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Belgravia

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Premieres April 12th, 2020 on Epix:

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The story of secrets and scandals amongst the upper echelon of London Society in the 19th cenetury.

 

Brought to you by Julian Fellowes---a more scandalous Downton Abbey? 

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I loved the first episode!  I really enjoyed the book and I thought they were very true to it so far, although Lady Brockenhurst wasn't as waspish in her first meeting with Mrs Trenchard as I remember.  I teared up when Sophia died, although the pronunciation of her name kept tripping me up every time I heard it!

The nuances of navigating society in those days were so complex.  And poor Mr Trenchard was so bad at it!   It's easy as modern day American to laugh at that stuff but I still remember as a student at university in England in the '80's that some of it was still around.

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I haven't read the book, so I went into this blind, and absolutely loved it. (Not a surprise, since I was a big Downton fan.) This episode did feel a bit like a prologue, but I've added the season to my dvr, can't wait for more. 

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It's certainly dressed up to be as much like Downton Abbey as possible. The theme music is almost identical! And it's got that upstairs/downstairs thing going on too. But I was quite taken in by the story, especially towards the end. And I love Tamsin Greigs, so I'm in for the long haul.

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I ordered Epix just so I could watch this, but I'm finding it very confusing.  I can't figure out when Episode 2 will be released.

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3 hours ago, Frost said:

I ordered Epix just so I could watch this, but I'm finding it very confusing.  I can't figure out when Episode 2 will be released.

I set a series ecording and the next one is Sunday at 8p central 

Edited by TV Diva Queen

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21 hours ago, Frost said:

I ordered Epix just so I could watch this, but I'm finding it very confusing.

I'm curious to know what you found confusing. For my part, I couldn't figure out why everyone was calling Mr. Trenchard "the magician." I didn't understand what his profession was, either, until near the end when Mrs. Trenchard was explaining it all to Lady Brockenhurst. (I had never heard of whatever term they were using to describe his job - supplying the army with food or whatever.) Then there's the societal hierarchy which can be confusing but fortunately I'm pretty well versed in it by now.

Otherwise, I found it pretty easy to follow. 

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

(I had never heard of whatever term they were using to describe his job - supplying the army with food or whatever.)

I think she said "vittler."  I've never heard of a vittler, but I have heard the Beverly Hillbillies calling their food "vittles."

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I'm curious to know what you found confusing

I don't find "Belgravia" confusing, I find the Epix website confusing!  😃  The book explains the Magician title.  Mr Trenchard is in charge of the army's supply chain for entire area and has proven himself able to find anything that's been required, in a expeditious manner.  Victualer is the old British term for the supply master.   The army's generals have been very impressed by his hard work and 'get it done' attitude.  Their wives are less impressed by his obvious interest in social climbing.

I find the huge attitude switch between the junior and senior Trenchard men fascinating.  In one generation, the thought of actually working for money has been completely turned on its head.  For all of Mr Trenchard's social ambitions, he never loses his interest in or value for an honest day's work.  Oliver, on the other hand, seems to consider money his God given right.

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On 4/13/2020 at 11:03 AM, khyber said:

Quite a change from the flowing comfortable Empire dresses to the mid-century corset look.

The fashion change to and from those empire dresses just amazes me.  It's all related to the French Revolution but it's amazing.  They went from the Gorgian Era with the absurd wigs, makeup and panniers so wide that you had to turn sideways to go through a doorway then suddenly you have those regency styles with the empire waists and understated wealth (the embroidery on muslin) then at some point the skirts were slimish (Gentelmen Jack) with comically huge sleeves.
Then we get corsets and tons of petticoats, evolving into the hoop skirt and then moving twards the bussle. and the natural form era.  Then WW1 hits and fashion is forever changed.

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Interesting, I watched the first episode twice (excellent each time) and it took me to the 2nd watching to realize her name was Sophia and not Sapphire.

I just loved, loved, loved this!

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Fabulous casting for the grandson. He looks like a perfect blend of his parents.

Trenchard was a dick for not letting his wife know that he was in touch.

Love the dynamics of the two grandmothers.

 

 

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I really like this show so far, which surprises me, since the reviews were mixed.  The family drama feels more compelling to me than Downton Abbey.

Also love the dynamic between the grandmothers, which reminds me of Violet and Isabel, probably not by accident.  Also, why do I have the feeling 

Spoiler

it will turn out that the person who married Sophia and Edward was a clergyman in ADDITION to being a military officer?

 

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I'm impressed with how faithful the adaptation is to the book without being bogged down.  Maybe Julian Fellowes had a television series in mind when he wrote it so the story rhythms fit the medium.

The first two episodes have been really engaging even though not much has actually happened yet.  Poor Mrs Trenchard.  She's the noble center and everyone around her has  some kind of agenda.   Lady Brockenhurst is so devious.  Such a public splash of attention towards Charles Pope to incite rampant speculation about his identity without technically breaking her promise to Mrs Trenchard.

John, the Earl presumptive, is such scum.  So dismissive of Moriah Grey because a young woman served up to him in marriage takes all the "sport" out of it.  Yuck.

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The actress playing Lady Maria Grey was in a short-lived Showtime series (or was it Starz?) called Sweetbitter. It was bugging me all throughout the episode where I knew her from, so in case you were wondering the same thing . . .

And yes, apparently it's spelled Maria even though everyone is pronouncing it "mar-eye-uh" just like the were pronouncing Sophie as "so-fy-uh." I don't know what's with the wonky pronunciations on this show.

And yeah, I haven't read the book so I'm just guessing but I suspect we're going to find out Sophia's marriage was legit after all. That's just got to be where this is headed considering the Earl's nephew is so heinous and his grandson is so nice, and will no doubt wind up with Maria and be the new heir. 

I can't get over how the music for this is virtually identical to Downton's.

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51 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

I can't get over how the music for this is virtually identical to Downton's.

Word.

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John is the next in line to be the Earl of Brockenhurst, because the true heir to the earldom, Lord Bellasis, an only child was killed in battle in episode 1.

John is the arrogant nephew, the son of the brother of the Earl who came begging for money, an advance on his inheritance (nothing like counting your chickens before they are hatched) at dinner with his parents- the Reverend (Stephen Bellasis), Mother (Grace Bellasis), the Earl and Lady Brockenhurst. He needs funds for a wardrobe for his upcoming engagement announcement  to Maria (pronounced Mariah) Grey, the girl talking about India with Charles Pope at the midnight  party.

Lord Bellasis, the son of the Earl of Brockenhurst was killed in battle after knocking up Sophia( pronounced Soh fai uh ) Trenchard who was tricked into thinking she was married to Lord Bellasis, the handsome red coat officer in the first episode.

A fellow officer dressed as a Parson(clergyman) married them in the chapel but Sophia saw the two as they left for battle on horseback...so she knew she was duped and since Lord Bellasis was dead her father, Mr. Trenchard made arrangements for the baby to be taken in and educated by Vicar Pope and his wife.

Oliver is the son of the Trenchards, brother to dead Sophia and married to the scheming social climber, Charlotte Susan, who was flirting with John at the Brockenhurst party.

 Lady Brockenhurst and Mrs. Trenchard are the grandmothers of Charles Pope, the illegitimate(hold the phone... TBD ) son of Sophia (died after delivering) and Lord Bellasis, killed in battle.

 Still trying to sort out the downstairs.....

Edited by humbleopinion · Reason: The DIL is named Susan not the other name.
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3 hours ago, humbleopinion said:

Oliver is the son of the Trenchards, brother to dead Sophia and married to the scheming social climber, Charlotte, who was flirting with John at the Brockenhurst party.

Very good summary, except Oliver's wife is named Susan.

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Darn it, that's what I get for trying to do it by memory...thx for the catch....

A correction was made in the OP because of the late posters who don't read this acknowledgement of the catch....

Edited by humbleopinion
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 Still trying to sort out the downstairs.....

Yeah I wasn't able to follow what kind of little scheme they had going on down there. Apparently selling something that rightfully belongs to the Trenchards, like produce or meat or something?

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Remember when Mrs.  Hughes and Mrs. Patmore were helping Ethel by taking food from the pantry...in Belgravia they are selling the pilfered food for money.

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I'm thinking that we won't be seeing as much of the downstairs staff as we did in DA but then I haven't read the book so I may be wrong.

Sophia (there is a benefit for using closed captioning, you get the spelling of the names) said that her father signed for the marriage.  Is it possible that they could find a marriage certificate somewhere so as to save Sophia's good name? 

Lady Brockenhurst is really being bitchy about this. I know we always think the best of our dearly departed but it's no coincidence that he had talked about the exact same  fake clergyman scheme before using it on Sophia.

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The clergyman thing could actually be good for the Earl and Countess because they can claim that they found out that Pope is their legit grandson and kick the presumptive heir out of their lives.

The Mariah is a big of a bluestocking.  I like her.

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4 hours ago, meatball77 said:

The clergyman thing could actually be good for the Earl and Countess because they can claim that they found out that Pope is their legit grandson and kick the presumptive heir out of their lives.

I think that's the point of this whole exercise.  How to do that without ruining Sophia's reputation although the bitchy Lady doesn't seem to care.

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In those days was a proven blood tie good enough?  Or would there have to be a legitimate marriage?  Even if Lady Brockenhurst is able to convince her husband to publicly recognize Charles Pope as his grandson, would that change the line of succession if Anthony and Sophia weren't married?  

Historically, "by-blows" as they were sometimes called, have been admitted into society if their fathers were noble (and rich) enough, but I don't think they could inherit titles.

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1 hour ago, Frost said:

Historically, "by-blows" as they were sometimes called, have been admitted into society if their fathers were noble (and rich) enough, but I don't think they could inherit titles.

I believe you are correct for that time in history. I think they can now but not back then.  Which is why I think we are being set up for some happy ending whereby they were really married.

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On 4/20/2020 at 1:39 PM, humbleopinion said:

John is the next in line to be the Earl of Brockenhurst, because the true heir to the earldom, Lord Bellasis, an only child was killed in battle in episode 1.

John is the arrogant nephew, the son of the brother of the Earl who came begging for money, an advance on his inheritance (nothing like counting your chickens before they are hatched) at dinner with his parents- the Reverend (Stephen Bellasis), Mother (Grace Bellasis), the Earl and Lady Brockenhurst. He needs funds for a wardrobe for his upcoming engagement announcement  to Maria (pronounced Mariah) Grey, the girl talking about India with Charles Pope at the midnight  party.

Lord Bellasis, the son of the Earl of Brockenhurst was killed in battle after knocking up Sophia( pronounced Soh fai uh ) Trenchard who was tricked into thinking she was married to Lord Bellasis, the handsome red coat officer in the first episode.

A fellow officer dressed as a Parson(clergyman) married them in the chapel but Sophia saw the two as they left for battle on horseback...so she knew she was duped and since Lord Bellasis was dead her father, Mr. Trenchard made arrangements for the baby to be taken in and educated by Vicar Pope and his wife.

Oliver is the son of the Trenchards, brother to dead Sophia and married to the scheming social climber, Charlotte, who was flirting with John at the Brockenhurst party.

 Lady Brockenhurst and Mrs. Trenchard are the grandmothers of Charles Pope, the illegitimate(hold the phone... TBD ) son of Sophia (died after delivering) and Lord Bellasis, killed in battle.

 Still trying to sort out the downstairs.....

Oliver is married to Susan.

 

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Well, doggone it.  The free Epix on my cable station ran out today so guess I'll have to watch the comments here to find out the end!

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1 hour ago, Kohola3 said:

Well, doggone it.  The free Epix on my cable station ran out today so guess I'll have to watch the comments here to find out the end!

I decided the $5.99 per month was worth it to see the entire run.  I don't plan on extending Epix beyond the 6 Belgravia episodes though.  $11 is less than it costs to go to one movie nowadays - even if the theatres were open!

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2 minutes ago, Frost said:

$11 is less than it costs to go to one movie nowadays - even if the theatres were open!

Good point!  It's a lot higher on my cable though, you have to go to the next level.

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Too bad.  I have Amazon Prime and I was able to just add Epix.  I didn't have to add a whole level.

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On 4/20/2020 at 10:18 AM, iMonrey said:

The actress playing Lady Maria Grey was in a short-lived Showtime series (or was it Starz?) called Sweetbitter. It was bugging me all throughout the episode where I knew her from, so in case you were wondering the same thing . . .

There you go. I wasn't crazy about Sweetbitter, but she's a pretty girl and good for this role.

I'm enjoying the series, for what it's worth. I like Tamsin Greig a lot!

 

On 4/20/2020 at 10:18 AM, iMonrey said:

And yes, apparently it's spelled Maria even though everyone is pronouncing it "mar-eye-uh" just like the were pronouncing Sophie as "so-fy-uh." I don't know what's with the wonky pronunciations on this show.

There was a time, and seemingly still is, where Brits purposely mispronounced "foreign" words to prove their superiority over other countries. I could be wrong, but it works for me until proven otherwise.

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I, too, am receiving Epix free of charge for a period time during the pandemic.  I have been able to see the first two episodes but doubt I’ll make it through with no cost for another four weeks.  I’d better check with my cable company.  

Really enjoying this show.  
 

edited to add:  Grrrrrrr.....  My free Epix ended April 19th.  Darn it.  I’ll come here and live vicariously through all of you.  

Edited by tinderbox · Reason: Update
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Yup, no more free Epix on Comcast. I'm not sure I want to add it just to see four more episodes of this show. I like it well enough but there is NOTHING else worthwhile on Epix. And I already pay too much as it is between cable and streaming. 

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I went ahead and signed up for a month of Amazon Prime since it included a month of Epix.   I can get the last 4 episodes in this way.  TV is getting fairly sparse for me right now anyway, so a few new options are welcome.

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On 4/22/2020 at 8:47 AM, Ms Lark said:
On 4/20/2020 at 8:18 AM, iMonrey said:

And yes, apparently it's spelled Maria even though everyone is pronouncing it "mar-eye-uh" just like the were pronouncing Sophie as "so-fy-uh." I don't know what's with the wonky pronunciations on this show.

There was a time, and seemingly still is, where Brits purposely mispronounced "foreign" words to prove their superiority over other countries. I could be wrong, but it works for me until proven otherwise.

I found this explanation after a search.  https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/pronunciation-of-maria.2617894/

The reason is the former "Oxford Pronunciation" of Latin, Maria being regarded as a Latin name. It is why we say sinus, and why "decree nisi" was "decree nigh-sigh." It is also why the English and Canadians pronounce the word regina (see Regina, Canada, as well) as reg-ai-na. There are certain vowels and situations of vowels (it seems vowels on the stressed syllable are pronounced long) which, until the reconstructed or italianate pronunciations took hold a ways into the 20th century, were pronounced like Mar-eye-uh is/was. (See also the British pronunciation "is-reh-el" and even "adon-ehy-eye" for Adonai. I would advise looking up Oxford Latin to learn the particulars.

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On 4/20/2020 at 12:39 PM, humbleopinion said:

John is the next in line to be the Earl of Brockenhurst, because the true heir to the earldom, Lord Bellasis, an only child was killed in battle in episode 1.

John is the arrogant nephew, the son of the brother of the Earl who came begging for money, an advance on his inheritance (nothing like counting your chickens before they are hatched) at dinner with his parents- the Reverend (Stephen Bellasis), Mother (Grace Bellasis), the Earl and Lady Brockenhurst. He needs funds for a wardrobe for his upcoming engagement announcement  to Maria (pronounced Mariah) Grey, the girl talking about India with Charles Pope at the midnight  party.

Lord Bellasis, the son of the Earl of Brockenhurst was killed in battle after knocking up Sophia( pronounced Soh fai uh ) Trenchard who was tricked into thinking she was married to Lord Bellasis, the handsome red coat officer in the first episode.

A fellow officer dressed as a Parson(clergyman) married them in the chapel but Sophia saw the two as they left for battle on horseback...so she knew she was duped and since Lord Bellasis was dead her father, Mr. Trenchard made arrangements for the baby to be taken in and educated by Vicar Pope and his wife.

Oliver is the son of the Trenchards, brother to dead Sophia and married to the scheming social climber, Charlotte Susan, who was flirting with John at the Brockenhurst party.

 Lady Brockenhurst and Mrs. Trenchard are the grandmothers of Charles Pope, the illegitimate(hold the phone... TBD ) son of Sophia (died after delivering) and Lord Bellasis, killed in battle.

 Still trying to sort out the downstairs.....

Who’s downstairs is it, Where they were stealing food?  Is that the magician’s?

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16 minutes ago, TV Diva Queen said:

Is that the magician’s?

Yes. It was Mrs. Trenchard's maid that saw it happening.

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Spoke  with my cable company today.  Decided to pay the $9.99 for the Epix channel for a month after having it free for a time.  (I can cancel anytime, which is my plan after the last episode of Belgravia is aired.)  Seeing the remaining episodes is well worth the cost.

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Dad Trenchard remains an ass (I like him overall, but...).  When he talks about Sophia being labelled a slut and society shutting its doors on them, you can't tell which one he's more upset about.  And answer your wife's question about how long you've had a relationship with Charles Pope!

Also, has it been established whether Oliver was older or younger than Sophia?

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Oliver was quite a bit younger than Sophia.

James made quite the impression at the club on his first day as a member.   There's always a mix of whether he's more concerned about Sophia's reputation or not being invited to fancy dinners any longer.  I'm not sure he knows in his own mind.

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Our Comcast must have added Epix for real (maybe to soothe the screaming over losing TCM to some $ports package). I’m feeling very bad for Mr. Trenchard is an ass on many levels. And you know giving away his grandson was to protect himself, no matter what he blathers on about. Selfish asshole. Rooting for Mrs. T.

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7 hours ago, buttersister said:

And you know giving away his grandson was to protect himself, no matter what he blathers on about. Selfish asshole. Rooting for Mrs. T.

The scene with Anne clasping the pale, pale hand of her daughter who has just died lasted just moments, but her anguish struck my heart so strongly.  Anne is the one who had to witness Sophia's suffering and death.  Anne is the one who had to actually hand over the baby.  And in those days, the husband had 100% power over the wife, from both a legal and a societal perspective.  James Trenchard was comfortably at a distance when all of this was going on.  He might understand the pain of losing his daughter, but he didn't have to feel it in such a personal way.  And then to reach out in secret and create a relationship with his grandson!  If I were Anne, I don't think I could ever forgive such a betrayal.  I was happy she kicked him out of her bedroom.  He still doesn't get it.  He is still thinking of everything in terms of how it affects him and his social standing.

The servant storylines are so interesting.  Some of them seem to really identify with their particular master or mistress  (which is an interesting issue in and of itself - is it due to their personalities or social conditioning?) and some are bitter that being in service is the best they can do.  Ellis has been Mrs Trenchard's lady's maid at least since Brussels', so almost 30 years?  And seems to grow more bitter by the minute.   While Spears, although willing to accept money from the loathsome John, seems quite happy to go above and beyond to support Susan.  

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I was able to add Epix to my Amazon Prime subscription for $5 add on.  I will watch the rest of the episodes and probably cancel after that.

This is cheaper than what the cable companies are offering.  But anyway, I think it's worth it to watch the rest.  It's such Downton Abbey-ish fun. 

Isn't this based on a book, though?  Don't think there would be a second season--unless they concoct new story lines. 

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Spears, although willing to accept money from the loathsome John, seems quite happy to go above and beyond to support Susan.  

She's gathering blackmail fodder.

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