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Class Distinction

Why ‘Downton Abbey’ resonates with me— and everyone else.

Mar 19, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 26 • By WENDY BURDEN
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Arse or not, Fellowes is a screenwriter at the top of his form and has managed to create a brilliantly entertaining portrayal of Britain’s elite during their most transitory era. That our uppity Mr. Fellowes is astigmatic in his depiction of aristo Edwardian society (something his countrymen have complained about), I don’t care. I’m American. Let the British worry their hangnails off about the TV aerial spotted in episode two, or that the series was clearly not filmed in Yorkshire, where the Crawleys purportedly live. Personally, I love Downton Abbey the way it is. It’s like a Georgette Heyer novel: You know you shouldn’t be enjoying something so decidedly mainstream, a narrative where the answer is invariably “yes,” but it feels so good.

Besides, it’s only television.

Wendy Burden is the author of Dead End Gene Pool.

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