08/11/2011

SPOOKS vs DOWNTON ABBEY - WHO WON THE MATCH IN THE END?


Everybody knows the answer now: Just look at the figures... Anyway, I promised in one of my previous posts (HERE) that after watching both series, I'd tell you which MY winner between Spooks 10 and Downton Abbey 2 was . Before they started broadcasting the new series, if asked to choose between them,  I would answer ... like someone else (HERE): that it was a real dilemma to me. Now Spooks has finished and we won't be asked to choose any longer. Only, am I really eager to see the  next season of Downton Abbey? *****Full of doubts. *****
Spooks has been one of my best favourite TV shows for so long and it remained such till its very end,  a couple of weeks ago.
Downton Abbey attracted my attention last year in November while I was in London because the Christmas DVD box or its publicity was almost everywhere. My fondness for period drama didn't let me resist. I had to see it! And it was a very pleasant discovery: amusing, light, well-acted, beautiful faces, beautiful costumes and locations.
Now, first of all I think it was tremendously unfair and unjust to broadcast the two series on the same day and at the same time,  so this resulting rivalry is the absurd consequence of that big mistake.
Secondly, I know that  it  may sound  incorrect  to compare such different produtcts since they actually were/are basically different in so many aspects. But BBC and ITV wanted,  if not a duel, a match. So, let's give them one.


Which one will  have had  longer life before its end for good? I bet Downton Abbey won't get to its 10th series and if that should ever  happen, I don't think I'll be among its faithful, loyal watchers.
Why? 
Because if the scripts have been so foreseeable and rather melodramatic in a second series, what might they ever been like in a tenth? 
It was  a promising series, but going on it has missed the chance to take off  towards peaks of originality and has instead landed onto an expectable small island, just off  "predictable county".

I won't discuss  plot and twists in detail here, since I don't want to give away much to those who still have to see it. However, I want to ask those who watched  it, what was there that you hadn't already seen and heard - and not only once -  in your careers as TV watchers? Very little, it's my first answer. But thinking on a few seconds more, I'd be more precise: nothing.
Do I sound disappointed? I know many of you ( Do you remember? Numbers and figures are on that side)  wouldn't agree but I certainly expected much more.

Spooks instead didn't disappoint me and ended  for good with a very good final series. Yet, I had  my reasons not to like it. Even more, I admit I started watching with more than one prejudice.
The scriptwriters had betrayed my favourite character in the previous series with a rather implausible unexpected twist (the Lucas North / John Bateman storyline ). So, you see, I can see the wrongs wherever they are. I'm not totally biased. But Spooks remained intelligent, low-badget, political drama.
Downton Abbey deranged from  the path of  costume drama, instead. Costume drama can be very good when it doesn't become  like the fiction I stopped watching on Italian commercial TV long ago. This is why I watch  good British  period drama. But was Downton Abbey so much different from what I rejected?

OK. Stop with the ramblings. It's time to open the final match. Yes, you got it right. Open, not closing. Are you ready? If you saw them both or even just one ... Cast your votes! I'd like to hear from you. Vote or leave your opinion commenting this post. I'd be glad to discuss the victory of Downton Abbey over Spooks according to the audience ratings as well as the victory of Spooks on Downton Abbey in my heart.




















I'd like to hear from you. Vote or leave your opinion commenting this post. I'd be glad to discuss the victory of Downton Abbey over Spooks according to the audience ratings as well as the victory of Spooks on Downton Abbey in my heart.


14 comments:

Alessia Carmicino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alessia Carmicino said...

I've never watched Spooks..but I love Downton Abbey!Even though the last episodes of season 2 were too "soapy" for me...I hope with all my heart there will be no season 4...the characters deserve happiness!

Anonymous said...

Spooks was the best out there and tis a shame we have lost one of the great british dramas,peter firth and nicola walker were amazing and deserve to be recognized with a bafta nod...thank goodness for box sets of Spooks,10 sets is a long time viewing for this spooks fan..

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Alessia
Do you mean they'll get to happiness in series 3 then lose it again in series 4? I really hope they wan't go on for long otherwise it will be completely turned into a sope opera!
@Anonymous
Yes, you are right, fortunately we have our DVDs. And I totally agree with Baftas for Spooks, Peter Firth and Nicola Walker!

Thank you both for passing by and commenting.

Musa/Fabo said...

I voted! Very interesting polls.

I don't know who won the audience ratings, but I watched all of Spooks 10, also a favorite show of mine since the beginning, and have been keeping up with Downton - though I've yet to watch last Sunday's episode.

For me Spooks won all the way. I think the focus on Harry and Ruth was the perfect way to end the series, even if I think they set it up at the end for a possible Spooks film. The series stayed true to Spooks, fast paced, in tune with the headlines, and always unexpected. I am sad at the way it ended, but really, it couldn't have ended in a lovely cottage by the sea.

However, I will never truly forgive the Spooks writers for the way they ended Lucas' story.

Downton I think has lost its way a bit this second season. Some of the plot twists they've added seem more Dynasty and Dallas than Downton. But there are still great moments, and great performances (Maggie Smith!).

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Musa/Fabo
It seems the ratings always were for Downton. But as you said, it sounds very much like a soap,this year. I saw the last episode and it will confirm this impression even more, you'll see.
Maggie Smith is awesome, an acting genius!
As for Spooks, I agree with all you've just said. Especially this bit: "I will never truly forgive the Spooks writers for the way they ended Lucas' story".
Thanks for contributing your opinion :-)

Alessia Carmicino said...

I hope not!There's the Christmas special and a season 3 for the next year...and I hope it will be the last! I love Downton but some stories become ABSURD if they are too prolongued...;(

lunarossa said...

Spooks won for me too, no question. I've never shed so many tears for a TV programme as for Spooks but that, I think, was the magic of it, how it made you feel. I liked Downton Abbey as well, but not in the same way. I couldn't feel much for the characters apart from Mr Bates and of course the very funny Maggie Smith...Ciao. A.x

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@Alessia
You are definitely right! Yeah, the Christmas special. Let's see what it 'll be like. Super soapy?
@lunarossa
Ciao, A.! I know you can understand and sympathize with me for my loss! I'll miss Spooks more and more if nothing very good comes. Just let me know, living in Britain, it must be easier for you.
Mr Bates and Lady Violet, yes two reasons to resist till the end of this second series of Downton Abbey.
Ciao e grazie! :-)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with Musa/Fabo,
but I think MG cheated on the 'Senior Female' Poll while presenting Cora instead of Lady Violet: you know she'd win, even against Ms Evershed :)
I had to laugh at the 'Realism and coherence' Poll: much as we love Spooks, we can't seriously say it is because of its realism :-P so I am quite happy for the almost 50%-50% of the results :)
xx K/V

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@K/V
LADY VIOLET is out of the contest, she has no rival. She'll win over anybody else!!!
:-)

onemorelurker1 said...

I haven't voted because, as much as I liked Spooks -besides Lucas- Downton Abbey caught my attention and so my vote wouldn't be too truthful. On the other hand I agree, the last eps have bordered on 'soapy'.

I think is also unfair to have Lord Grantham against Sir Harry Pearce, Sir Harry can't be matched ;o)

OML :)

onemorelurker1 said...

I haven't voted because, as much as I liked Spooks -besides Lucas- Downton Abbey caught my attention and so my vote wouldn't be too truthful. On the other hand I agree, the last eps have bordered on 'soapy'.

I think is also unfair to have Lord Grantham against Sir Harry Pearce, Sir Harry can't be matched ;o)

OML :)

MARIA GRAZIA said...

@onemorelurker1
I can respect your choice of impartiality, C. But I couldn't be impartial.
I was enthusiastic about DA at first but then little by little ... it helped me to appreciate Spooks much more.
Never mind. We can stay friends even though we don't agree on DA series 2, can't we? :D
Hugs!