Friday, January 27, 2012

Hooked on Downton Abbey

After getting addicted to Downton Abbey when it was broadcast on PBS last year (and enjoying the spectacle of Mike giggling), we were anxiously awaiting the beginning of Season 2.

Mike loves Downton Abbey for the manipulative machinations and because I think he secretly wishes he was "to the manor born"! My only criticism of the series is that the major villain, is pretty despicable--and what was the point in making him gay? The Granthams, who live at Downton Abbey, have three daughters, the two eldest of which are not always very likable. I can relate the most to Sybil, the enterprising young feminist who wants to make herself useful. Of course, Maggie Smith is wonderful as always, as the "dowager countess" who thinks she's God's gift to England.

Downtown's creator, Julian Fellowes, is an alum of Mike's Catholic boarding school, Ampleforth. He has been criticized for glorifying the class system, but it's become a guilty pleasure for many both in the UK and across the pond. Although Fellowes is a Tory, he believes it's "ridiculous" that his wife's family title – the Earldom of Kitchener – will become extinct because the current earl has no children and his wife, the earl's niece, is a woman. "If you're asking me if I find it ridiculous that in 2011, a perfectly sentient adult woman has no rights of inheritance whatsoever when it comes to a hereditary title, I think it's outrageous, actually. Either you've got to get rid of the system or you've got to let women into it. I don't think you can keep it as 'men only'." Well, now that the royal family has changed its rules, maybe the archaic inheritance laws will change too.

If you like, you can learn how to dress like you're a Downton Abbey character or take a quiz to find out which one you are most like.

I found a delectable satire on Youtube--take a look. Upstairs/Downstairs Abbey--Part One and Part Two:

I read that a third season is in the works!

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