And the everything that it has are racial and societal stereotypes, hammy acting, non credible plot twists, absurd characters, sub-"Dynasty" frequent frock and hat changes, stereotypical characterisation.
What do we actually have here? An ugly, squat German working for Hitler; a doughty English writer "with contacts"; a crafty Jew who makes a killing on a deal; an aristocratic family that is impoverished; a family of wealthy parvenus with "Brazilian" habits and tastes and whose son, guess what, is a ne'er-do-well; sleazy Russian nobility; a corrupt and evil cop; the two unmarriageable ugly sisters; a love story between a rich girl and a nobody. All of human life is here - if human life is a cliché.
Risibly, the series tried to get serious on occasion with references to the Spanish Civil War. It just jarred with the rest of the frothy story of love and conflict.
That this series was nominated for several awards is amazingly revealing of the paucity of critical thought amongst judging panels. I'm less surprised that it achieved RTP1's highest ratings for several years - it's just the sort of thing that would draw in the credulous and uncritical.
I've given a three. The setting is fantastic; I wish I had the money to stay at the Palace. And not just the Palace, but the surroundings - the grounds, the countryside, the villages. These are the only redeeming qualities.
However, despite this fabulous setting, the producers tried to cut corners. General views of the Palace in each episode were shot from afar with the same Rolls Royce circling the roundabout every time. Did they think no one would notice? It made me think that the gowns and dresses of the women are made of rayon or crimplene, just to save a few bob.
OK, I watched to the end. It wasn't because I wanted to see what happened - that was obvious. It was to see how much more dreadful the story would become.
Perhaps this resonates with Portuguese people, but Downton Abbey (which is also rubbish) it ain't.
I can't recommend it unless people want to have a good laugh.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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