Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey
William and Kate, the servants at Buckingham Palace and I have something in common: Downton Abbey. I wonder if Kate has waited for the proposal as much as she has waited for her proposal. I did. Only a small part of the world population hasn’t counted the days to Christmas for the Christmas special of Downton Abbey, or Doctor Who, or both. It is a real mass culture phenomenon, and I highly doubt it’s all in the fact most women from 2 to 90 years old (if not more) are insanely in love with Matthew Crawley. It is not even the first series of the kind, and its public is not made by those like me who didn’t exist in the 80s.
There are many reasons why a lot of people obsess over Downton Abbey:
*the plot is brilliantly organized, in spite of its weak points (I found some). There is that sense of a karma-like thing influencing the whole plot, like a Shakespearean play. No wonder it is written by Julian Fellowes (who studied at Cambridge). It is on a higher level than the average soap-opera.
*it is not the story of snobbish rich English people that you can judge from the outside, and this is not the story of the poor oppressed servants. It is the crash of two microcosms, with all that it takes. The time of the setting balances the risk of falseness of the good feelings. If instead of the age of Modernism, it was in the Victorian times, it would have looked different.
*the characters have shadows, but they are never justified by their psychologies. There are no heroes at Downton Abbey; only humans.
*history is not just a background that chooses the costumes. It is a main protagonist. Even if the costume designer deserved a couple more Emmys.
*Dame Maggie Smith as Lady Violet. A hilarious yet philosophical representation of the old world. There is a degree of the Dowager Countess in every one of them, and every one of us.
*there is a character for everyone. Most human types and feelings are represented. You can identify yourself in a character either if you are a secretary in Rome, a young waiter in New York or William and Kate. I wonder if Kate saw herself more in Matthew or Lady Mary Crawley. William, I bet, in Lady Sibyl.
And last but not least, there is not a single actor who is not a high quality one. Even the smallest parts. Including Isis, the dog. I have seen in the original version and dubbed. I hate watching dubbed films, but I couldn’t resist watching it again when on television. There is no comparison.
It is an amazing example of how television is not the bad copy of great cinema. Downton Abbey is the quality cinema which reaches all families in a time when 13 pounds for a ticket are little affordable to many. And it teaches you things, and makes you think about yourself and life, but not in a way you can find annoying.
It is easy to get attached to the life at Downton Abbey if you are willing to dream. Even when you are William and Kate, and you have lived a dream yourself.