babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » Upstairs, Downstairs meets Survivor meets...?

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Upstairs, Downstairs meets Survivor meets...?
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 28 April 2003 06:56 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I said, I said, see here, I said...

quote:
A tired young man beds down on a cot in the hallway. A teenage girl carries porcelain pots filled with feces down a long flight of stairs. "The more you do, the more they seem to want," an exhausted man tells the camera.

Leave it to PBS to get away with making a reality show about S/M under the pretense of illustrating life during the Edwardian era. In the tradition of "The 1900 House" and "Frontier House" before it, "Manor House" documents the lives of a family and 13 individuals selected to be their servants and live with them in a 109-room Scottish mansion called Manderston. In keeping with the make-believe times (1905 is the let's-pretend year), the butler, chef, maids and footmen toil around the clock with no breaks, sleeping a scant five hours a night in order to keep the mansion running smoothly while the family blithely wanders about, sampling vintage wine and cooing over how naturally they take to the life of the privileged.

This is reality TV, PBS-style: The pace is relaxed, the mood is fairly thoughtful and subdued, and snippets of historically relevant information are littered throughout each two-hour episode, which will air on three consecutive nights, Monday through Wednesday, April 28-30, at 9 p.m. PDT (check local listings). But don't let the show's soothing Merchant-Ivory tone fool you: The producers still hit all of the standard reality TV marks, from capturing flaring tempers on camera to taking great interest in the love blooming between the scullery maid and the hall boy.

And of course, the usual torture-them-until-they-crack strategy is in full effect. The narrator, for one, seems to take great delight in watching the staff suffer through their grueling tasks.



From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 28 April 2003 08:42 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, it's still reality tv (which is a genre I really dislike), but it seems to me it's one of the few tv programs that has ever paid much attention to the class of people that I am descended from (great-grandmother on one branch: charwoman and cook, variably; great-grandfather on another branch: gardener).

At least it isn't so brainless as most of the reality tv stuff out there.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 28 April 2003 10:38 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Every time I see another brainless unreality T.V. show that seems to signify the craze has run its course, along comes another one worse than the other.

And I don't buy into the idea that its because of audience demand. Most are foisted on us because they are cheap to produce.

But, I'm a hypocrite. I usually manage to catch most of the "Eco Challenge" every year, and if shows like "Quest for the Bay" are on I'll watch.

Not sure I'll catch the Edwardian Servants reality T.V. show.

If I want that stuff, I'll just dust off my copies of Anne Rice's "Beauty" series and give them another read.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 28 April 2003 10:42 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And I don't buy into the idea that its because of audience demand. Most are foisted on us because they are cheap to produce.

Well, I don't know about audience demand... The broadcasters seem fairly convinced. However, I can comment on the cost -- not cheap. Not at all. Multiple camera crews, longer-term location costs, lots of stuff with reality tv is expensive, just as expensive as documentary or low-budget drama/sitcom.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 214

posted 28 April 2003 10:51 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm.

And they seem to have limited appeal as syndication fodder too.

I guess it speaks to the fragmentation of the audience-- what would have been a failing market share in the old three network system in the U.S. is now considered great numbers.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 28 April 2003 11:59 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, you won't see much reality tv in the low-budget digital channels, that's for sure. And yeah, the syndication thing (always a major gamble because you need 5 seasons completed), repeats aren't going to age well, so it's not a value-added genre.
From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trespasser
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1204

posted 30 April 2003 01:28 PM      Profile for Trespasser   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am taping this show, I discovered it last night on PBS Detroit and can't wait for the last episode. Not only is it educational, it affects your moral sensibilities too. It's like feeling directly how the manor politics of class works.

Maybe it's only me, but I'm sorta happy that somebody took the concept of 'reality TV' and did something great with it.

(I haven't seen the Frontier House and the other one with people living in 'primitive community' conditions, what were they like? Also, I thought this one was British-made and produced?)


From: maritimes | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 01 May 2003 05:58 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think it's the best possible use for reality tv. I also watched bits of the History Television series where they took york boats up some waterways, etc, as was done historically. Can't remember the name of it, but it gets you thinking about the way things were, provides you with a current view and understanding of the past.

I liked it, anyway.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Weltschmerz
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3713

posted 02 May 2003 02:00 PM      Profile for Weltschmerz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I do enjoy the shows where they try to re-create an ancient feat of construction using only the tools and methods they think were available at the time. The three I've watched so far have been building a miniature of the Pyramids, building one of the standing stones of Stonehenge, and building working trebuchets (sp?) capable of accuracy and sufficient power to knock down stone walls at a few hundred yards. Educational and fun to watch.

Cheers,


From: Trana | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Trespasser
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1204

posted 04 May 2003 04:34 PM      Profile for Trespasser   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So, what are the verdicts on Manor House, folks?
From: maritimes | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 04 May 2003 04:40 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I missed it, I'm sorry to say. The DMM watched it, however, and raved about it.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca