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13 June 2012 @ 01:44 pm
bleh  
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n12/jenny-diski/making-a-costume-drama-out-of-a-crisis

I don't feel that I can *quite* disagree with anything Jenny Diski has to say about Downton Abbey here (I haven't really written about my disappointment with season 2, but it's certainly there), but I nevertheless get the feeling that she's doing what people often do when they talk about period/costume drama, which is to assume/imply that the shortcomings of the material are the shortcomings of the genre as a whole.
 
 
 
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 13th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
Did she actually "see" Gosford Park?
tempestsarekind: regency house party [s&s]tempestsarekind on June 13th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
I don't think so - or at least that's the impression I got from a quick read of the piece. I could be wrong,though.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 13th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
Other than both stories deal as much as with lives of the servants as their employers, the comparison stops right there. I haven't read Gosford Park, but the movie is a favorite. I like Abbey for what it is, but there indictment of the entitlement of the upper class as there is Gosford Park. I think we discussed it before, when it comes to a fair and real look at classes, Downton Abbey is the "Gone With The Wind" of the post Edwardian era.
Upstairs/Downstairs provided a kinder look at the aristocracy than Gosford Park, but it did not romanticize service or class divisions.

I have watched Masterpiece Theater since it began. Teachers and professors encouraged us to watch I Claudius, The Wives of Henry VII, Elizabeth R for hisorical educational purposes, but not Upstairs Downstairs, unless it was for a drama or lit class.

We were not encouraged to think because it was on PBS it was better entertainment, but Foreign Entertainment. Cooke's introductions --we thought --were to help us understand that although we share a language, British and American cultures are quite different. And well, Mister Cooke was upper crust Brit wasn't he?

I don't understand what her problem is with Dickens or Austin--I am curious if she is equally bored with Little House, Lonesome Dove, Little Women, and Canada's Anne of Green Gables?




Edited at 2012-06-13 06:34 pm (UTC)
tempestsarekind: austen bonnetstempestsarekind on June 13th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
*shrug* That's what's peculiar about the piece: the idea that never making it through a bunch of costume dramas in the past somehow makes her competent to judge costume dramas. But then, I don't understand the concept of media outlets giving reviews to critics who don't like the genre they're supposed to be reviewing - and yet they seem to do this a lot.
viomisehuntviomisehunt on June 13th, 2012 07:07 pm (UTC)
But that's kind of the way it is with media outlets now. A few years ago, when I was in a screenwriter's workshop, a writer suggested that some critics, especially pop media critics, own critical writing software that is similar to screenwriting software. I. E. no moatter what the performance is like: certain actors get an "earnest or geniune" review; the same with directors or genre.



tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on June 14th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC)
*sigh* That's so unhelpful for anyone who wants to know if they would actually *like* something!