Aristo-Soap or Not, *Downton Abbey* is Just Lovely

downton_abbey_season_3_2For the record, I fell in love with Brideshead’s Revisited back when it first debuted in 1982. The accents! The handsome men! The subdued (seeming) scandal. And, for the record, Pride and Prejudice was my favorite read in 8th grade – what with the feisty British version of Laura Ingalls and the perfect use of letter-writing and all.

Therefore, labeling Downton Abbey (which I watched quite happily last night) TV’s reigning aristo-soap and alluding to it as “Brideshead Regurgitated” doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for the drama and melodrama and Upstairs Downstairs class issues.

Similar to Pride and Prejudice, much of the inciting conflict in Season 1 had to do with the inheritance complications that developed when the aristocracy produces no sons. And similar to the original examples of flash fiction like “The Story of an Hour,” Season 3 addresses the issues that occur when women’s fortunes were turned over to their husbands.

Alright, well, that’s stretching it a bit. But watching the fictional account of the social change that has been expanding the world inside and around Downton Abbey since Matthew Crawley and his feisty mother arrived in the first episode has been fun. And I’ll take one well-acted, gorgeously dressed, and produced with polish historical fiction aristo-soap over another faux-competition or kind-of-but-not-really-reality show any day.

Here’s The Atlantic article deriding Downton Abbey that a friend shared on Facebook. Personally, I think it’s a case of someone wanting to be contrary for attention. But I’m jaded that way.


About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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10 Responses to Aristo-Soap or Not, *Downton Abbey* is Just Lovely

  1. I need to get back into it. I watched all of season 1 and loved it. It’s season 3 now, yes?

    • Season One is the best, as often happens. It definitely got more soap-opera-like in Season Two. But it’s still gorgeous to watch, and the acting/production value is just lovely. Season Three started over here last night. The UK has had it!

  2. I guess me and Mr. Parker need to meet for a beer on Sunday nights. I watched last year and tried to enjoy it. It seems to be nothing I have not already seen 30 years ago when I watched Upstairs Downstairs. Or for that matter, Dallas, except the clothes are prettier and the house bigger. When at work, I mentioned I was not going to watch this season because I really didn’t enjoy it, and it was as if I was admitting I was not sophisticated enough to appreciate high class entertainment. As you can see, you struck a nerve!

    • Ha! If you have to be sophisticated to watch it, I think I’m in trouble. I just didn’t get why he had to put it down – Mr. Parker (Lord Parker?) sounded like HE was saying it wasn’t sophisticated enough – too melodramatic. Maybe *I* need to meet up with him for a hot toddy to figure it all out. Or just read his piece again.

      Nice to see you again!

  3. anna says:

    I need to get started back with Season I. I’m sure I’ll love it. My favorite book for years and years, and maybe even still now, is Sense and Sensibility.

    • I mentioned before that the first season is definitely the best. It was conceived as a true mini-series with an end. I love the themes of change and “loosening up” the aristocracy. Enjoy! You can see them all on the PBS side. Click the photo in the post.

  4. I still have yet to watch it but know many people who love it! Maybe at some point. We have Netflix streaming and currently are watching Walking Dead (that’s what happens when the guy decides – zombies!).

  5. Pingback: Downton Abbey vs. the Soaps « Jeannine Vegh

  6. Pingback: Breaking Downton Abbey Bad

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