Downton Abbey ( Britain 2010–who cares?)

Downton Abbey has been a predictably enormous ratings success, taking the viewer-friendly melodrama of the soap operas and adding a bodice-ripper gloss by adding a period setting. Twenty or thirty years ago this series would have been a chippy pseudo-Marxist drama but in the post-modern world we get the Edwardians re-invented by a modern snob (Lord Julian Fellowes is quite a mouthful! ) as perky progressive aristocrats who love their servants as much as their servants love them. Each story is carefully compartmentalized (the only person to ever talk to the chauffeur is the young lady who is in love with him but won’t admit it) and un-named characters essentially don’t exist (during the numerous hospital scenes nobody, bar the protagonists, ever speaks or moves unless interacting with a named character).
[Read more…]

Advertisements

THE PUMPKIN EATER (1964 Britain)

200_sMany people have addictions. But Jo Armitage has an unusual one: reproducing. She’s as pregnant as often as she can be. This is her balm to get through the hell that is her life. The slightly soapy plot is treated for the most part as serious drama, but does have its satirical aspects. This is the chic angst of the wealthy rebelling against themselves. [Read more…]

%d bloggers like this: