“Downton Abbey: A New Era“comes in more than ten years”Downton Abbey“first attracted the attention of audiences around the world. It grew from a” simple British drama “to an international cultural phenomenon that sparked six TV seasons and two films (and counting). Downton’s success places him among the most iconic dramas of the period in television history, but his legacy is not without its intricacies.
Debuting in 2010, Downton breathed fresh life into the television drama of the period. At the time, right or wrong, the perception of the television drama of the period was largely an adaptation of the classic BBC and / or PBS literature. The genre had a reputation for being dim and stuffy with rare exceptions. Downton has become a phenomenon thanks to glamor and soap intrigue, not to mention the willingness to go to the line of “scandal” and his shamelessly romantic heart.
Most of all, the secret of “Downton” and its long-term success can be found in its characters. From the very first episode, the show is very well managed by two things: masterfully juggling a surprisingly wide cast and creating characters that are both archetypal and unique. The reason we kept coming back season after season was just to see what happened to these characters who found a place in our hearts. This is what made us break through plots that could sometimes become funny or repetitive (or indeed do you need Anna and / or Bates to be accused of a crime almost every season?). For many periodical dramas, there is an inherent difficulty with the audience; the problem is that these people, who live very differently from ours, feel close. “Downton” hacked the code with the help of some alchemist a combination of writing and castingand although many other shows have tried to replicate this, the results have rarely achieved the same feeling.
Given this, it should also be borne in mind that “Downton” is part of the drama period style, which is not necessarily the future of the genre. “Downton” and the like are the epitome of the traditional drama of the period: brilliant, romantic, melodramatic stories about the lives of the rich and titled. Sometimes the people who work on them are also given some time in front of the screen, but they are always firmly in place. As a result, popular culture has an extremely narrow view of history, whose stories are from those eras, and how different groups are represented.
A show like “Downton” may be limited in its imagination because its very appeal (look stylish, rich people and their messy lives!) Is based on the recognition of the class (and racial, gender and sexual) system at its core. Downton is deeply, deeply committed to the idea that the aristocracy is good and that it is sad to see this system fighting after the First World War. Alternative notions of class, politics, and economics are persecuted, ridiculed, or written off. Characters who are not committed to the current system and norms are either written as cruel villains (Miss Bunting), brushed aside as stupid (Daisy), or pushed to more “acceptable” points of view, unless the story requires additional drama (Tom). Yes, many recurring dramas unfold in an era of intense class, racial, and gender bias, but there are still so many stories (including joyful and soapy) to tell.
Today, a period of drama (slowly) moves to the center of other types of stories. “The Gilded Age” – created by the same team behind “Downton” – includes the world of black families of the upper class in the late 1800s in New York. “Sanditon” – a production of ITV / PBS, like “Downton” – is the heiress of Caribbean origin. Shows like “Ann Boleyn” and “Bridgeton“imagined colored alternate universes for the lavish, dramatic works of the period with all the trails we know and love. And it’s just brilliant, loud shows; there is much more. We have »Bridgeton“-style shows that it presents alternative stories along with stories dedicated to delving into the true stories of a wider range of historical communities and figures.
There will always be shows about rich, titled people who wear great clothes and excite drama. “Downton” is one of the gems of this traditional perception of the dramatic period, and its success paved the way for more and more historical stories to find an audience. This is truly an example of how this niche can be at its best: full of challenging characters, storylines that are heartbreaking, and incredible attention to historical detail. However, “Downton” is only part of the story when it comes to periodic dramas, and we can’t wait to see how the genre continues to flourish and grow.