The men and women who queued up to see Downton were expected to be envious and larcenous. Instead, they were serious-minded and inquisitive. In a series of quick vignettes, we see Cora, Edith, and Mary all stumped by basic questions about art, architecture, and history. Only Molesley, standing in the background, seems to know who painted the paintings, but he is silenced by his position in the hierarchy.
Sunday night’s episode of Downton Abbey felt different. What seems to be a simple domestic drama can be read, instead, as a dream-like meditation on the menace of war and the corrosive power of secrecy. This episode works through symbols and allusions, rather than Downton’s usual blend of realism and exposition.
Madeline Kahn is taking the week off, and I want to re-up Elon Green's wonderful piece about the greatest, most horrifying episode of the Dick Cavett show in history, when John Cassavettes, Peter Falk, and Ben Gazarra turned up on-set too drunk to discuss the movie they were there to promote.
Can hard work get you ahead? Will laziness be punished with a fall? To what extent do our parents’ fortunes determine our own? The answers to these questions say a great deal about what it’s like to live in a particular time and place. If this season of Downton Abbey has an argument thus far, it is that social mobility is increasing.
The fact remains that my first Korean drama was also the first time I saw a) two reasonably well-rounded and developed, human Asian characters b) falling in love on screen c) in a way that was not filtered through the Western world’s view or "understanding" of how Asian characters should act.
Across the internet this subplot has been dismissed as inscrutable and interminable, but The Toast is made of sterner stuff. At a moment when the funding of the National Health Service in Britain is under constant debate, and junior doctors are demonstrating in the streets and talking about strike action, it’s worth taking Downton’s invitation to think about the history of paying for medical care.
Botched is a television show that follows two Hollywood plastic surgeons who specialize in repairing the mismanaged work of other, lesser plastic surgeons. One of the most common recurring characters is the Supportive Partner who is terrified above all else of saying something accidentally unsupportive.