The Big House, episode 4

The last episode, our participants will have to manage a dinner party… oh dear.

I think the whole project has only lasted a few days, perhaps not even a week.
No where near enough to get even close to understanding to what life as a servant really was like.

Oh and I think I finally understand what they are trying to do…
We’re not watching 1 era, but several.
Because suddenly the meal is ‘early 20th century’.
Good to know.
Would it really be too much effort to you know, kind of let the viewer know?

For early 20th century the clothes make even less sense.

Nice to see some of the participant actually liking their experience even though it isn’t close to what it really was like.

They’ve really given up now.
Plastic bowls, modern ironing board, modern iron, modern mugs, post-it memos, modern packaging with bar code turned to camera, boy wears cap indoors all the time, using a ballpoint pen, etc, etc.
It goes on and on and on.

And many of this sloppy behaviour could easily and for little or no extra budget be avoided.
All it takes is some creativity.

Over 300 country houses in Ireland were burned down, at least that, could be much more.
Although understandable, also a terrible shame of the history, art, wealth and of course the jobs lost to the servants.
But I bet all that meant little or nothing to those who’s houses were destroyed by these landlords, or simply those living in poverty and hunger while the rich had their parties.Mind you, most of these houses simply fell apart because of neglect.
This lifestyle had become unaffordable and today’s super rich don’t want to live like this any more.
If I ever become filthy rich, I’d buy such a house, hire servants and live the Victorian or Edwardian life there 24/7.
And if someone else does that, give me a call, I’ll be one of your servants.Oh a car, late Edwardian I guess.
Trying to figure out what era we’re supposed to be watching is quite the puzzle.

Conclusion.
The idea is great, The Edwardian Country House (aka Manor house) (UK 2002) but with this amazing extra political layer.
But it seems that they didn’t put enough budget, time or effort into trying to do it right.
The costumes especially, are horrendous.
And of course a few days is not enough to even get a proper experience of what life was really like.
The history lessons were interesting but too many and too long.
It probably would have been better to make one extra episode with all or most of the history bits gathered together in stead of dotting it around the other episodes.
For those who want to know more.
In the end I think budget was the main issue but quite a few annoyances could have so easily been avoided and fixed if people had just been a bit more creative and used their imagination.
Simple brown bags to replace modern packaging, a pencil in stead of a ball point pen, ask contestants to remove their watches, etc, etc.
It would not have saved the show, but at least removed some of the many little irritating bits of modernity that kept popping up.
So, quite a lost chance.
A shame.
With such an important subject, the production should have been given more funding, more support, in short, more money to do it right.
But I would not recommend this show to anyone, if you want to get an idea of what life was like back then, stick to The Edwardian Country House (aka Manor house) (UK 2002).a760a71679558fc693ab9ee3c5246475.jpg--on_the_set_of_tv3_s__the_big_house_robyn_lockhart__ella_burke_and__jade_masseypicture__brian_mcevoy

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