Sunday, November 20, 2011

Upton Downton

It is the third week of November and while it is lovely and warm during the day we have just started burning logs in the evenings. This also means we have started watching a bit more TV. We used to have four analogue channels, much of it crap. But, Glory be! our part of France went digital last week and we now have a new digibox which delivers some 20 digital channels, much of it crap. It is just like English crap except it is in French. Most of it is formula chat shows and game shows, US imports voiced in French and genre shows like Strictly Come Truffling and World's Tallest Truffle.

I kid you not ($160,406)

So we tend to watch the odd video cassette or DVD for a change. Among the goodies which always deliver are classic movies, and classy comedy including current favourites Black Books, Gimme Gimme Gimme, The New Statesman and Blackadder. I have also enjoyed The Sopranos and The Wire but Mrs PJ was not so impressed by these foul-mouthed, expressions of violent savagery - can't see the problem myself...

Anyway, in an attempt to drag ourselves into the 21st century we have just obtained a copy of the first series of Downton Abbey.

Even here in the depths of Le Countryside we have heard of this phenomenon, but have completely failed to grasp the awful truth. The filming is quality, the cast is mainly quality, the script average, the storylines drab, character development pitiful, and the prognosis dire.

In some respects it is a perverse inversion of East Enders. The characters, while coming from a different era have fewer skin complaints, more tiaras, and know their place. True to the requirements of the soap genre they live in each other’s pockets and treat one another with the usual mix of love, hate, curiosity, concern, contempt, devotion, lust, greed, hypocrisy and dismissive arrogance, but lack any imagination.

While Albert Square is a rectangle of greenery surrounded by dwellings, Downton Abbey is a rectangular dwelling surrounded by greenery.


For Christmas I would like a promise that there will not be a second series. I expect to be disappointed.

[Your expectation has been pre-empted, the folks back home are enjoying series two as you write and series three is due for release into the environment in September 2012 – Ed.]

Maggie Smith must be turning in her grave.

[Wrong again. - Ed.]

No comments:

Post a Comment