Jump to content

Masterpiece Theatre


  • Please log in to reply

5041 replies to this topic

#1

SimplyMichelle

SimplyMichelle

    Couch Potato

Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 8:46 PM

'ello. I'm a newbie to the Forsyte Saga discussion (love the posts). I've now seen episodes 1 and 2 (of the first series) (Started watching it because I've just discovered and fallen quite deeply for one Damian Lewis (thanks to BoB)) So my thoughts on it:

[start bashing] Young Jolyon and Helene- I hate em hate em hate em. Helene especially. She acts so indignant when she really doesn't have an excuse. When she's leaving the house just after Jolyon has left his family and Old Jolyon ignores her as he goes up the stairs her snooty "good day sir!" just had me muttering "bitch" I mean, yes, he did mention her being a servant and that she should leave the servants way, but his son had just left his wife and child and basically had left them in Old Jolyons hands. Do not be so worried about how your treated missie (and then she acts like she was just so right to "stand up for herself")

Another reason for my hating Helene came allot from the actress which had a little gnome who was sitting inside my head (also watching) shaking it's head saying "bizarre, just bizarre" to her acting.

Oh gosh and then when she has another pout fest and Jolyon stands up for his father saying that he bought all him paintings Helene is like "well that's not good enough". Again. Helene. Joylon. left. his. wife. and. child. and. yet. the. dad. still. supported. you two selfish imps secretly.

Young Jolyon managed to make me not hate him completely (like being kind to his dad when they reunite, and telling his dad to give all the money to his wife). Though that whole conversation when he shows Helene the newspaper that his wife has died
"she was your wife. THEY should have told you" (shut up Helene)
"oh (but forget her) now we can get married my love!" yeah kisses
Was I supposed to think this a sweet and beautiful moment, because I just wasn't feeling it. [/end bashing]

As for Soames, I feel a little over spoiler-ed because before I rented the series I had had a night of internet surfing reading a whole bunch of things about the series so anything Soames does or says- I'm just waiting for it. sigh. It takes a bit of the magic away for me when I know what someone is going to say or do. Soames heavy recaps (not a bad thing) I'm incredibly impressed w/ his acting. The whole time my brain was trying to connect him and Winters and it couldn't do it (granted, they are opposite characters in every way- but Damian does such a good job of making one BELIEVE the character and feel them) He's so deliciously creepy, but sad, lonely and yearning. I want to have him finger paint or blow soap bubbles w/ me.

The only other character that I felt for (amid all the selfish selfish people) was Young Jolyon's poor wife. Her anguished scream of "of course I desired you but how is one supposed to pursue one when they KNOW they are to be rejected!" broke my heart. I would have liked to see more of her.

I hope Soames says allot more f words (heh) in the series. The way Soames spit out flibbertigibbet and (London) frippery was just lovely.
  • 0

#2

wyndham

wyndham

    Fanatic

Posted Jan 30, 2004 @ 4:09 PM

Just to bring this topic back up to the top of the list again.
Let's see - I still don't like Irene - can't imagine what it is/was that was so attractive to all the men. I think Irene was a real piece of work - she managed to snag all the wealthy men who came near her - never wound up with a poor one did she? I don't like Soames either but for an instant or two I almost felt sorry for him - he wanted a child so badly. And he could so easily have been molded into a good husband by the right woman - he was so incredibly needy.
  • 0

#3

AndYourPointIs

AndYourPointIs

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 11:54 AM

Also still hatin' on Irene, not fond of Joylon or June or even Phil. Like Winnifred and feel a strange bond/love for Soames. Can't wait to see series II.

Here's a review for The Forsyte Saga: To Let from TV guide:

A blurb, as befits my Damian Lewis-loving heart:

Elevating all of this from guilty-pleasure status are the writing and acting. Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) gives one of the year's best performances as Soames: so rigid, so miserable in his frustrated loneliness that he can't help ruining it for everyone else.

Page-turner? Definitely. Time waster? Hardly.


  • 0

#4

tortuga

tortuga

    Couch Potato

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 12:19 PM

MSNBC has an article about Gina McKee and her upcoming projects, including a Hallmark movie this week with Angela Landsbury and Diane Wiest.
  • 0

#5

Meady

Meady

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 2:30 PM

I came to this party very late. I missed the first run entirely and didn't catch the first installment of the second run, but I have been glued to the TV for the rest of the Forsythe saga.

I agree w/ most of the comments here. I have not read the book so I take the characters at their performance. I would say, I think Gina McKee is cast very well. As someone stated above, I just think the character of Irene is not all that likable, but I can see why Soames and Bossiney found her irresistable. She just struck me as incredibly British in terms of beauty and aloofness. I could see how men would flock to this beautiful but hardly attainable woman. She presents a challenge and the men who "possess" her seem to think they have accomplished something.

I couldn't stand Bossiney and that irritates me because I adore Ioane Griffudd. I know I'm going to hell but, when he died, I chuckled because everything they were about to do was so wrong on so many levels. There was an amusing irony in the wake of all that morbidity. What goes around comes around.

I too am solidly in the Damien Lewis love camp. All through the series (and I was unspoiled BTW), I kept thinking, (besides the rape) why is she treating him so poorly? What is so awful about Soames that she cannot be his wife on any level (as I said, I missed part 1 so there could have been some clues there)?

All of the characters are flawed and incredibly selfish and that's what makes it interesting. I like the cads like Dartie and Young Jolyon.

So far, I cannot stand any of the younger generation (young young Jolyon, Helene, Val Dartie etc). They simply haven't been drawn very well w/ respect to the other characters. We are thrown into this forbidden love between Val and Helene and I couldn't care less about either one of them.

Anyway, giddy w/ anticipation of The Forsythe Saga II.
  • 0

#6

attica finch

attica finch

    Stalker

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 4:25 PM

One of the things that interests me is how Bossinney is not at all heroic. He repeatedly defies Soames's building restrictions without so much as a fare-thee-well, and then gets huffy when Somey calls him on it (even in the book). Yet, after he meets his Carriage of Doom, both June and Irene remember him as the bestest of fellows, full of nothing but fine qualities. Even the Jolyons think better of him than not.

It's kind of a brave choice, I think. Makes you wonder what Phil had goin' on that we didn't see.
  • 0

#7

softshoe456

softshoe456

    Just Tuned In

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 5:08 PM

For the past month, maybe a little bit longer, I've been distracted by one thought. . . this Soames character isn't so bad.

He should be, but he's not.

Sure, he's a corporate suit with a serious lack of social skills and imagination, but that's not enough of a reason to damn him to hell i.e .eternity spent in that Frank Llyod Wright-rip off reading the Arts And Leisure Section with Phil.

Aside from his brief turn as a super-stalker complete with psychotic coughing and nervous twitches, none of his faults were so totally grievous that they could not be solved with a weekend of non-stop (concentual) shagging.

It's probably just me, but Soames, even beside the holier-than-thou self-victimization of St. Irene, seems the most trapped and sympathetic.

Ironically, the posters on this board, myself included, seem so drawn to Soames for the same reason every man on the series seems uncontrollably drawn to Irene, the untapped passion beneath the cold reserve.
  • 0

#8

Meady

Meady

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 5:39 PM

One more comment about the incredible Damien Lewis. I just melted when he picked up his daughter and flashed the one and only Soames toothy smile in the series. No words were said but the emotion just came flooding. Wonderful moment!!

ETA: No it's not just you softshoe456, I think your observation about Soames is quite right and astute (and not just because I agree w/ you). Though it is a prison of his own making, he is indeed in my opinion the most trapped and tragic of characters. In addition to the qualities you listed, I also thought his love for his father and sister, really his immediate family, were quite laudable and really underappreciated.

Edited by Meady, Feb 3, 2004 @ 6:10 PM.

  • 0

#9

AndYourPointIs

AndYourPointIs

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 7:40 PM

Ironically, the posters on this board, myself included, seem so drawn to Soames for the same reason every man on the series seems uncontrollably drawn to Irene, the untapped passion beneath the cold reserve.


softshoe456, I think you got it, spot-on. This is why I thought Gina McKee was miscast as Irene. Whereas with an actor like Damian Lewis you can get that sense of passion trapped beneath a cold exterior, with her all I got was aloofness and dullness. Not exactly her fault as when you got it, you've got it (and when you don't, you just don't), but I think another actress cast could have been much better.

I definitely found Soames to be the most sympathetic (main) character and was puzzled as to why he was treated like so much shite by everyone else with the exception of Winnifred (and I've seen this series through at least twice with lots of repeated viewings of just-Damian parts).

attica finch, what you say about Phil I am on board with also. Sames goes for Irene, Young Joylon, and June (moreso with the first two). They seem to act holier-than-thou but they both do some unpleasant things (steal June's fiancee without much regards to her feelings; leaves first-wife for governess) and act as though they were forced into these positions or that they were the wronged ones. I think that's why I dislike both Irene and Young Joylon so much. Young Joylon left his wife for love, sure, but it wasn't as though he was forced to marry Frances, and then he just leaves his daughter too to start this new life. And Irene? June was her closest friend, and for that matter, with Soames--she could have married another. There was that older gentleman that seemed to want to propose and I'm sure she had other offers. How did it end up that she just settled upon him and then didn't even make any effort to try and like him?

The whole thing with Phil too as was mentioned. He kept going over budget and then acting outraged that Soames dare say anything about it. It especially irked me that Soames basically gave Phil the commission for the house at Robin Hill because he knew that Phil needed to make a certain amount of income before Old Joylon would let Phil and June get married. Then, in the end, both Phil and June end up hating Soames and blaming him for everything.

I mean, WHAT THE HELL? No wonder my sympathies ended up with Soames.

It is very interesting though how The Forsyte Saga was written. It's not so cut-and-dry who is "good" and who is "evil." Problematic in a way, but also more realistic, IMHO.

BTW: Since series II of the Forsyte Saga is airing for the first time in the U.S. next week, does this mean that potentially it could be nominated for award shows here, a la The Office?
  • 0

#10

kunju

kunju

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 10:26 PM

Is there room on this thread for some discussion of Lucky Jim? Or should I wait until the Forsytes have finished their saga?
  • 0

#11

choochi

choochi

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 4, 2004 @ 7:50 AM

I heard some time ago that ExxonMobil was withdrawing its sponsorship of MT either this year or next. Does anyone know if PBS has found another sponsor? I would hate to lose my MT!
  • 0

#12

M. Darcy

M. Darcy

    Stalker

Posted Feb 4, 2004 @ 9:28 AM

There is a few days before FS2 starts, if you want to engage in some Lucky Jim talk:) I really liked it and it was nice seeing Stephen Tompkinson in a lets say, happier role. And, while it was great on its own, as a bonus, I thought it was a great adaptation of the book.
  • 0

#13

attica finch

attica finch

    Stalker

Posted Feb 4, 2004 @ 10:25 AM

Does anyone know if PBS has found another sponsor?

As of last week, not yet. But the PBS poohbahs are still being publicly confident that they will either find another pair of deep pockets, or figure out another way of funding the series.

And yay, Lucky Jim! We get the always adorable ST, a fresh dose of Rick Warden (aww, my sweet Harry Welsh from BoB), and a different turn from Keely Hawes than we Spooks/MI-5 fans are used to. Yay!
  • 0

#14

M. Darcy

M. Darcy

    Stalker

Posted Feb 4, 2004 @ 11:54 AM

Did you see Wives and Daughters? Keely Hawes was also in that.
  • 0

#15

attica finch

attica finch

    Stalker

Posted Feb 4, 2004 @ 12:03 PM

I'm sure I did, but have no memory of it. Which is sad. Someday if I catch it again, I'll be all 'gosh, this looks familiar.'

Braincells, boy, I dunno.
  • 0

#16

Shooshenova

Shooshenova

    Channel Surfer

Posted Feb 4, 2004 @ 6:50 PM

Keeley Hawes is in everything BBC...also Our Mutual Friend...a great adaptation of Dickens' last novel. She was exquisite as Lizzie Hexam.
And damn, I missed Lucky Jim! KCET in L.A. didn't air it!
  • 0

#17

M. Darcy

M. Darcy

    Stalker

Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 9:40 AM

I'm sure that MT will show it again - since it is only one part its probably a good one to show between the longer running series.
  • 0

#18

choochi

choochi

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 2:05 PM

I think MT has run Lucky Jim twice already. You might be able to find it on DVD.

Those of you who liked Lucky Jim, what did you think of "Take a Girl Like You," which ran a couple of years ago and was also based on a Kingsley Amis story? I thought Rupert Graves (Young Jolyon in Forsyte Saga) was excellent in it.
  • 0

#19

Shooshenova

Shooshenova

    Channel Surfer

Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 2:17 PM

choochi Thanks...I'll hunt for it on dvd. According to the PBS MT schedule, Lucky Jim is nowhere to be found...at least through April, so I'll give the dvd-video a look-see. They will be running all the Prime Suspects again.

As for Wives and Daughters: still one of the best series ever on MT, beautifully done, charming, funny, and not as cloying as I'd feared. They really did a swell job of adapting the book. attica finch to jog your fading memory, Hawes played Cynthia with a charming tongue in cheek and just the right amount of pathos to make you realize how much damage being raised by a clueless mum can do.
  • 0

#20

TeenyBopper

TeenyBopper

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 2:33 PM

I really liked the Forsyte Saga. I really sympathized with June, and thought she gave a lovely performance, as did the actress who played her younger sister (I forget her name). I agree that Gina McKee was horribly miscast. I'm looking forward to the sequel, though.

Was the Cazalets Masterpiece Theatre? I enjoyed that, too.
  • 0

#21

M. Darcy

M. Darcy

    Stalker

Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 2:36 PM

It will be great seeing PSI again - a chance to see Ralph Fiennes about two years before he became famous (well, one could say the buzz started with him with Schindler's List in 1993). I watched it during the orginal showing - it will be interesting to see who he was because I can't remember. But who knew?

I loved Wives and Daughters. I taped it at work on BBCAmerica (they showed it before it was on MT) watched Part 1 at home then ran all over town to try to find the book. I found at the last place I looked -- across the street from my house at the Library.

Edited by M. Darcy, Feb 5, 2004 @ 2:58 PM.

  • 0

#22

Meady

Meady

Posted Feb 5, 2004 @ 5:25 PM

I enjoyed Wives and Daughters. Didn't see Lucky Jim. I was wondering what everyone thought of the Bramwell series w/ Jemma Redgrave. I really enjoyed it, especially the last scene where Eleanor and Guy Quarrie are going to get married. There is a look on both of their faces so full of both love and uncertainty, it a well captured moment.
  • 0

#23

kunju

kunju

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 6, 2004 @ 10:25 AM

I've only gotten to see Lucky Jim once (saving it for a treat when I finally finish this damn dissertation), but I was on the floor whenever the repulsive Bertrand was onscreen. I was surprised to find myself liking Keeley Hawes, who I thought was all wrong as Charlotte Ellison in The Cater Street Hangman. This was a great film - a romp with real sweetness.
  • 0

#24

M. Darcy

M. Darcy

    Stalker

Posted Feb 6, 2004 @ 1:50 PM

NY Times review of FS 2. Stiff Upper Lips Set to a Jazz Age Beat
  • 0

#25

Shooshenova

Shooshenova

    Channel Surfer

Posted Feb 7, 2004 @ 7:50 PM

Oh my God kunju! I remember watching Cater Street Hangman with a group of reading buddies who love Anne Perry. We all thought the casting of Pitt and Ellison was absolutely perfect. I never realized it was Keeley Hawes! The only thing I didn't like about the movie was the change in the ending....the motivation for the killing spree got re-jiggered...networks got scared I guess. But the two leads were superb. (I do remember the fellow playing the butler was awful.)
  • 0

#26

kunju

kunju

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 8, 2004 @ 12:49 PM

To be fair, I can't remember if I disliked the actress or the way the role of Charlotte was written. It could have been the latter. And yeah, what was up with that ending?
  • 0

#27

choochi

choochi

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 9, 2004 @ 8:02 AM

Nice episode of Forsyte Series 2 last night. Some random thoughts:

Soames still looks like he needs an enema, but there is no way Damien Lewis looks like he is in his 60s or close to it (which is what I assume Soames would be in this series). He looked particularly fit in the straw hat outfit. And I loved his hypocrite speech to Old Young Jolyon.

As for our young couple, Fleur wasn't as annoying as I expected her to be and Jon looks like he could be the Harry Potter kid's older brother or perhaps Eric Stolz's son.

Did anyone think it was strange that Jon's real name is Jolyon? OYJ's first son, Jolly, was Jolyon. Although Jolly was killed before Jon was born, it's still strange to use the same name.

The actor who plays Dartie is doing a good job playing the dissipated old guy who never changes. It was also good to see George. I really like their subtle comic relief, like when they were trying to avoid Hester's birthday party until they saw June and Jon arrive.
  • 0

#28

SpringBarb

SpringBarb

    Couch Potato

Posted Feb 9, 2004 @ 8:17 AM

I was totally shocked when I looked up how old Soames, Jolyon, etc., were supposed to be at this point. None of them look it at all. (Soames was born 1855; Jolyon in 1847--making Soames 64 and Jolyon 72 in 1919.)

Loved Soames's hypocrite speech. I don't know whether he's being portrayed more sympathetically or whether it's my love of Damian Lewis from watching Band of Brothers, but I'm liking Soames more this time around. I mean, he was dancing with Winifred! It was adorable!

And I'm liking Michael Mont. He's a cutie.

My roommate and I spent much of the first half hour or so just trying to remember who everyone was. That's what we get for not rewatching the first one!
  • 0

#29

Albanyguy

Albanyguy

    Fanatic

Posted Feb 9, 2004 @ 9:31 AM

And I'm liking Michael Mont. He's a cutie.


And one of the nicest people in the book. Susan Hampshire, who played Fleur in the 1969 series, said that she always felt that Jon was too weak and spoiled a character for Fleur and that she had a far better chance of being really happy with Michael in the long run.

The 1969 series boasted two of the most memorable female performances in TV history: Nyree Dawn Porter as Irene and Susan Hampshire as Fleur. They're really impossible to beat, although Gina McKee is so bad.

Has anyone seen the 1949 MGM movie That Forsyte Woman starring Greer Garson as Irene, Walter Pidgeon as Jo and Errol Flynn (talk about miscasting!) as Soames? Slick, glossy, big-studio-era production with little subtlety but Garson doesn't come off as badly as McKee. While she's about twenty years too old for the part, she manages to capture Irene's winsome charm and makes her effect on the men around her understandable. Not as good as Porter in 1969, though. Interestingly, in the 1949 movie, her name is pronounced "Eye-reen" rather than "Eye-ree-nie" as it was in both TV series.

Edited by Albanyguy, Feb 9, 2004 @ 9:33 AM.

  • 0

#30

M. Darcy

M. Darcy

    Stalker

Posted Feb 9, 2004 @ 10:51 AM

Since I never finished watching FS1, I watched the entire thing over the weekend. Hee, I actually seem to have stopped watching after my future boyfriend (Ioan Gruffudd) was killed. I do have to say that I thought Ben Miles did an amazing job - even though I know its the same actor that plays Patrick on Coupling, I still can't quite believe its the same guy.

Though, having a copy of the book makes for easy cheating. There is a family tree so I can see what happens with characters really quickly. I still haven't read it though - its a bit big to carry back and forth to work.
  • 0