I have been blogging about all things Made in America for the last six months and plan to do so for many years. But I wanted to just for once talk about something other that Made in America. I want to talk about Downton Abbey. You have got to hand it to the Brits. They really know how to put on a dramatic series. I am not so sure why we Americans are so taken with dramas about English toffs but I for one can’t get enough of them. And Downton Abbey was first-rate. Just the house itself was fairly amazing to look at. Can you imagine keeping a place like that clean? No wonder they needed an army of servants.
What sets apart Downton Abbey is the quality of the acting. My favorite characters are the Dowager Countess, Bates, and Mrs. Patmore. I also love hating O’Brien and Thomas. Which brings me to my only criticism of the series: I think Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley is simply not up to the task. I find her manner of speaking particularly grating; she always sounds like she does not have enough oxygen. I don’t know if I am the only one with this opinion, but Ms. McGovern’s portrayal of Cora was disappointing. During the second to last episode, I was secretly hoping that Cora might succumb to the Spanish Flu, but instead nice Miss Lavinia Catherine Swire snuffed it. Still, Ms. McGovern is the one appearing on the most popular PBS series in history and making boat loads of cash, so I am sure she will survive my mild criticism. And since Shirley MacLaine is slated to appear as Cora’s mother in the third series, it is highly unlikely that Cora will disappear from the series as a result of an unfortunate hunting accident. Life is a constant series of disappointments.