Your RDA of Irony

Remembrances of Series Past

I don’t watch “Downton Abbey.”  Yes, I suppose that I am betraying my stereotype:  the history-infatuated, vicariously-social climbing Anglophile.  But bear in mind that I am also monogamous.  Nearly forty years ago, the young Eugene gave his heart and some 50 hours of his Sunday nights to “Upstairs, Downstairs” which basically is the same story of “Downton Abbey”:  a rich portrait of the classes and characters of a household that was a microcosm of early 20th century Britain.  The servants were often worse snobs than the aristocrats.  In the first season, the housemaid Rose bossed around some old gentleman who got in her way.  Fortunately, Edward VII was very good-natured.  This is not suggest that the “Upstairs” class was consistently warm and lovable.  When Lady Majorie died on the Titanic, I was surprised; encountering her, the iceberg should have succumbed to frostbite.  Her son James was a fatuous, callous rake.  One of the tragedies of the Great War was his surviving it.  (Corporal Hitler missed his chance at a good deed.)  Alastair Cooke, the host of Masterpiece Theatre, opined that Captain James might have justified a Bolshevik coup.  Alas, the closest thing to social justice was a blackmailing chauffeur, a charming rogue named Thomas.  Yes, four decades later, I have yet to forgive or forget.

So, what can “Downton Abbey” offer me?  First love only happens once.

p.s.  Let’s not forget the historic significance of this day:


  1. Peg Pruitt says:

    I believe that the BBC is doing a remake of the original series.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Hello Peg,

      I know that BBC did a three part sequel, set in the 1930s and with Jean Marsh repeating her role as Rose. Yes, I watched the shows, when they were broadcast on Masterpiece Theater, but I did so with more a sense of diligence than infatuation. That old allure was gone.


  2. Rafferty Barnes says:

    These days, I only watch Monsterpiece Theatre, with host Alastair Cookie on Sesame Street.

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