I’ve been watching the show Downton Abbey on PBS. As with all soap operas, I can’t figure out where I’ve picked up the plot, as it seems to be an endless saga of romance, death and bickering. I don’t know if I’m watching the first season or what; but I suspect it doesn’t really matter.
I know I’m not the program’s target demographic, and I kind of like that. I bet there are very few people who have watched more than five minutes of Downton and also know the trick to beating the last level of Quake. Not that either is anything to be proud of, but still…
It’s a tough show to keep up with. On the installment I watched last night, Lord Grantham or whatever his name is didn’t want his daughter to marry the chauffeur for some reason, and half the cast came down with influenza. Also, I think World War I is ending or just ended, but it seems to have been a secondary concern. In a previous episode I saw, the two major problems were (1)something to do with the number of footmen in the household and (2)the war. In that order, to judge by the amount of attention given to each.
The acting is pretty good, but it somehow feels all pointless. There does not seem to be any central problem for all the characters to deal with; they’re just all… there, and as a result all the drama feels very contrived and artificial. I’m not sure how anyone could stay with it for very long, but apparently it’s quite popular.