Saturday, January 4, 2014

Good Writing and Good Acting Makes Downtown Abbey Good Television

Last night I caught all of the episodes of Season 3 Downtown Abbey.

Admittedly, I was hooked and just maybe---just maybe---will go back and view Seasons 1 and 2 which I had missed.  

(My nephew and his father gave my sister the Downtown Abbey DVD series for Christmas.  Neither of them watched the show---but thought my sister might just get hooked on it.   I will have to call and find out later if she enjoyed the series enough to watch Season 4 which begins airing this Sunday.)

I have done this before. I  don't watch a television series at all and then catch up on the plots in a one night marathon viewing session.   

Not a prude by any means, I had avoided Sex and the City (1998-2004) because of the show's  title.  

About 10 years ago on an uneventful New Year's evening, HBO played 24 hours of Sex and the City and I fell in love with Carrie Bradshow and company and followed the remainder of the season before it was officially retired. 

All the years  Everybody Loves Raymond (September 13, 1996, to May 16, 2005) was on television---never once did I catch the show.   

My parents were loyal to the show, but watching a story about Italian/American Raymond Barone and his family  just did not appeal to me at the time.

But when the show was syndicated and with nothing better to do I started watching Everybody Loves Raymond in my early 50s.  I was hooked.  

I have  watched each episode at least 3xs in rerun.  The reason for enjoying the series now is probably my age.  Ask a twenty-something person if they ever watched the show and you will probably get a "no."   However hit your mid 30's and 40's and most of us probably can relate to the dysfunctional humorous family dynamics that the show portrays.

Of course the acting is great--in fact right on---but more importantly the writing is what pulls the show together.

Modern Family (2009-Present)  is another show that I have caught in syndication.  

I was resistant to all the characters when I caught bits and pieces of the show advertised on television.  In fact I did not know if the show was dramatic or a comedy and I just was not interested in a show portraying a gay married couple.

But after receiving so many accolades for its writing, I decided to catch the show---you guessed---in its syndicated episodes.

Relieved to find out the show was a comedy (mockumentary)  and only on for a half hour I found myself hooked. 

Again don't know how many younger viewers enjoy Modern Family but the series portrays  a more typical affluent American family than if portrayed a decade ago.  

At my age, I  can appreciate the family dynamics well captured by the actors and writers  

As for Downtown Abbey, well it is a good sophisticated soap opera.   I can not relate at all to the aristocratic Crawley family.   Perhaps if I was a part of the upper 1% of the American wealthy or British nobility  I could understand the rituals needed to keep some order to a family dynasty.

Rather, as with all the other shows mentioned, the writing is great and the writers and directors  have developed an intriguing script for good actors to demonstrate their craft.

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