Posted Sep 2, 2012 @ 7:32 PM
If people are not watching or stopped watching, it is likely just not their cup of tea so to speak but I do wonder if they had run the episodes, say over the course of two weeks vs five weeks, would people have tuned in if they had 2 or 3 episodes a week - the way they used to do in the hey day of the mini-series. Who knows.
I saw just a few reviews calling in a bodice ripping something or other - nearly every piece I read was a positive, substantive review.
Posted Sep 2, 2012 @ 9:46 PM
Rather than slow down to try to understand every little bit when I read the books the first time, I realized that I would want to read the whole thing again. So I just kept in reading; once I got to the end, I saw the general shape of things. Ford called his technique "Impressionism." You need to stand back from an Impressionist painting to "see" the picture. Then you focus on various parts to enjoy the intricate brushwork. Even for me, it's frustrating to have each hour separated by a week.....
Ratings in the UK probably went down because fewer people tuned in thinking it was just like Downton Abbey; every media source had done nothing but make comparisons between the two. Then there were those offended by the brief naughty bits. But quite a few apparently enjoyed this different method of storytelling--or hoped for more naughty bits! It's not as though the show needs good ratings for renewal; five episodes and Napoo Finny! As usual, readers comments after the (mostly favorable) reviews are interesting. Is the show a Tory apologia because of all the posh gits? Or is it the usual BBC leftism because those posh gits don't come off very well? (I'm a Texan--what do I know?)
Still enjoying the thing immensely. It has all the details that draw most of us to costume drama--sweeping vistas, amazing old buildings & lovely costumes. There's a lot to say about our characters--maybe next week.
For now, one little scene made me happy, during the gathering at Macmaster's. Was that poisonous combination of arty politicos & artistes hoping for government money Ford's recreation of gatherings he attended when he was writing propaganda--before he chose active duty, although he was 40 plus, out of shape & in no danger of conscription? Anyway, two ladies stroll by, comparing the grief becoming more evident every day with Michelangelo's Pieta. Not from Ford--perhaps from T S Eliot's Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, published in 1915.
In the room the women come and go,
Talking of Michelangelo.
The BBC's excellent "Who On Earth Was Ford Madox Ford" is now on YouTube. Here's part one.... (The link goes to a slightly scrambled version of the show. You might have better luck going to the list showing each part separately. Or just consider it an exercise in disjointed modernity. Scenes from Parade's End include some from episodes not yet broadcast--be warned, or be eager to watch!)
Edited by not Bridget, Sep 2, 2012 @ 11:39 PM.
Posted Sep 2, 2012 @ 10:52 PM
I think Rebecca Hall has done a wonderful job making Sylvia somewhat sympathetic. Reading the books, I really couldn't stand Sylvia and kept hoping some unpleasant fate would befall her. Loving Christopher and Valentine. Looking forward to them really getting into the story next week.
Posted Sep 3, 2012 @ 9:52 AM
Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 8:17 AM
Paradeís End has become that infuriating thing: the series that hits its stride three episodes in. Suddenly, tonight, itís all we could have wished for Ė sharp and romantic and piercingly sad by turns. The storylines that have up to now been oblique and not-quite-there come together....
Some thoughts on the Tietjens/Sylvia relationship. I've read the books but this is based on what we've seen....
Sylvia refers to her maid as "Hullo Central" because her voice reminds her of a switchboard operator; but she calls her Evie, in person. And what a revelation that Groby has no indoor plumbing!
Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 11:29 AM
Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 11:33 AM
Is it just me, or do BC's eyes look very dark in many of the scenes? Given his natural eye color, I'm really struck by how dark they look - I assume it must be the lighting but it is striking.
Posted Sep 7, 2012 @ 4:06 PM
If you are not watching Parades End, I urge you to hammer it on iPlayer, catch up, and then watch the last two episodes as they unfold. Its a wholly immersive experience the thinness of the ladies lawn dresses; the fatness of Rebecca Halls lips; the metallic taste of the copper bath; the Groby Great Tree, hung with sextants, pipes and handkerchiefs, looking like a massive metaphor that will play off in the last episode.
Benedict Cumberbatch is playing out of his skin, the script and direction have genius-level IQ, and Halls Sylvia is one of the great female characters of the past decade. God knows why its on Friday night it should be playing on massive screens in our parks, cheered on by crowds as the BBC rack up a World Record in drama.
I've always liked her stuff; her evisceration of the last series of Downton was enough to justify paying. Her praise does not come easily.
Edited by not Bridget, Sep 7, 2012 @ 4:07 PM.
Posted Sep 7, 2012 @ 5:11 PM
Posted Sep 7, 2012 @ 9:39 PM
I know we're supposed to be rooting for Christopher and Valentine but the Christopher and Sylvia scenes are still the highlights. There's an amazing connection there and you feel, particularly in this episode, that they can talk to each other in a way they can't talk to anyone else. And that monologue when Christopher describes what it was like on the battlefield was incredible.
I also am still loving McMaster, despite his faults. He's one of the few who seem to accept and understand Christopher without the frustration that everyone else around him seems to have. I also want to mention Anne-Marie Duff as Edith. In the books, I found Edith particularly unlikeable but here I like the desperation and nervousness that Duff gives her.
Groby Tree looks wonderful but every time they cut to a shot of it, one of the decorations looks like a woman in a dress who has hanged herself. I don't know if it's intentional or not but it freaks me out a bit.
Caitlin Moran is right: Rebecca Hall's lips are mesmerizing. I can't help staring at them.
Posted Sep 8, 2012 @ 5:39 PM
It is! But really frustrating to have to wait a week to get to next installment. Part of me wishes that I had waited to watch until the DVD's had come out, so that I could soak it all in at once.
Oh, episode three -- even better than episode two which was even better than episode one. Is it lovely when that happens?
There were so many heartbreaking moments, where they made me really feel for the characters, alternating with moments where I just wanted to shake them because of what they were doing, or refusing to do or saying or refusing to say.* It's a rare piece, I think, that can pull you in and move you in so many different directions over a character (Christopher, Sylvia, Valentine) And what a damning portrait of the society surrounding them (though I suppose that's the point.)
It's such a strange piece, seemingly moving along at a languid pace with everything and everyone kind of at arms length and then suddenly giving a flash of insight and raw emotion in a scene that changes everything, or finally brings to the surface something that's been simmering all along. Kudos to Stoppard (and Ford, of course) and White for that. The writing is fantastic, and the performances are really amazing, especially Cumberbatch and Hall. Sorry to be so gushy, but it's just that good.
*I'll be back to talk details later, but I'm not in the mood for spoiler bars today.
Posted Sep 8, 2012 @ 8:06 PM
Posted Sep 8, 2012 @ 8:29 PM
It is addictive.
Posted Sep 8, 2012 @ 10:46 PM
Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 8:40 AM
Anyway I still love Tietjens but he is infuriating at times (as the other characters and even he himself can see).
Edited by Promethea Again, Sep 9, 2012 @ 8:42 AM.
Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 12:21 PM
There is almost a kafkaesque feel to what is happening to the main character.
Whenever I think that this whole societal trauma (including the war) took place just 100 years ago, it really does blow my mind how much has changed since as well as how little. I can only imagine what the next 100 years will bring.
Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 3:15 PM
Did Tietjens give Sylvia a "chance"?
Why did some sensible folks believe ridiculous gossip?
No consummation came "at the end" because we aren't at the end yet. There are two more episodes. As somebody who loves the books, I'm missing so many "good bits" that have been omitted. But there's only so much that can be shown! So I'm just enjoying it & won't judge the whole thing until the end. The performances are mostly fine & the production is beautiful. Of course it could have been longer--but it was already extremely expensive.
If you like the show, do consider reading the books. I've found they repay re-reading, as the show will repay seeing again. (Tom Stoppard will be publishing a book with the script. Along with his thoughts--& scenes that had to be cut for time & budget considerations.)
Edited by not Bridget, Sep 9, 2012 @ 5:19 PM.
Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 4:09 PM
I was with you too, as mentioned upthread, based on things presented in Episode 1 and 2:
I don't think that Christopher "didn't give Sylvia a chance",
*one random bit of that scene which I really loved: the way Christopher reacted to
Also loved Christopher and Mark's relationship in this episode, as prickly as it had been in the first episode, but with different layers coming through. It almost seemed like you could see their childhood relationship peeking through.
Edited by ImNotLeesa, Sep 9, 2012 @ 4:12 PM.
Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 9:32 PM
And does anyone else have any problems with Cumberbatch's cheek implants? Crisp diction would have been far preferable to the jowly look, IMO.
Edited by calais, Sep 9, 2012 @ 10:04 PM.
Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 10:41 PM
In the book,
In the show,
Posted Sep 10, 2012 @ 5:27 AM
Parade's End has shed another half-million viewers with only 1.6m tuning in for the third episode, while over on BBC1, sitcom In with the Flynns attracted 2.8m from 9.00pm-9.30pm and fellow sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys was seen by 4.7m from 9.30-10.00pm.
Given the reported £12m this cost to make it's starting to look rather poor value for money, even allowing for the budget being split between BBC and HBO.If it doesn't do well in overseas sales to recoup this investment, it might put the BBC off making this type of drama in the future especially in the current economic climate.
That said, away from soap operas both the BBC and ITV have been struggling to get decent audiences for drama of late. ITV's feature length adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's The Scapegoat only managed 2m viewers on Sunday night, for example.
Posted Sep 10, 2012 @ 6:58 AM
Well, I know that! I meant in the end, after the build up of them both thinking it was going to happen that night.
No consummation came "at the end" because we aren't at the end yet.
Interesting to hear that in the book
Posted Sep 10, 2012 @ 8:16 AM
I have been pretty baffled by comments from people (not here) claiming they have been very confused by the story - and, it really does seem not all confusing to me. I know we are all different but I just don't see this as being that difficult to absorb and understand.
My guess is - and, this is just a guess obviously - is that HBO is banking on BC being more well known after Star Trek comes out and if they air this after the movie comes out, they will benefit from his being in it - but, who knows whether the audiences would even be the same.
It is a shame that so many people are missing such a beautifully filmed piece. I wonder what the viewer numbers are for people in the UK watching via iplayer. Scheduling it on a Friday night at this time of year seems to be shooting themselves in the foot.
Posted Sep 10, 2012 @ 9:23 AM
Earlier, we saw Tietjens Sr talking to Mark about Sylvia's brother.
Sylvia was never good at talking.
Posted Sep 14, 2012 @ 7:25 AM
Itís worth mentioning at this stage that at no point in Paradeís End does Tietjens fall through a portal to another planet (unless you count Yorkshire), encounter an army of the undead, or get bitten by anything radioactive.
Word about tonight's installment indicates we might witness
Posted Sep 14, 2012 @ 8:31 AM
Posted Sep 14, 2012 @ 5:22 PM
It also had Roger Allam. Lots of Roger Allam being all Roger Allam-y. I like that even though Campion is an idiot, he does seem to genuinely care for Christopher and tries to do his best for him.
As usual, though, the best part comes down to Christopher and Sylvia.
Posted Sep 21, 2012 @ 3:53 PM
I am begging someone here to just put a very brief synopsis of the final episode - who ends up with who, if anyone we have come to know dies, etc -- Please? (whimpering)
Obviously, all under spoiler tags....
Thanks in advance!!
Edited to add: a kind UK friend phoned me and he told me the overall story of the last episode and I know that when I do get to see it, I expect to really enjoy it as much as I did the other episodes.
Edited by Navona, Sep 21, 2012 @ 5:08 PM.