Monday, January 28, 2013


A birth and a death. A former prostitute. Kitchen and estate conflicts. The continuing saga of Mr. Bates’ murder conviction. The old guard represented by Grandmamma; the new by Mathew’s mother, Mrs. Crowley. These themes and more were all layered deliciously in the fourth segment of Downton Abbey.
            But two doctors arguing vehemently and loudly about life and death treatment for a woman in labor? In front of the family yet? Please. Now I know Downton Abbey is a fairy tale!
            But what a fairy tale. And how interesting and surprising as each doctor proves to be right-- and then wrong-- about their diagnosis of Lady Sybil, leading to her death. The baby survives, as everyone upstairs and downstairs in Downton Abbey mourns Lady Sybil— no doubt among millions of viewers all over the world.
            Meanwhile there is a conflict about running the estate—with more foreshadowed to come—between young Mathew, whose money saved Downton Abbey, and Lord Crowley, the head honcho-- also illustrating the generational conflict between the status-quo and moderninity.
            Here’s what I especially like about Downtown Abbey:
            * It’s gentleness amidst all the violence in television and movies-- and in life.      
            *The classically trained actors.
            *The depiction of a unique time and place that is gone forever, never to return.
            *It’s awareness of the changes in society and the world.
            *The beauty of the production.
            * The pleasure of living vicariously with dozens of servants (cooks, drivers, footmen. Ladies maids! Valets! Who dress you!)
            *I love stories and this is a good one!

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