Friday, August 23, 2013
One has to admire the ruthless, even carnivalistic cynicism of the makers of Downton Abbey: history is sanitized in such an obsessively careful way to be just enough to be saved into some semblance of realism by excellent acting and sharpish dialogue. Some viewers have enough background knowlegde to understand the essential unreality of the show, most probably don't. The more distant the epoch the easier the task of being credible without being true. The audience for this type of show wants a whiff of actual history, but nothing too unpleasant, too uncomfortable. Resulting in rather strange combinations of much fiction and little fact.