I finished the new Upstairs Downstairs that has completed its run in the UK and should be coming to PBS in April I think. Small spoilers in the following mini-review.
One thing I’ve figured out: Claire Foy is awesome. I already knew that though. Further confirmation of the obvious. Otherwise, it was an up/down affair in not the good way. I think it should have had 6-8 episodes instead of cramming everything into three. And there was A LOT that was crammed for a relaunch of an old show that used to stretch things out forever and ever. They could have trimmed down half of the side stories and did the other half more justice and I think it would have been enough for me.
Perhaps it was a reflection of the times (as by the 1930s the heyday of servants had clearly passed), but I could have lived without much of the Downstairs portion of it. Bad me, I know, but it wasn’t like their stories were as fleshed out as Upstairs anyway. All the stories were so rushed it was hard for me to get into the emotional stuff going on. It seemed like everyone just met and then the next moment were acting like a family. That side of it suffered more than the Upstairs parts. Another casualty for the small order of episodes.
That all said, I did like Persie’s storyline (besides the dangling end) and how she wasn’t as twee as Sibil from Downton Abbey. In general the Upstairs portions were not as precious and sentimental as DA and I think that was what I mainly liked about it besides my instant like of Persie, Hallam and the Duke. There weren’t any mustache twirling villains. That’s probably why it didn’t go over as well to the general viewer besides the other problems I mentioned above. There is something in a proper costume drama that requires that sentimental quality and Up/Down was lacking in that.
Final word: Too short! Everything felt rushed. Acting great all around. Claire Foy in particular. Beautiful setting and costumes. Would love to see a proper season of episode made in the future.