Tonight, my wife and I finished the series finale of the recent pop culture phenomenon, Downton Abbey. If you’ve not heard of the program, it is a A PBS masterpiece original that follows one of the great houses of England at the turn of the 19th century into the industrial revolution, through the pangs of The First Great War, and the changing times of the 1920’s that followed.
The show centers on the residents of the great house known as Downton Abbey, both the lords and ladies as well as the servants and several of the villagers with whom the household interacts. The show is a program for adults, dealing with social drama, classism, and a variety of other topics that are relevant in our current age.
Perhaps that’s why Downton did so well during its initial run—-not the fact that it is shot beautifully and written wonderfully (though it is both of those things) —- but rather that it speaks to dilemmas that are timeless and relatable to the human condition just as much in 21st century America as they were 100 years ago across the pond in England.
A more skilled writer than I could easily transpose many of the situations that occur over the show’s six seasons to another time in another place that would still resonate with modern audiences.
For me the show resulted in three major reflections, and I thought worth sharing.
Written by Steve Wiens
*PLEASE NOTE: I received a physical copy of this book to review for the publisher.
They awake the same way each morning—in a haze of gray. The hours they sleep do not matter, nor does the weather outdoors. The alarm sounds; their eyes open; they leave the warmth of their bed and fight—they fight—just to get themselves started. These are our neighbors; these are our relatives. Maybe this is us.
We find ourselves in these hard times, these times where the living itself is a struggle, and we hope for renewal, newness. A new start.