ROSEMARY HARRIS: More years ago than I care to remember, I was addicted to a PBS program called The Forsyte Saga.
It was the Downton Abbey of its time.Based on a series of books by John Galsworthy people watched the ups and downs of the Forsytes, mostly Soames and Irene (pronounced for some weird reason
I-ree-neee) Forsyte, with the same obsessive dedication that some of us now follow Lady Mary and the guy who died.
I must have gotten the dvd set as a present - easily 2-3 years ago - and never got around to watching it. It might seem crazy to bring dvds on vacation, but my DH read at least 8-9 books on Florence and the Medicis before our trip and I knew that we would be visiting every piazza where Cosimo and Lorenzo ever had a gelato. And we did. Somedays 9-10 hours of walking.
I was also writing - working on the WIP, a short story and a garden club presentation. By the time 7pm rolled around I wanted to veg. (Until dinner that is.) What better way than to watch a little video?
Yes, I might have brought The Borgias or Roman Holiday (for Italian floavor...) but I had the set of TFS and stuck it in my carry-on at the last minute.
Yippee. Once I got over the cardboard-y sets (it was, after all, made decades ago)I was totally hooked! I even watched the extras, which were hysterical, as BBC announcers polled people on the street as to whether they were pro-Soames or pro-Irene. Surprisingly, I was more sympathetic to Soames this time than I was 30 years ago. I enjoyed it so much I may even give the remake (with Damian Lewis of Homeland) a shot.
Anyone else remember Soames and Ireneeeee? Young Jolyon? Philip Bossiney?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I never watched it! But now, I will. (A good series never dies..I bet it would be fun to watch LA Law again.) Although--when they recently re-did Upstairs,Downstairs, it was not so successful.. (And tell us about Florence! I LOVED it, and got hooked on food and leather and coffee and history and art. It was crazy crowded with tourists...but no one cared. Is that where the Enoteca Pinnchiori is? Do you know it?)
RO: Do not know the Enoteca, but climbed cupola at Duomo, stayed at Villa san Michele in Fiesole, visited Bargello, private tour of Vasari Corridor at Uffizi, Botanic garden, Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and so much more. I resisted the lure of leather but treated myself to a small espresso maker and another gorgeous Aurora pen.
HALLIE EPHRON: I didn't get hooked on Forsyte Saga, but I did watch Upstairs Downstairs and, speaking of Italy, I Claudius. Call the Midwife didn't entrance me, but I confess to never missing Doc Martin.
What would I do without Public TV? LOVED the opening episode of Scott & Bailey. If you missed it, find it! I'm hooked.
RO: I've watched I Claudius so many times I could probably nail all the speaking parts. Love it! May be time to watch again..
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, Ro, I watched it! Loved it! Read all nine Galsworthy novels, such was the state of my devotion! (Not sure I could do that again...) I haven't been tempted to watch the remake. I don't think it was very well reviewed, and I didn't want anything to spoil the first one for me. The remake of Upstairs, Downstairs was sacrilege enough--next thing they'll be re-doing Brideshead!
Hallie, Scott and Bailey is fabulous!!! My fave on public TV at the moment. Also really like a little comedy called "rev." about an East London vicar.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: See, I thought the Victorian-era pronunciation of Irene WAS eye-REE-nee, because it's derived from the Greek. I'm dead certain I've heard Irene Adler's name pronounced that way, and that's always how I say it in my head.
Which is neither here nor there, since I didn't see the Forsythe Saga. For me, it was POLDARK. Oh, how my young self swooned over Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark. (I married a man named Ross. Coincidence? I think not.) The wicked Warleggens! Ross's nasty uncle! And his passionate relationship with Demelza, unhappily married to his loutish cousin. To this day, my heart beats faster when I see a man dressed in 18th century waistcoat and breeches.
RO: Was so bummed when I learned that the adorable actress who played Demelza had passed away.
DEBS: Julia, did you see the post last year where I talked about Robin Ellis? Poldark! If you missed it, here's the link to his blog: http://robin-ellis.net/
I love his cookbook and use it all the time. And he's as adorable as ever:-)
RO: So Red readers, are you addicted to classic Brit TV? Whichwere your faves?