Girls going mad in downton abbey

Bahar Orang
September 27, 2012
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes

I’ve been told more than once (mostly by impassioned friends and entertainment blogs) that we’re living in a time of great television - with dramas and comedies spanning across different time periods and exploring unique subject matters. Inspired by this past weekend’s Emmy awards, I finally decided to watch the pilot episode of three Emmy-nominated and Emmy-winning shows from 2012 that I’ve been meaning to watch for some time now (good thing I use my time effectively).

I began with Mad Men  - a provocative show set in 1960s New York City, depicting the lives of characters both inside and outside the office of an advertising agency. I immediately fell in love with the slick suits, the fitted dresses and full, vintage skirts. I soon came to find that each character’s colourful, architectural outfit effectively complimented their personalities. They were all the perfect combination of sexually deviant, witty, and charmingly self-deprecating. I have the next few episodes downloaded.

Next, I went farther back in time and watched Downton Abbey. The series is set in the Yorkshire country house of an aristocratic family and their servants during the reign of King George V. My roommates are startlingly obsessed with this show, so I entered the world of Downtown with fairly high expectations. I enjoyed the British accent, sexual tension, and the subtle competition between sisters that’s typical of dramas set in this time period. I also kept thinking that Keira Knightely could slip into the show perfectly. The plot twist was truly unexpected and I quite literally gasped throughout. But in all honesty, it was too long for me, and all these elements got slightly tiresome by the end. I may consider watching the next episode on a boring Sunday afternoon.

I ended with Girls - which is more or less about #whitegirlproblems. This show’s gotten a lot of heat about its lack of diversity and has been accused of “whitewashing” New York City - which was obvious to me during the series premiere.  While the criticism seemed valid, I did find myself mentally defending the show’s creator, Lena Dunham, because she remained authentic to her own experiences and perspectives, which is important in order to make any artistic statement. I think I’d be interested to see how the show progresses. But there was also something mildly irritating about the show’s protagonist and all of her friends. And the awkward sex scenes weren’t really very funny - only awkward.

I’m certain that fans of each show would insist upon the importance of watching the next few episodes before making any judgement - which is fair, and I use the same argument when trying to convince skeptics about the value of Grey’s Anatomy (although the show’s gone on for so many seasons that the story lines have become repetitive or ridiculous). But for me, the pilot episode has always been a promising indication of how much I’ll like a show. All of these shows, however, seem to have a cult following, so maybe you too should indulge in three hours of emmy-approved television.



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