THE REAL CULTURE WARFARE
Courtesy PBS Masterpiece Classics
You wonder how many million Super Bowl viewers had DVR's set to their PBS station while they attended parties or watched the game at home.
Super Bowl fans caring about a Masterpiece Theatre production you say? Absolutely, indeed! It hit me one morning a few weeks ago at our post tennis match coffee at Lilly's coffee deck in Cambria; six or seven guys sitting around talking about a soap opera, the soap opera of course, Downton Abbey. This marvelous production, created and written by Julian Fellowes has captured American hearts.
People who are not usual PBS viewers have discovered how extraordinarily well Brits do television drama. The intricate plot line is the subject of conversations from dinner parties to grocery store check out lines. Conservatives, liberals, young and old have found a fiction upon which they can gather.
An intrigue here is how this period drama of a time of class distinction and way of life has brought, well, a little class to America. Can't you enjoy the image of a football jersey wearing, chicken wing and jalapeno popper stuffed fan clicking away from the post game wrap up to watch the latest from the Grantham clan or Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes presiding over the staff?
Julian Fellowes is seeding something here. It dawns on me the aristocratic excess and the enforced civility of the staff both are under girded by a sense of rule and dignity. The characters know, even if they do not always do, what is expected, what is proper. There is much to say about all of that, but at the very least it is a good thing for an increasingly casual America to see, to be entertained and perhaps even to be influenced, ever so slightly, by people with manners. Mr. Fellowes, you are a PBS radical indeed!!!
AND ABOUT THAT WONDERFUL MUSIC
Here is something special, the lyrics.
See you down the trail.