After watching an episode of “Downton Abbey” the other day, I tried to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes the show so enticing and riveting for me. Then I realized, it’s a period-piece soap opera. I never gained any interest in American soap operas when I’ve seen random episodes, and I don’t like to clump “Downton Abbey” into that category, because it is a far better series than any day-time soap opera I’ve seen. It captivated my attention from the very first episode. Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of PBS’s “Masterpiece”, describes the appeal.
“Downton” appeals because it is a colorful piece of social history, set on the cusp of huge change.
“I think that it is tremendously reassuring, because we live in a time of unresolved crises, to watch a show that not only has beautiful eye candy, gorgeous costumes and actors, but where whatever is wrong sooner or later gets resolved,” she said.
My wife watches the show with me, and claims that it is “okay”, but I think she secretly finds humor in my rabid obsession with the well-disguised soap opera. I prefer to call “Downton Abbey” a riveting drama. I also think my wife secretly enjoys the show just as much as I do. And how could one not? It’s so good.