Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Abbey Road

Downtown Abbey is back on PBS.  Season four.  (Spoilers.)  The house feels a bit empty with Lady Sybil, Matthew Crawley and--who saw this coming?--Mrs. O'Brien gone.  There are new directions for the characters, even new characters, but the same basic plot: what's be done with the Abbey.

We've been down this road before.  The stuffy Earl of Grantham upholding tradition, the sly Dowager Countess having her say, Carson trying to keep control, Thomas conspiring against another servant, secret trips to town, convenient letters, new-fangled inventions in the kitchen, conversations overheard, etc.  I'm not ready to jump off just yet, but the bloom is off the rose.  I can't wait for the next Game Of Thrones, but things seem to change faster in the fake Middle Ages.

It's now 1922, the Jazz Age, 10 years since the show started.  At first, the show at first was about changing times--how to run a big house when you could still think it's the 1800s, but the Titanic is sinking (with heirs aboard) and WWI is just around the corner.  We've been through that and so much more, yet it seems as if the show is now simply repeating itself.  Constant change regarding the same situation isn't that much different from stasis.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

To echo pretty much every other commentator out there, its still an enjoyable costume soap opera.

I watched a few episodes of Upstairs Downstairs recently from the initial season and while that show has its charms (Jean Marsh casually putting on her knickers on a cold morning in the servants quarters- that's why young males learned to appreciate PBS and culture- the randy Brit shows), Downton is much crisper and "modern" seeming despite being set in the same time period. No doubt our grandchildren viewing Downton on their implants in 20 years will think it dated, quaint and quintessentially early third millennium

7:11 AM, January 07, 2014  

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