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Past Seasons Talk: Upstairs Downstairs Revisited

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On ‎14‎.‎9‎.‎2016 at 11:48 PM, txhorns79 said:

even if it was awkward to be naked with the woman. 

Why would it be awkward to be naked? Have you ever been in a sauna or a Japanese bath?

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Not all cultures are as open with nudity. Certainly not the British back then. Even with saunas, some might have found it uncomfortable, but went along with it (you maid has to see you naked at some point if she is going to help you at bathtime).

Edited by AndySmith
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Yeah, but to an upper class woman with a lady's maid, having someone in the room to help her bathe would have been completely normal - servants were ever-present and eternally unremarked upon, barely even registered with many of the people they served. They were like the furniture, they were simply there. So being nude or semi-nude in the presence of a maid while bathing or dressing would not be an issue, it was just taken for granted as how things were.

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On ‎3‎.‎10‎.‎2016 at 1:46 PM, Llywela said:

Yeah, but to an upper class woman with a lady's maid, having someone in the room to help her bathe would have been completely normal - servants were ever-present and eternally unremarked upon, barely even registered with many of the people they served. They were like the furniture, they were simply there. So being nude or semi-nude in the presence of a maid while bathing or dressing would not be an issue, it was just taken for granted as how things were.

Yes, that's the point. A nanny saw the baby naked, her mother never after the birth. A husband may never see his wife naked, but her maid did regularily.  

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Random question (I don't know where else to ask it!): If you had to name just seven favorite DA characters, who would they be---and why?! Needless to say, these are just your personal favorite DA characters to watch, analyze etc., not necessarily people you'd love in real life :) 

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The Countess, obviously, because I enjoy watching her reaction to the changes happening in her word (what's a weekend???) and that she doesn't suffer fools lightly.  Edith, and I never would have thought that would be true in season 1 because I thought she was a sad sack and her payback by telling about Parmuk was over the top.  But she really pulled herself up by her bootstraps and made a great life.  Mary never would have let herself all in love with Bertie.  

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My brother's girlfriend finally watched the episode where Matthew dies. She knew it was happening--she just didn't know how it happened. She just needs to see a couple more episodes and she'll be caught up to where she jumped aboard in season 4.

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Every time I see Thomas in a scene with Maggie Smith I want to yell, "Watch out Professor McGonagall, he's Slytherin!".  I like watching what that guy is up to though, oily machinations and the wheels always turning.

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2 hours ago, Dobian said:

Every time I see Thomas in a scene with Maggie Smith I want to yell, "Watch out Professor McGonagall, he's Slytherin!".  I like watching what that guy is up to though, oily machinations and the wheels always turning.

LOL.  I can just see Lady Mary hooking up with Draco Malfoy.

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Just started season 4 in my late-to-the-party viewing.  For such a genteel show, they sure have a high body count lol.

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I can see why the whole Anna rape plot didn't go over well with people.  It wasn't needed on this kind of show, and was clearly done for shock value.  I thought maybe they were doing it to give some insight into how rape was viewed in England at that time, how people responded to it.  But no, it was simply another plot device to continue the Anna/Bates star-crossed lover soap opera, always something getting in the way of their happiness.  Meh.

 

Random question (I don't know where else to ask it!): If you had to name just seven favorite DA characters, who would they be---and why?! Needless to say, these are just your personal favorite DA characters to watch, analyze etc., not necessarily people you'd love in real life :) 

 

Carson - I love Carson.  If I was rich he'd be my butler.  He's old school, and yes, a product of his times with his various prejudices, like his disgust at Thomas' "revolting lifestyle".  But he has a good heart, a tough love kind of guy.

Dowager Countess: Well I just love Maggie Smith, she will always be Professor McGonagall to me.  She is both wise and witty on this show, and always manages to slay people with her zingers.

Thomas: He could have been very one-dimensional, the evil footman always conspiring and plotting against Bates or whoever.  But he has been played with some surprising depth at times, like when his black market goods scam went bad, his reaction to Sybil's death, his infatuation with Jimmy.

O'Brien: Thomas' partner in crime.  I was sorry to see her go in season 4, the show's loss.  Another hate the character, love the performance kind of thing.  Always interesting to watch her in her underhanded machinations.

Mrs. Hughes: No better person to play the role of house mother, she's great.

Mary: She's cool and reserved, but very modern and compassionate to others, regardless of their social status.  Yes, her stories are often bad soap opera, but she is very likable in how she carries herself.

Mrs. Patmore: She just makes me laugh, I could watch an hour of just her in the kitchen.

Edited by Dobian
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Re-Watching the season 4 finale, I wish they had mentioned at some point in the future, that after a year of writing back and forth, that Cora's brother Harold actually did end up with Rose's friend Madeline.  I thought they were sweet together.

And also if her father ended up marrying a rich Newport widow!

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On 8/6/2017 at 7:35 PM, Dobian said:

I can see why the whole Anna rape plot didn't go over well with people.  It wasn't needed on this kind of show, and was clearly done for shock value.  I thought maybe they were doing it to give some insight into how rape was viewed in England at that time, how people responded to it.  But no, it was simply another plot device to continue the Anna/Bates star-crossed lover soap opera, always something getting in the way of their happiness.  Meh.

 

 

Carson - I love Carson.  If I was rich he'd be my butler.  He's old school, and yes, a product of his times with his various prejudices, like his disgust at Thomas' "revolting lifestyle".  But he has a good heart, a tough love kind of guy.

Dowager Countess: Well I just love Maggie Smith, she will always be Professor McGonagall to me.  She is both wise and witty on this show, and always manages to slay people with her zingers.

Thomas: He could have been very one-dimensional, the evil footman always conspiring and plotting against Bates or whoever.  But he has been played with some surprising depth at times, like when his black market goods scam went bad, his reaction to Sybil's death, his infatuation with Jimmy.

O'Brien: Thomas' partner in crime.  I was sorry to see her go in season 4, the show's loss.  Another hate the character, love the performance kind of thing.  Always interesting to watch her in her underhanded machinations.

Mrs. Hughes: No better person to play the role of house mother, she's great.

Mary: She's cool and reserved, but very modern and compassionate to others, regardless of their social status.  Yes, her stories are often bad soap opera, but she is very likable in how she carries herself.

Mrs. Patmore: She just makes me laugh, I could watch an hour of just her in the kitchen.

I like the 6 except O'Brien, I have to change to Matthew, I love him. :D

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I've been rewatching the show over the holiday, and I really, really hate the Anna rape storyline.  I hate that Bates essentially bullies Mrs. Hughes into telling him what happened.  I hate that Bates bullies Anna when she's suffering.  I hate that they drag things out so much between Anna and Bates.   Also, Anna, if you really think your husband will murder the perpetrator of your rape to the point where you are frightened to tell him, you fully believe your husband is capable of murder if he becomes very upset and your relationship has deep problems. 

Also, shut up Daisy. 

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looking at the first episode again in 3-4yrs and looking at thomas for the first time in a long time it made me think

why he was on drugs. was it because of him trying to ungay himself or because of a past trauma?

On 01/01/2018 at 2:16 PM, txhorns79 said:

I've been rewatching the show over the holiday, and I really, really hate the Anna rape storyline.  I hate that Bates essentially bullies Mrs. Hughes into telling him what happened.  I hate that Bates bullies Anna when she's suffering.  I hate that they drag things out so much between Anna and Bates.   Also, Anna, if you really think your husband will murder the perpetrator of your rape to the point where you are frightened to tell him, you fully believe your husband is capable of murder if he becomes very upset and your relationship has deep problems. 

funny, i was thinking about this as well. the rape story was just extra drama and was useless imo.

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I have been watching the reruns on PBS and when the dowager gave the trophy/win for the rose to a common person I noted it was the exact scene from Mrs. Miniver.

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Tonight was one of my favorite --if not the favorite -- DA moments: Matthew, Mary, and "We were a show that flopped!"  

It starts with Mary, her hand on the balustrade, gazing down at Matthew as he winds up the gramophone.  Then there's Matthew, taking the woman he loves in his arms ("Mary...you are my stick!").  Then there's dancing...and kissing...and...*thud*

For some reason, it's a scene that's vanished from YT (excepting FanVids w/soundtracks).  And that's just so very, very wrong.

Edited by voiceover
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Last night, on WOSU, was the episode where Edith gets jilted at the altar and goes home to throw herself on the bed, obviously crushed and heart broken.  The very next scene is Matthew and Lord Grantham, out on the lawn, Matthew saying, "Poor Edith," and Robert sayin, "She'll get over it."  Then Matthew tells Robert he will give him the money to save Downton and the two of them are fairly leaping for joy.  I think Fellowes probably thought we would all rejoice along  with them,but I was still grieving for Edith and the two just seemed heartless to me.  I love the show, but I don't think Julian Fellowes ever realized how much some of us cared about Edith, to him she was just "the sainted Lady Mary's" hapless sister and not really important -- at least until the very last.

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1 hour ago, JudyObscure said:

Last night, on WOSU, was the episode where Edith gets jilted at the altar and goes home to throw herself on the bed, obviously crushed and heart broken.  The very next scene is Matthew and Lord Grantham, out on the lawn, Matthew saying, "Poor Edith," and Robert sayin, "She'll get over it."  Then Matthew tells Robert he will give him the money to save Downton and the two of them are fairly leaping for joy.  I think Fellowes probably thought we would all rejoice along  with them,but I was still grieving for Edith and the two just seemed heartless to me.  I love the show, but I don't think Julian Fellowes ever realized how much some of us cared about Edith, to him she was just "the sainted Lady Mary's" hapless sister and not really important -- at least until the very last.

I so agree with you.

BTW, we were in Delaware on vacation when the original Downton Abbey exhibition was at Winterthur.  (Okay, it wasn't an accident.  I built a vacation around getting to see the exhibition.)  Anyway, the MOST beautiful costume on display was Lady Edith's wedding dress. The dressmakers had found a beautiful - but extremely fragile - wedding gown from the era.  They cut out several pieces, including some exquisite hand-done embroidery, and used it as a portion of Edith's gown.  The camera never showed how gorgeous - exquisite - it was. 

I'm looking forward to seeing it again when we go to the exhibition in Florida next month.  We're driving from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale, and I would NOT miss seeing the DA exhibition again.  I've been told this one is even more wonderful than the one in Delaware.

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2 hours ago, AZChristian said:

Anyway, the MOST beautiful costume on display was Lady Edith's wedding dress.

Lucky you!  Just last night I really saw her gown for the first time.  The gorgeous way it draped across the front and the embroidery across the upper back of the train! Oh my!

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9 hours ago, AZChristian said:

I so agree with you.

BTW, we were in Delaware on vacation when the original Downton Abbey exhibition was at Winterthur.  (Okay, it wasn't an accident.  I built a vacation around getting to see the exhibition.)  Anyway, the MOST beautiful costume on display was Lady Edith's wedding dress. The dressmakers had found a beautiful - but extremely fragile - wedding gown from the era.  They cut out several pieces, including some exquisite hand-done embroidery, and used it as a portion of Edith's gown.  The camera never showed how gorgeous - exquisite - it was. 

I'm looking forward to seeing it again when we go to the exhibition in Florida next month.  We're driving from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale, and I would NOT miss seeing the DA exhibition again.  I've been told this one is even more wonderful than the one in Delaware.

The Florida Show may not have the same clothing as Winterthur did. I saw that exhibit a few years ago and again at St. Augustine last winter. This summer I saw the NYC exhibit which was wonderful, but the clothing was not the same. I was impressed because this exhibit encompasses much more than clothing. You’ll love it even if Edith's Gown is not there. 

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On 1/3/2017 at 11:34 AM, amensisterfriend said:

Random question (I don't know where else to ask it!): If you had to name just seven favorite DA characters, who would they be---and why?! Needless to say, these are just your personal favorite DA characters to watch, analyze etc., not necessarily people you'd love in real life :) 

  1. Dowager - she has the best one liners ever!  Even though she is hard, coarse and traditional she can be counted on for warmth and problem solving.
  2. Sibyl - She was only on for a short time but I loved her bringing the family forward and her being empathetic towards others.
  3. Tom - for a radical he proved to be a one-for-all kind of guy and a true asset to the family.
  4. Mr. Mason - he showed such class at his loss and was very warm towards Daisy and brought her right into his family.
  5. Mrs. Crawly - The opposing duelist to the Dowager and another asset to the family.
  6. Edith - Loved her going out and taking over the magazine and her due diligence to her work.
  7. Mrs. Hughes - What not to like?

I just finished watching seasons 4,5,6 while I was home sick and it was wonderful.  I always thought that Rosamund handled Edith's "condition" wrong.  Why couldn't they say that she had married Michael Gregson so that Marigold was legitimate?  We know he would have married Edith so no one would have been the wiser.  Even after Edith's fairy tale wedding they were going to keep it hush-hush.

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2015 at 12:13 AM, TnTexas said:

Just finished binge watching seasons 1-5 on Amazon Prime, and I've just got to say - the Who Killed Green? storyline has to the dumbest storyline I've ever seen. (OK. I'm sure I've seen others that have been just as dumb over the years, but I just finished watching this one so it's fresh on my mind. LOL)

So let me see if I've got this straight. An unimportant man falls in front of a bus and dies. A year later, we find out that someone overheard a chance remark the man made just before he died and a decides to report it. Okaaaaay.

The police, who are apparently bored and tired of sitting around with nothing to do-- (Who knew a large city had so little crime to deal with in those days?)-- decide the comment (What are you doing here?) is probably an indication that the man was actually murdered. He wasn't accidentally bumped off the curb at the wrong time. He didn't accidentally stumble off the curb at the wrong time. Nope. Instead, he saw someone he recognized and asked them why they were there. Therefore, obviously, he must have been deliberately pushed in front of the bus. Really? (Nevermind how the person knows the comment came from the man who died. As far as I can remember, that was never explained. I was under the impression there was a crowd of people around when the accident/murder happened, so it seems to me the question could have come from any number of people.)

 

Having  decided they probably have a murder on their hands, the police proceed to embark on an amazingly long and apparently extremely thorough investigation into the situation. (I mean, if the King himself had been murdered, the investigation couldn't have taken more time and been examined more closely; could it?) Suddenly people  - even though it's been somewhere between a year and two years- are remembering the strangers they saw around them on the street that day, strangers they talked to, strangers who came into their shops, etc. I served jury duty a couple of weeks ago; and even though I talked to some of the people who were there with me, I wouldn't recognize any of them today -- just two weeks later. Why? Because they were all strangers to me, and (as far as I know) I haven't seen any of them since. So can I have some of the memory pills those people must be taking? Please? I'd love to be able to remember things like they do.

All of this over the death of a (former) household servant? (Had he already been fired when he died?) I mean, it's not like the man's (former) employer was pushing for an investigation into his death. He barely seemed to register it had occurred. The whole situation is just so unbelievable - even for a TV show. I rolled my eyes so much I was sure my eyeballs were going to get stuck. In fact, I'm a bit surprised I can see anything other than the inside of my skull right now. 

agree with the above (I'm just now watching DA and am midway through season 5). I just watched the episode where Anna drops off the note at the house and gets followed--turns out she is followed by a plains clothes detective who they have staking out the house--where Green used to work. Why on earth would they think "maybe the killer will come visit the old place of employment?" who has that many police hours for that kind of effort?? it makes no sense to the point of taking me out of what I'm watching.

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My WOSU is re-running the series and we're just up to the rape and its aftermath.   I asked a friend if he had watched the series and he said the only thing he had liked about it was the Anna & Bates story, and suddenly I realized its the only part I didn't like. It was so different from the rest of the show that it always seemed like an entirely separate story to me, so I guess it makes sense that someone might like it and nothing else. It's like they dropped a Catherine Cookson novel smack in the middle of Upstairs Downstairs.

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I suppose it's consistent with past work since Gosford Park includes a murder mystery as kind of a side story. But it just didn't make sense. I've now gotten to where Anna is arrested. I find it hard to believe AFTER the police discover Green was a serial rapist that they are still pursuing this investigation with such gusto. Even when it means hauling someone out in handcuffs from the house of a noble.

My youngest (13 yrs) watches with me. He has sobbed each time someone dies and also Isis. We knew it was unrealistic but we're kind of hoping for a "surprise! this old dog is pregnant storyline."

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 1:05 PM, RedbirdNelly said:

My youngest (13 yrs) watches with me. He has sobbed each time someone dies and also Isis. We knew it was unrealistic but we're kind of hoping for a "surprise! this old dog is pregnant storyline."

Awww.  I'm just trying to think of all the deaths he's been through; William, Lavinia, Sybil -- especially Sybil.  Just remember, though, old dogs dying are often followed by wonderful new-puppy scenes.

Edited by JudyObscure · Reason: Matthew, oh my gosh, the saddest.
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2 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

Awww.  I'm just trying to think of all the deaths he's been through; William, Lavinia, Sybil -- especially Sybil.  Just remember, though, old dogs dying are often followed by wonderful new-puppy scenes.

it's been rough. He's my child who sobs at tv/movie deaths, so he was especially sad about Sybil. I think I would rank it as Sybil, then Isis then Matthew, then the rest. We were both big Sybil fans.

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On ‎12‎.‎11‎.‎2018 at 2:14 PM, JudyObscure said:

Last night, on WOSU, was the episode where Edith gets jilted at the altar and goes home to throw herself on the bed, obviously crushed and heart broken.  The very next scene is Matthew and Lord Grantham, out on the lawn, Matthew saying, "Poor Edith," and Robert sayin, "She'll get over it."  Then Matthew tells Robert he will give him the money to save Downton and the two of them are fairly leaping for joy.  I think Fellowes probably thought we would all rejoice along  with them,but I was still grieving for Edith and the two just seemed heartless to me.  I love the show, but I don't think Julian Fellowes ever realized how much some of us cared about Edith, to him she was just "the sainted Lady Mary's" hapless sister and not really important -- at least until the very last.

Well, many people are like that - their own matters are always most important. And Edith wasn't present, so she wasn't hurt,

But when Edith had just leaned that Gregson is dead, her family behaves horribly. Mary chooses the same day to get a new hairstyle and wants everybody admire it. All plan to have a nice trip and invite guests for how could they disappoint Rose?

When Edith rebukes Mary, she doesn't even say the automatic "sorry" but "you spoil everything". And yet she herself had rushed from the room hearing the gramophone play after Matthew had been dead six months!

Most of all, nobody says nothing to criticize Mary, not even (if that was impolite among the upper class) afterwards alone. Nobody goes to comfort Edith, either. And Fellowes goes to describe in great detail the horse race where Mary beats Mabel - as if Mary's love interests haven't already become quite boring.

Notice that in the morning even the ever faithful Anna had for once criticized Mary for making fun of Edith not to realize that Gregson was dead. Also othewise, the servants, except Thomas, were sympathic towards Edith.

When Edith is missing, Mary behaves quite indifferently - of course she doesn't know about Marigold but common sense would tell that there is a possibility of suicide (which would be a shame to the whole family if nothing else). Then at least Violet reproachs Mary: lack of empathy is as vulgar as a flood of tears.   

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On 7/22/2017 at 3:17 PM, Dobian said:

Every time I see Thomas in a scene with Maggie Smith I want to yell, "Watch out Professor McGonagall, he's Slytherin!".  I like watching what that guy is up to though, oily machinations and the wheels always turning.

Priceless!

I am rewatching the series and am on season 1.  You can tell they had no idea the show would be a world-wide hit.  The filming is very TV and by season 4 or 5 it is more like filming for a movie.  I don't even think they had HD in season 1.  Just seeing the progression of clothes is fascinating.

Edited by jumper sage
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Hi,

Ok so I want to buy the US Blu-ray sets for seasons 1 & 2 because they have the correct frame rate (25fps), as opposed to the UK sets that have been slowed-down to 24fps. As a result I hear that the US Blu-rays are 1080/60i but have playback issues, but I read contradicting comments. Apparently the issue could be resolved by turning the blu-ray player settings to 1080i instead of "auto", but I don't know if it's a real fix, and it might not work for season 2?

I'd really like to know before buying them, so if anyone knows, that'd be very helpful.

Also, do you know if the individual seasons are the same as this combo set (or did they fix something for other releases?) https://www.amazon.com/Downton-Abbey-Seasons-Limited-Set/dp/B008HT4FUW/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

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Most people wouldn't give it a second thought but I've always wondered if the crew or anyone ever fetched Mr.Bates leg support from the lake.

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On 9/28/2019 at 5:29 PM, bolin said:

Hi,

Ok so I want to buy the US Blu-ray sets for seasons 1 & 2 because they have the correct frame rate (25fps), as opposed to the UK sets that have been slowed-down to 24fps. As a result I hear that the US Blu-rays are 1080/60i but have playback issues, but I read contradicting comments. Apparently the issue could be resolved by turning the blu-ray player settings to 1080i instead of "auto", but I don't know if it's a real fix, and it might not work for season 2?

I'd really like to know before buying them, so if anyone knows, that'd be very helpful.

Also, do you know if the individual seasons are the same as this combo set (or did they fix something for other releases?) https://www.amazon.com/Downton-Abbey-Seasons-Limited-Set/dp/B008HT4FUW/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

I’m sure Amazon has better pricing on blu-ray DVDs but have you checked on the PBS store site? It may be a little more, but at least you know their items are compatible with US devices. 

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For those that have watched the whole series, did you hit a point that you weren't sure you wanted to continue watching?  I am partway into Season 2, and I know some of what is coming ahead in regard to some of the characters, so that is part of my hesitancy--but I am questioning whether I want to finish the series or not.  I loved the first few episodes, but it is starting to feel a little heavy to me right now.  Just wondering if there is enough ebb and flow that things pick up a bit to have a bit more on the lighter side mixed in with the drama.  

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