Old Writing: Part 30::Upstairs, Downstairs

I have had a nearly life-long love of British television starting with the Avengers when I was in 3rd grade. Here I talk about Upstairs, Downstairs. I was in my freshman year of college. I don’t remember writing this though.

English Comp. 102
T-TH- 8:00 – 9:15 am
1-26-76

Upstairs, Downstairs, one of public television’s most popular programs, owes much of its attractiveness to the credibility of its characters. This BBC program portrays life in Britain during WWI as seen through the eyes of one certain upper class household. Both upper and lower classes are shown. Masters and servants (Upstairs and Downstairs) interact, giving the audience glimpses of the happy and sad times of each class.

One character who comes to mind is the overbearing but sensitive butler, Hudson. The viewers can sense the pain felt by Hudson when he is told that, because of poor eyesight, he can’t be sent to “the front” to fight for his country. He overcomes this pain by joining the “Special Constables” and the pain turns to pride.

Upstairs has believable characters as well as downstairs. Richard Bellamy is the kind and patient, but troubled former master of the household. He’s the quiet member of Parliament who loves his son’s wife, Hazel, like a daughter, yet wishes that he were twenty years younger and in his son’s place because that his son doesn’t really love Hazel.

Finally, there is Georgina, the nineteen-year-old niece of Richard Bellamy. She, though not like her uncle, is a believable character. She is a young woman who is afraid of being hurt, yet wants to serve her country in its time of crisis, so she befriends many soldiers, letting take the memory of her charming personality to comfort them to whatever fate has for them. She lets them love her, but never allows herself to love them back.

Every one of the members of the Bellamy household, upstairs and down, has at least something about them that their audience can believe in. An insecurity shown by Hazel or a jealous rage by the master shows us that they are as human as ourselves.

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