Monday, February 04, 2013
It's revival time! Back to drama. Television with plots and wondrous characters!
It's a throwback to the days when I stayed home from church on Friday nights to watch Dallas and Falcon Crest. The days before Tivo and the Hopper. The days when you couldn't fast forward, replay, or pause to salt your popcorn. The days when only the hint of sex was enough. When you had to pay the price of a movie admission to see a head exploding as it was shot off by a lunatic's gun. When you had to get off the couch to change the channel on a television that stuck out three feet from the wall. But, oh, the primetime drama series of those days!
It's revival time. The glory days of TV are back ... and it's called Downton Abbey.
Free of commercials, the story moves quickly and you find yourself not only caring for the charcters, but falling in love with them. High tension, plot layers, and a strong theme, Downton Abbey offers up drama on a silver platter, complete with white-gloved servers and well-dressed dinner partners.
My favorite is the Dowager Countess, played by the award-winning actor, Maggie Smith.
"Grief makes one so terribly tired."
"People like us are never unhappily married."
"Lie is so unmusical a word."
"I suppose she has inappropriate costumes for every activity."
Running a close second is Lady Grantham, played by Elizabeth McGovern. If I could go back in time and be anybody, it would be her. But the writers have created a beloved character in the way of Lord Grantham's mother. At the very least, television has returned something that I (for one) have been missing -- Sunday night excitement. Looking forward to that nine o'clock hour reminds me of revolving my Saturday nights around The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.
Storytelling. Its revival is here. The drama of the old-fashioned 'eighties mini-series is back. We're sick of reality shows with no story. We're fed up with violence our children should never see, CSI intrigue that's no longer intriguing, and open-heart surgeries in our living rooms. Give me big hats, couture of the 'twenties, crystal and linen luncheons, and the love affair between the classes. Sound boring? It's anything but.
And I'm loving every second of it.
Don't ya just love good writing, no matter its form?
It's revival time, and I don't even mind the sawdust this time.
Blessings to you and yours. (Oh, and the pictures? My family circa 1920)