Politics

Civility Refreshing

I was wondering why Downton Abbey is enjoying such popularity again this year (2015): 85 million viewers in the world according to the author of the series, Julian Fellowes. Why would Americans enjoy a program about an unaccomplished, superrich family squandering their wealth and their servants, who have no wealth to squander?

It might be because of the income disparity. Poor Americans enjoying vicariously the wealth of the Crawleys. Income disparity is ignored in the upstairs-downstairs plot of the series.

I have come to the decision that what appeals to Americans, in some part at least, is the civility that exists between the upstairs and downstairs communities. The absence of anger is almost absolute.

I'm reminded of the scene in the movie "A Fish Named Wanda" when John Cleves, absolutely naked, picks up a hat to cover his privates, and calmly discusses the apartment he is in to a family of potential buyers. Civility among the British overrules THAT much embarrassment.

The US airwaves are filled with the opinions of hate-mongers and fear-mongers like Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, especially since our first black president came to office. Downton Abbey offers welcome respite from the cold, hateful world of the commercial news.

(Sunbury Daily Item, April 27, 2015)