Thursday, May 01, 2003
To the scullery with you...: I only caught the last part of the three-day series, "Manor House," but what I saw was quite fascinating. The premise is about 19 people volunteer to go live "Upstairs/Downstairs" for three months in a fully restored Scottish manor. The upstairs is comprised of a real-life family (father, mother, spinster sister, and little son) and the (Indian) tutor. The downstairs is replete with butler, maids, chef, footmen, etc. 18,000 people applied...18,000! They had to rigorously adhere to custom; meaning the servants averted their gazes and really worked about 16-18 hours a day, while the "aristocrats" ate, entertained, and did whatever they wanted. It was to take place in 1905, Edwardian England and by all accounts it was true to form. At the end of the time there, they were nearly all in tears for having to leave eachother...although they were happy to get back to their real lives. They're replaying it, so catch it if you can.