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Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Appeal of the Period Drama

I just LOVE this new British period drama mini-series, Downton Abbey. Why is it that America doesn't produce shows like these??? Do they think we as a society wouldn't appreciate this kind of drama?? Are we really that narrow minded in our television viewing habits? Let me answer that for everyone with a resounding: NO WE ARE NOT! We would love it! I promise. I am stating this in the unlikely chance that some bigwig Hollywood TV/Movie Producer is going to read this AND give a fig about what I think.

Anyhoo...Can I just say that this genre of entertainment is entirely charming and has a way of drawing you, the viewer, in until you wish you could just immerse yourself in the time and customs and way of dress and talk and food and well, EVERYTHING!–and then leaves you wondering why we don't live like this anymore?-to a certain degree of course...
Ok, so that might sound a little bit overboard and crazy, but maybe you can understand what I'm saying. Or maybe you think I am slightly daft. I might be. I grew up watching all the BBC classic literature adaptations and reading the books–from Dickens to Austen to Bronte. They may have gotten to my head a little. I have watched every last one of them that have been made, countless times...And then a few more times on top of that. I can quote you all the lines with the actor's precise inflection, before they have a chance to say them aloud.

I ask you friend, is it odd that I have a phrase of proper English or cockney slang for any and possibly every situation I might find myself in?

Seriously though, these dramas are about a time when chivalry and respect were still expected. Innocence was guarded. Family was absolutely everything. Life was...well, less complicated. Maybe, more real. Life displayed, with a certain appeal about it, in all of its simplicity.

But I find myself wondering if I could live in these time periods, you know, really live. And if I would actually like it?

Would I find life boring? ...No tv, radio, movies or career?
Restrictive? ...hmm...Corsets, anybody?
Limited? ...Depending on what level of society I was born into...
Backwards? ...Nonexistent women's right movement...*gasp

Hmm...it's possible, I suppose. Probable. But then...maybe not.

I guess we'll never have the opportunity to know though. Time refuses to go backwards. I heard it waits for no man. So I will have to be satisfied with my limited vantage point, in the technologically savvy and supposedly, vastly improved lifestyle, of the 21st century; viewing it from the comforts of my home.

I will sit in a comfy chair. Guzzle tea, or hot cocoa. Enjoy a timtam as I dunk it- which might I add, is delightfully delicious. And tune the rest of the busy world out for a couple of glorious hours, as I slip back into a bygone era.

You should join me.

You might be surprised to find you will enjoy this kind of viewing also! No, there most likely isn't any flashy cinematography or hugely epic, large scale dramas unfolding. Just life in the simplicity of that bygone era...with some conflicts thrown in, of course. Maybe a love story. Earnest characters that deal with many of the same issues we do today, only maybe with slightly different perspective. I could go on. But I wont. You're probably bored right now and just like, 'alright already! Let me sit down and watch one for myself!'

Well, ok then. I will leave you to it. Cheers :)
You can rent the series through Netflix or Amazon.com.

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