Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Disappointment and Hope

I am sorry to say that I am disappointed with the miniseries Downton Abbey currently airing on PBS Masterpiece. The quality is great, and I love the music, setting, and some of the characters. However, I personally did not enjoy some of the scenes.

I'm easily bothered by things in movies, and I found myself skipping parts of various scenes in the second episode of this series. Some of them had to do with sickness and injuries, but other scenes had to do with sexuality. I suppose I'm a little saddened by the fact that online this show is said to be "TV-PG," but it showed much more than I wanted to see in a series of that rating. Due to partially skipping those scenes, I might be judging too harshly because I don't fully know all that was shown in this episode. But I didn't completely like what I did see as I skipped along. Either way, though, this show was not exactly what I had hoped for, and it left me feeling more icky than satisfied.

But I won't say that I've given up PBS Masterpiece. They've put out some great shows, and I'm hoping to see more of those in the future.

As for right now, I've got enough to keep me busy. ;) When I checked my mail upon returning to school, I found several books waiting for me to review them, including:

The Search
by Suzanne Woods Fisher,

The Charlatan's Boy
by Jonathan Rogers,

and Stars Collide by Janice Thompson.

Oh, and I got a copy of The Rancher's Reunion by Tina Radcliffe along with some See's chocolates as prizes from Seekerville! They're all so sweet over there!

And I've started re-reading my first book for the Contentment Reading Challenge: The Redemption by M.L. Tyndall. I'm hopeful that my future reading experiences will be very enjoyable, and I'm hopeful that, through God's strength, I can be productive in schoolwork, workouts, and even working on my manuscript. There is hope, and I'm clinging to it!

What have you been watching and reading recently? Any disappointments? How about your hopes for the days ahead?


Renee said...

I definitely think when it comes to deciding if books and movies are worth your time, you should weigh the objectionable elements against the rest--noble characters, great themes, worthwhile story, well-told story, etc. So there was one scene I thought I might have to fast-forward through in this episode, but they did cut away. I wasn't put off by the hospital scenes and applauded Matthew's mother when she saved a man's life. There are characters in this series that I love for their goodness, but I can't recommend it the same way I have some others. (Lark Rise to Candleford:)

But you should be glad that you're sensitive to the suffering of others or how far an intimate scene might go. That's a good thing, though where to draw the line can vary for each person. Blessings, Amber!

Kav said...

I find that so much of 'entertainment' isn't necessarily my type of entertainment. Movies tend to go way too far...it's almost like they are pushing to see how much they can get away with and unfortunately that seems to be way too much. I find that I don't watch a lot of movies for that reason. So I understand where you're coming from and applaud you for sticking to your standards.

As Renee Ann says -- it varies with each individual. I figure there is so much 'good' out there, I don't want to waste my time on the more controversial stuff. That's why I LOVE inspirational fiction.

Amanda Stanley said...

Oh, I'm sorry, Amber, I know how excited you were about this series :( I was excited about it too when Ruth first mentioned it (especially since Higgins was in it) but I’m happy I didn’t watch it after all. I hate when they have to ruin things or add unnecessary material just for ratings. Truthfully though, and nothing against the English- seeing as how I'm part English ;), I don't think they censor anything in that country. Even they're TV shows. I've seen some English stuff on YouTube, period or no, and I've left with my mouth open. At least on our TV shows in the states we blur and bleep things out… well, most things anyway- found out this year digital cable doesn’t hold to the same blur/bleep laws… Like Kav, I don’t watch a lot of movies for that reason, or even TV. I’m quite content with my books ;)

Anyway, in harmony with Kav, I applaud you, my friend, for sticking to your convictions and for setting an example for the rest of us :) And I’m happy there was some good Christian fiction waiting for you and I hope you enjoy them!!


Bluerose said...

I have been DVRing (for the first time) Masterpiece this time. Last night I started watching the first episode, and when it got to the kissing scene between two men, I was so shocked!! I came to check out some of the reviews so far, because I was mostly holding out until I watched it myself.
I have yet to watch anymore of it, but after your review I may not watch this one.
I may just go check out Pride and Prejudice, and see if I actually like it better than my favorite one. :) Or maybe Lark Rise to Candleford, since I've heard such great things about it.

Unknown said...

Hi Amber, I'm sorry to hear Downton isn't working for you, but I hope you don't think any less of me since I'm still a fan. :) I do really try to practice discernment in my entertainment choices as well, and while what works for some doesn't work for others, I hope you believe me when I say I totally get where you're coming from and applaud how you thoughtfully articulated your views!

Amber Holcomb said...

Renee Ann,

You are quite right. :) I took a class called Literary Criticism last semester, and we talked about how books/movies that seem "bad" can still have a very good message--and those movies with a good moral or purpose are better than the "clean" books/movies that share a not-so-good message. So I definitely agree that you have to weigh the objectionable against the good.

And honestly, I have liked some movies that have crude or bad parts in them. I suppose with this one I personally was bothered by the scenes suggesting homosexuality, and I didn't know how far that one "attack" scene in this episode would go. Plus, I really can't handle anything gruesome, and while this didn't have anything like that, I just I got scared by a couple of things I saw.

So, this was just my personal opinion. I really did like Bates and Anna especially in this show! :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


Amber Holcomb said...


I know what you mean. I can't say that all of the movies I watch are always completely clean, but I agree that some movies/shows have scenes in them that are simply unnecessary. My mom and I were talking the other day about National Lampoon's Vacation, and how that movie didn't need the crude/indecent scenes and would, in fact, be much better without them.

And yes, I love reading inspirational fiction, too, and I'm so glad that we have a clean alternative when it comes to reading! :) One thing I have to remember that my Literary Criticism teacher said, though, was to be even more cautious with "Christian" books. I guess we tend to inherently trust anything with a "Christian" label, but we always need to make sure we know what it is the book is trying to tell us.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


Amber Holcomb said...


Oh, it's alright. :) I was a little bothered by some of what they showed and I just don't think I want to see more. I really did like Higgins in it, though. :) I can't say for sure how you would like it, but I hope my reviews were somewhat helpful.

I really don't know if I set the best example, because as I said in other comments I have watched movies that are crude and have unpleasant elements. It's hard to make the right judgment call, but I guess the important thing is to always look at the message and what it is the movie wants you to believe. (This is something I need to remember!) I think this show had it's good points about not judging others and showing kindness, in some cases, but overall I just personally didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped.

Thank you for your kind words, though, my friend, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts! :)


Amber Holcomb said...


There are some great shows on Masterpiece, so I hope you eventually find some you like! :) However, I was quite shocked by that kissing scene in the first episode, as well. I hope my review for this second episode wasn't too judgmental, because I can't speak for everyone's opinions, but as I said in the previous comment, I hope it was at least a little helpful.

Oooh, which version of Pride and Prejudice is your favorite? :) And yes, I've been hearing a lot about Lark Rise to Candleford, as well, and it sounds good!


Amber Holcomb said...


Of course not! I wouldn't think less of you for liking it--it's a well-made show with wonderful music, a great setting, and some good points with some sweet characters. :) But you're right...it just didn't quite work for me.

Thank you for your sweet words! That means so much to me, and I'm glad my review wasn't too off-putting and harsh. :)


Amanda Stanley said...

Amber, that is hardly enough to disqualify you as a good example, my friend! ;) I didn't mean to give you or anyone else that impression and I'm sorry if I did because I am most definitely NOT perfect! I was just impressed that you stuck to your convictions. As Christians the funny/icky feelings we get about things is the Holy Spirit setting off little red flags. And I'll readily admit I don't always heed them when I know I should.

But ultimately it comes down to what you feel the Lord is leading you to do not just in movies and books but anything. Human life isn't perfect, neither are Christians, and movies and books that show its rises and falls can sometimes be a good learning experiences that the Lord can use to speak to you. Discernment is key and we can never have too much so I pray the Lord will grant us more of it! Because through it we'll be able to make the right judgement call ;)

Have a beautiful day, dear Amber!


Amber Holcomb said...


Thank you again for your kind words, and your sweet, humble attitude. YOU are a wonderful example to me! :D

Discernment is definitely important, and I agree--may the Lord guide us and help us to make wise choices! And may what we choose to watch be used by God to encourage us and remind us of His truth. :)

Hope you have a beautiful day, as well!


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

I love this series...I have to say though that I do agree with you about those scenes. It's sad but these days it's hard to find movies, tv shows etc without objectionable content. I've seen the rest of Downton since Sunday and I believe that there aren't anymore sex related scenes in the series. And can I just say I was REALLY grossed out by the hospital scene? Renee, you have a much stronger stomach thatn I do! LOL

Anyways if you're looking for a really clean series I recommend Larkrise to Candleford! Ocassionally there is some *very* mild innuendo but that's as far as it goes. I wouldn't hesitate to watch it with my kids...if I had any LOL.

XOXO~ Renee

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Good for YOU to turn it off, or skip on past. HURRAH! Who needs that rattling around in your soul?!

Movie to see - The King's Speech.
Other than some "language" in a couple of scenes (that fairly fits into the dialog -though it would have been fine w/o it I think, or use a different word).
Really outstanding movie.
Makes you realize they CAN do this if they want to. :)

Amber Holcomb said...


I agree, and it is sad. :( I'm glad to hear that Downton doesn't have any more sexual scenes in the last two episodes, though. :) And yes, I skipped a little of the hospital scenes, because what I did see grossed me out, too! I can't really handle seeing things like that very well...

OK, I know I have to see Larkrise to Candleford soon! ;) If ya'll love it, it has to be amazing!


Amber Holcomb said...


Awww, thank you! :) I still did see some stuff, so I didn't really skip everything completely. But I just didn't want to see all of that...

Thanks for the movie suggestion! Sounds like a well-made one! :)