eve as Anne's daughter-in-law Susan. Alice Eve surprised me because I really have never thought she could act until now. Tamsin Greig surprised me because I know her as a comedic actress and here she brought the drama! As a mother who lost her daughter and gave up her daughter's child to be raised by someone else, her pain is palpable. Then when she decides to bare her soul to that child's other grandparent, Harriet Walter as Caroline Bellasis, Countess of Brockenhurst, because she knows the pain of losing a child, well, so many tears. But there was also so much humor arising out of gamesmanship and one-upping in social circles. Seriously, this series has it all, heart and humor. I think it got overshadowed by Fellowes's previous fame and the chaotic state of the world, but if you need a good period drama that will make you feel all warm and cozy inside, look no further than Belgravia.


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