Listen: 'Downton Abbey,' 'Breaking Bad,' and Why TV Is Still Jealous of Movies
"Chris. You're here along with Amanda because you know a lot about television and Amanda and I are for a little bit out on television sort of as a general rule. I'm post. TV POST TV separate succession. Now there are some television shows that I love. I started to watch when this weekend that I think is incredibly well made which is called unbelievable but I was just home with my mom for a little while and she while she's a stranger to cable news but she adorable still gets a lot of her news from the newspaper so two days later she'll be like. Did you hear about Joe. Biden and I'll like what what do you mean. Did something new happens you know. Did you hear about this phone. Call and that's just what you did with unbelievable where you were like. I'm breaking to you guys that there's this show well no now. I admit I am one one week late and you've already covered the show on the WOK yeah. We've already covered the sh the show on the site. I just didn't have the time to get to you. I hear you I'm seeing all these movies but one thing that is interesting that it's happening right now is is that I even though the just happened and even though TV is having this incredible boom time I feel like TV is still a little jealous of the movies and we know that because Downton Tanabe rather than comeback as an eight part miniseries has decided to become a full length feature film and the people said. Yes they said Yes to the tune of thirty three million dollars a lot of money for an extension of the Downton Abbey University was a show that was popular and a phenomenon sort of when it started. I believe the first episode of the Hollywood respective podcasts was a recap of the Dow naby premier guess which is just amazing what times past its Niche Butler's Butler's and and and you know that's a show that I liked and I really did you recap Amanda you recap what an amazing time capsule of our life on the Internet in creating culture and now it's a fulling feature feature film which is something that I think twenty years ago it had happened you would have said Downton Abbey really grew up and stepped up to the big leagues in this case. I wonder how you guys feel about what what it means to extend what was once a broadcast. TV Show into movie platform and also like why why this movie work. Why did it work so well. I have a couple of sites and the answer answer of why to turn it into a feature film is money which worked out because it made thirty three million dollars we had a great piece on the ringer last week by writer named Kate Loyd who's based in London and it was he's about the downtown Abbey Economy essentially in how the show changed both tourism in the UK and like she went to a lot of fancy locations and like talk to British these people but also how it changed the British TV industry and down abby the show. Was this wakeup call I think for people in the UK okay that people would from other parts of the world would watch when these costume dramas it was kind of a revival of the costume drama and also had a finance the shows so that they could me distributed around the world and so the piece argues that you know everything from peaky blinders to howards end to all of the things that we now consume and treat as part of the television firmament at least the latest generation of them are a result of Downton Abbey success right that show relaunch yeah Adia so in that way. It's not that surprising to me that it did while because it was like a legitimate phenomenon and we've lived with it for a long time in maybe season six. I wasn't as great as season one but it made a lot of money in a lot of people liked watching it. It's short relief to because the two other big releases over the weekend and that it beat out were ad Astra which was covered at length on this podcast last week and as a movie that I would recommend people see and Rambo last blood. Did you catch up with that Chris. I didn't see I saw ad Astra instead of Rambo because this was not playing anywhere near me. Oh that's a shame why was that I woke neighborhood for you. so neither of those films which are very male centric stallone doesn't play well in. Philly yeah that's a good point you'd think he'd be in every theatre getting but I guess partially one of the the reasons why down succeeded so well is because a lot of women saw this movie and it was the primary opportunity for women at checkout films one week after hustlers dominated the box office and sensing a trend here if you like this happens four five times a year when people are like there are movies for women as well yeah. I think that's true also float yes women see movies. Rah Rah route whatever old people really see movies and the theatres is there is nothing better to do with your time if you got a mom or Gramma Ma than to take them and see the Downton Abbey. That is just wholesome entertainment for everyone so I think that that is as important. The age is as important as the gender breakdown on this one. Let's let's just very quickly. Even though Chris has not seen the downton movie talk about what's good about the downs and movie you and I attempted to recap the film for Chris via slack last week. You feel like we did a good job. Ah Yeah I think so recognized all the names. All the actions made sense I just did they didn't really come together in a sort of visual sentence for me so that is actually a notable spoke to Michael Angler about this. It is a little bit of Downton on steroids. You know the theme music is amplified in such a way that maybe they had three hundred more brass instruments. Mintz played playing the theme song. There's a lot of drone shots of Downton Abbey. It is it is a a muscular rise version of this upstairs downstairs costume drama the film itself did strike me though I think you may have originally said this to me as just one long episode of Downton Abbey to me it was like a Christmas special sel which they do in the UK and I think it was the season two Christmas special of Downton Abbey which is when Matthew and Mary finally get together and like kissing the snow outside outside of the side of the House I would say it's on par with the Christmas special except for like to party set-pieces instead of one as you said and fancier dresses addresses and I guess there's like a first episode climax halfway through the movie and then a second episode kind of bringing everyone home. The thing is downstairs to get into some hijinks and then there's ramifications upstairs. It's crazy what happens on almost like it's upstairs downstairs I thought it was an enjoyable movie and I'm not surprised that it was successful. I'm surprised it was successful. It was also the biggest movie in the history of focus features which just fascinating I have spoken to some people who worked worked on this movie and they have when they acquired the rights to release this movie. They said we have our IP. We have our version of superhero movie and focus features. That's what I was. GonNa say really leans into that older audience that you're talking about the identify women as their audience much more clearly and this is a part of the same strategy so I wouldn't say necessarily the Ad Astra had this problem but I do think that it is near impossible to sell anything anymore without some pre existing kind of awareness of what you're getting when you walk into it just because there's so many options for people that if you just sorta like here's a movie about butlers and rich people story. Michelle dockery people are going to be like I don't know but if it's something that they have this decade long relationship leashes ship with if they have the kind of extra screen relationship that they have they cared about and if there is like I was I was watching a lot of linear television this week because I was with my mom. We were watching the Ken Burns documentary. There was down Abbey stuff sandwich. Every episode of the Ken Burns Documentary Music talking to the country music to let you know it's coming out. Here's the history of the show. Here's a recap of everything that happened. Here's the making of the show like they actually did their push. It just just happened on public television. We didn't see it as much necessarily as like Robert Downey junior driving around in an Audi with a Samsung phone pushing vendors do you think that this is now now a sort of MCI -ation of Downton or is this just a one off thing that they struck gold on this one movie or is there going to be another one have been teasing the sequel for weeks. Now that's yeah yeah they've been talking about how the possibilities open and I think you know which is code for. Yes it will happen and they certainly leave the door open in the movie. Everyone is in in a happy place but more hijinks cannon sue and I'm sure well a Dan. I'm curious how far you can probably only take down into world war. Two 'cause post World War. Two I think all of those states just for their museums museums the economy economy of the upper class in the UK just breaks down and it's just not how upstairs downstairs doesn't really apply as much anymore the film kind of glances at the end to the how much longer can this go on which I thought was an interesting potential way to seal office equal in the end zone dunkirk what we'll talk about this more. Maggie Smith is in this movie Maggie Smith Chris do modify spoil Israel okay. I guess if you are really really strict about spoilers. Turn it off now. Even but Maggie Smith gives a speech that's kind of like a farewell speech but notably nothing actually conclusively happens to whether Maggie Smith math will be in future episodes of down nappy. TV show or something happens to her but then they're like. We'll see what happens yeah she could've done urge becomes iron man. It's incredible credibly. She defeats the end of the movie. It's wild. It's nineteen twenty seven in this movie that's right. They've got like twenty more years. Yeah okay. What's interesting to me about. This is is the movies in theaters. It's an extension of a television show there have been there's been the super sizing of TV shows into movie form a lot over the last year. This isn't the first first time it's happened. In the ninety. s we saw the kind of like met a rift commentary on things by having. Beverly hillbillies movies and Brady Bunch movies now what we have is just a more clear extension of the stories that originally told there was a dead movie earlier. This year was a between two ferns movie also released over the weekend which is not quite the same serialized television but is in the same tradition in a way away and then in October. We have a breaking bad movie called El Camino Dave Dina do this for a long time. They've been dying to get this kind of multiplatform storytelling going because of the amount of money there is if you can actually do what they wanted to do with dark tower where you can tell something that has has a feature presentation that maybe is the sort of the danger of the story but like you have other storylines going on TV and that you could actually create a like twelve month a year sport out of your story. That's why they want you know and now there are different things now."