PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, January 5, 2012

World War I Class And Aristocracy In ‘Downton Abbey’

Spoiler alert! Our radio interview gives away some plot points about season 2.

Rose Leslie, left, and Siobhan Finneran are shown in a scene from "Downton Abbey," a four-part drama about life in an English country estate. (AP/PBS)

“Dear Downton Abbey: may I please have my wife back.”

That’s a Tweet from a man named Rob Hyndman, whose wife apparently spends too much time watching the Emmy-award-winning British television mini-series.  Entertainment Weekly calls “Downton Abbey” addictive– it’s wildly popular in the U.K. and is gaining fans here in the U.S., where it has been airing on PBS.

The mini-series is set in the early 20th century, as tensions between the classes are about to explode along with the bombs signaling the start of World War I.

The drama is played out through the trials and tribulations of Lord Grantham, his wife and three daughters, and of course, their many servants.

Ed Siegel, Here and Now critic-at-large said that Downton Abbey’s themes of honor, betrayal and loyalty resonate with contemporary audiences partly because they are such a contrast.

“We live in an age of hyper-ironic humor, marriages that end at the first sign of trouble, and moral ambiguity. ‘Downton Abbey’ features characters who strive with every bone in their body to do the right thing. And those who don’t are unmistakable villains,” he said.

PBS Masterpiece presents the second season of Downton Abbey starting on Sunday.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Peter O’Dowd follows the route of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train 150 years ago, to look at modern-day race relations and Lincoln's legacy.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 21 5 Comments

YouTube Sensation Publishes Her First Cookbook

Maangchi's career was born when her son suggested she start making videos of herself cooking Korean dishes.

May 21 15 Comments

UC’s Napolitano Speaks Out On High Cost Of Public Ed, Anti-Semitism On Campus

Janet Napolitano talks about a plan to freeze in-state tuition, and campus protests against Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

May 20 Comment

‘Finding The Good’ Through Obituary Writing

Journalist Heather Lende has been writing obituaries in the small town of Haines, Alaska, for 20 years.

May 20 3 Comments

Pandas’ Bamboo Diet May Endanger Them

New research examining the genetics of panda waste shows they would be better suited to eat meat than plants.