19 July 2011 | clotblaster
Acting generally mediocre, Keeley Hawes is an exception
The real problem with the three episodes that were aired and I viewed is the fact that there was uncertainty about whether there would actually be more than 3 episodes. This three episode alleged season had to be produced assuming that there would be more than just three episodes of this sequel to Up/Down. Hence, things were rushed, the show seemed incoherent much of the time, and there was some uncertainty about how to develop plot lines and characters. This might excuse some of the problems with the first 3 episodes. That being said, I thought the show was weak--it only came alive when K. Hawes was on the screen, a flaming firework in a cast of mostly duds. Ms. Hawes has charisma and subtlety-- e.g.,in a rather dull role as a pathologist in the first Murdoch Mystery series (she appeared in two of the three episodes in this truncated series), she played her part as it was written and her obvious sensuality was kept under wraps. Still, she performed admirably. In Up/D she shows great promise. The Indian character was forced, unrealistic and was undoubtedly part of the show for diversity's sake. This show has been compared to Downton Abby. I thought D. Abby was boring with a script that would trip up Olivier. The new Up/Down, if it continues (I understand that only six more episodes have been ordered--which is hardly reassuring)seems to me to show little promise. The first Up/Down is iconic and was on for many episodes and those who compare the new version to the old are being unfair. As it stands, I would suggest watching or re-watching The Duchess of Duke Street, The Pallisers, The House of Eliot and Bramwell for quality, period multi-episode shows. There are others of course. For the record, the first Upstairs Downstairs has always been overrated. I just finished watching three seasons and I was underwhelmed to the max.