Mrs. Charm watched this very popular soaper right up until her death in 2015. I ignored it because it reminded me of Upstairs, Downstairs, which I enjoyed but didn’t need to see a new version. Recently, however, I decided to give it a try and watched all the seasons (6) and all the episodes (more than 50) and enjoyed it very much. There’s a movie I haven’t seen yet and a sequel. So Downton fever continues.
I haven’t watched it more than a few minutes at a time on rare occasions. Mrs. Charm watches it religiously and seems not the least perturbed by any of it. She was sad when its season ended Sunday night, but I’m sure she’ll hunt for reruns.
I figure it is basically Upstairs Downstairs in retread, which, indeed, some critics contend. I was surprised to learn that some conservatives consider it offensive, probably for its portrayal of a society without much, if any, middle class—which is where the Democrats seem intent on taking all of us.
Terry at Sullivan’s Travelers thinks the Abbey is nothing to be concerned about:
“The political message is bien-pensant, when it can be detected at all. The way that social norms straightened the lives of women is given far greater emphasis than the way…social norms straightened the lives of men. Lord Grantham is a genuinely good-hearted person. Carson, the chief domestic, is tough, but fair. I was surprised to see the sole gay character, footman Thomas Barrow, presented as a villain (though they made him more likable by the end of season three).”
Like I say I don’t watch it, so I don’t know. I don’t generally watch the rube, anymore, except for Big 12 college football games in the fall and winter.
I remember watching Upstairs Downstairs at my ex-wife’s parents home way back when. They never missed it. They were well enough off to identify with the lords and ladies instead of the help.
Abbey apparently is just a similar soap opera in period clothes.