Upstairs, Downstairs vs. Downton Abbey—Upstairs Battle Royale!!!

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After 10.5 long months, the U.S. is finally being treated to the season three premiere of “Downton Abbey” on PBS.  I adore the show and its historical authenticity (I am a raging anglophile), but I wondered how the characters on “DA” stacked up to “Upstairs, Downstairs,” another Masterpiece kick-ass classic.  I watched every episode of “UD” multiple times in high school.  Let’s look, shall we?

NB—I tried to line up the roles as best I could.  Maggie Smith is beyond amazing, but I left her out of the mix because she simply has no “UD” equivalent.  Also, I tried to have the characters based on how long they held the role.  For example, Elizabeth Bellamy was indeed the only daughter in “UD,” but Georgina was in the show much, much longer.  Also, while Edward was valet, footman and chauffeur, I used him in the role of footman because that is the position be retained for the bulk of the series.

Downton Abbey Upstairs, Downstairs Winner
Patriarch Robert Crawley—Earl of Grantham.  Veteran of Boer War, transitions through WWI and the “brave new world” but still retains dignity and values. Richard Bellamy—son of a parson who becomes a baronet.  Principled member of the old guard.  Rises to MP. Upstairs—Bellamy adapts and is self-made which shows the dawn of the new era but retains old values; I just admore him more
Matriarch Cora Crawley—American heiress who marries Lord Grantham.  Agreeable and devoted to her family. Marjorie Bellamy—Daughter of Earl of Southwold.  Rigid and distant from children.  Dies on RMS Titanic. Downton—Cora is much more compassionate and sympathetic
Son/ heir Matthew Crawley—Former lawyer, WWI veteran.  Loses a fiancée but marries Mary.  Has hard time assuming mantle of being heir-presumptive, but gracefully grows into role. James Bellamy—WWI vet.  Never finds real occupation and drifts through life.  Commits suicide after losing a lot of his (and Rose’s) money in 1929 Stock Market Crash Downton—Matthew navigates the changing of the guard and still comes out on top
Primary daughter figure Mary Crawley—Cannot inherit Downton, marries Matthew.  Does not have an occupation during the War, but maintains sang-froid despite the many curveballs life throws her. Georgina Worsley—Becomes a nurse during the War but then comes a member of the Lost Generation.  Vain and frivolous, but does have a real heart. Downton—Both ladies are resilient, but Mary shows more backbone in one season than Georgina in the whole series
Upstairs total 3 1

Stay tuned Wednesday when Carson takes on Hudson, Thomas battles Edward and Daisy the scullery maid bitch-slaps Ruby!!!

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