Hoping to prove that neither England nor PBS have a monopoly on wealthy people in corsets embroiled in soap opera scandals, NBC has drafted Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes to recreate that sort of heightened costume drama Stateside with The Gilded Age, an “epic tale of the princes of the American Renaissance, and the vast fortunes they made—and spent—in late 19th-century New York.”
America steals everything. Yes, I will watch this.
I BET YOU THEY WILL HAVE YOUNG CORA LEVINSON AS A CHARACTER AND SHE WILL BE A BUCCANEER OVER IN LONDON IN A SUBPLOT AND IT WILL BE FELLOWES VERSION OF A CARTMEL PLAN TO SNEAK THAT PREQUEL STORY INTO CANON WITHOUT ITV HAVING TO FOOT THE BILL.
Truly, if this isn’t somehow part of the Downton Abbey universe, I’ll be sad. It has to be.
(I wonder if they’ll manage to do for, say, the rise of organized labor in the US what they did for the Troubles in Ireland.)
I thought this was a pretty good roundup on the appeal of Downton Abbey, and I particularly like this observation:
As oppressive as I manage it would be to live under such rigid social and moral codes, I still can’t help but be drawn to the idea of a common decency. Like I previously mentioned, one of the things that prevents Downton from becoming your average upstairs/downstairs tale is the level of intimacy between the characters, and the sense that there is a pervasive deference to fairness.
That “pervasive deference to fairness” may well be the most fantastical thing about the whole show, but that—in addition to it being so superbly acted—is why it’s such a delightful bit of escapist TV.
Some of these are real shocks. Siobhan Finneran (O’Brien) and Phyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes) are the big ones, and right up there as well is Jim Carter (Carson), not so much because he looks different as, well—you’ll see.