Downton Abbey Is Downright Brilliant
For those who have not yet discovered it, Downtown Abbey is an absolutely wonderful British produced miniseris along the lines of Upstairs Downstairs. It is set in the early 20th century at an English estate and follows the lives of the upper class family and the servants. Season (or should I say Series) Two is now airing on PBS.
There are many great reasons to watch this series (not the least of which is Maggie Smith as the Dowager Lady of the Estate) but for me one of the best aspects is how it turns stereotypes on their heads.
For example, towards the end of last season we learned that the cook was losing her sight. Now the stereotypical response of his Lordship would be for him to tell his butler to send her off and find a new cook. Indeed when the cook is summoned to speak to his Lordship she is sure that is why.
Instead he tells her she is being sent to London to see a specialist and will be guaranteed her job back. It is both a wonderful moment and a great turn of plot.
Similarly when we are in the servants quarters there is a clear class structure within the servants, with some of them being more equal than others.
Series Two will take us through the First World War, and promises to be just as compelling.
Series One is available on Netflix (and yes it is on the streaming list).
Do yourself a favor and check it out.