51.1 F
Delaware
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Life After Downton (Best of 2013)

Must Read

DSU cancels $750,000 in debt for 200 graduating seniors

The Historically Black College and University will use federal COVID-19 money to pay for move.

4 quick takeaways on Tuesday’s school board votes

The most prominent newcomer after Tuesday’s elections is Kim Stock, the 2021 Delaware Teacher of the Year.

Delaware Parks and Recreation is up for a national award

If Delaware beats other finalists, it would be second state system to win award twice since it began in 1965.
Joanne Butler
Joanne Butler
Joanne Butler of Wilmington is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a former professional staff member of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

With 2014 just around the corner, we at TSD have made it an annual tradition to share some of the year’s best features with our readers. A new year is a time for both anticipation and reflection, and we hope you enjoy this retrospective of 2013’s most popular reads!

Downton_Abbey[Editor’s note: The new season of Downton Abbey premiers on January 5th!] Perhaps, as millions of others, you are dreading Sunday night, when this season of Downton Abbey ends. Seeing that yellow lab’s swinging tail was a signal to settle in for a relaxing Sunday evening. But alas, after Sunday, we’ll have to content ourselves with the DVDs. Or do we?

Viewers seeking to stretch their Downton experience, could watch Gosford Park  (also available on Netflix), the film which Julian Fellowes admits was the genesis of Downton Abbey. Perhaps you’ve seen it already, but it’s worth a second, or even third look as there are so many plots wriggling in that stately home. And, of course, watching Maggie Smith in Gosford do her warm-up exercises for Downton’s Granny, makes the whole thing worthwhile.

And if you want to go deeper, think about Tom Branson’s allusions to ‘going to Liverpool’ to take up a trade. Why would he do that? Because Liverpool had a large Irish working class population – Protestant and Catholic. To see how life fared in the Downton era for an Irish family in Liverpool, I suggest watching the delightful series Lilies (also on Netflix), about how three adult Irish sisters make their way in Liverpool. The accents can be hard on American ears, but stick with it, these girls are entrepreneurial and their stories show another side of English life that’s far away from Downton’s sweeping lawns.

An earlier Downton-type production was The Shooting Party  (also available on Netflix).  Filmed in 1985, it has a superb cast including James Mason (his final film) John Gielgud, Robert Hardy, and Dorothy Tutin.  Of course, it lacks Downton’s hi-def brightness, but its muddy look reflects the sadness of the characters, as they realize this will be their last shooting party, and a way of life has ended.  If you find the film turgid and slow going, I suggest waiting for Gielgud’s appearance – as an animal rights activist.  His dialog with Mason later in the film is a quintessential example of how Englishmen of a certain class could get along, despite having sharply different points of view.  It’s a skill that was acquired in smoke-filled clubroom.

Or perhaps you’re seeking more of the Julian Fellowes experience. In that case, check out A Most Mysterious Murder (also available on Netflix), where Fellowes is your congenial host as he carefully guides you through a string of highly interesting historical murders. In this 2004 series he asks many questions and really makes you think about each case.

So Downton fans take heart – all is not lost. Downton may be over, but there’s much more to explore.

- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -

Latest News

DSU cancels $750,000 in debt for 200 graduating seniors

The Historically Black College and University will use federal COVID-19 money to pay for move.

4 quick takeaways on Tuesday’s school board votes

The most prominent newcomer after Tuesday’s elections is Kim Stock, the 2021 Delaware Teacher of the Year.

Delaware Parks and Recreation is up for a national award

If Delaware beats other finalists, it would be second state system to win award twice since it began in 1965.
- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -

More Articles Like This

%d bloggers like this: