90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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

Here & Now resident chef and cookbook author Kathy Gunst shares her list of the best cookbooks of the year.

Robin and Jeremy

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

December 18 Comment

College Counselor: ‘A Deferral Is Not A Denial’

Lisa Micele shares tips for applying to college — especially for students who have been deferred under early decision.

December 18 15 Comments

America’s Political Dynasties

Americans under 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton.

December 17 2 Comments

Atticus Lish’s ‘Preparation For The Next Life’

The author's debut novel centers on an unlikely romance between an Iraq veteran and a Uyghur from China.

December 17 3 Comments

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient's eardrum.