Faith Meets World

Reflections on faith in a messed-up but beautiful world

Category: TV

Tuesday Review: Downton Abbey

DowntonI know, I know, it seems a little strange to review Downton Abbey when it’s already in its fourth series. And it’s probably a somewhat risky endeavour, given that, well, everybody loves Downton. With that in mind, this isn’t really a review at all; I just thought I’d take the opportunity to share one or two thoughts about it.

Downton Abbey belongs to that rare category of British TV shows that have hit the big time on both sides of the Atlantic – an honour which, among current programming, is perhaps only shared by Doctor Who. What is equally remarkable is that this particular period drama is not produced by the BBC. (It’s remarkable to me, at least; when I was a kid, the BBC was the unchallenged home of all “quality” programming; ITV was not even allowed to be shown in some homes, so profane and unashamedly commercial was its content.)

So, what can I say about the veritable cross-cultural phenomenon that is Downton Abbey? Well, I can give you two reasons why I watch it:

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Tuesday Review: Breaking Bad (no spoilers!)

Breaking-BadThis week has seen the culmination of a six-year, five-season journey with the long-awaited conclusion of multi-award-winning US drama series Breaking Bad.

Broadcast by US cable channel AMC, Breaking Bad is much less well-known in the UK than in the States. (The first two seasons were shown in the UK on FX, a relatively low profile cable and satellite channel, and for some reason – perhaps contract issues — was never picked up by a bigger channel.) Having said that, unless you’ve taken a six-year hibernation from social media, you can’t have escaped having some level of awareness of the show; in recent days even the BBC website has mentioned it several times. According to its Wikipedia page, Breaking Bad is now among the most-watched cable shows on US television and is widely considered one of the greatest TV dramas of all time.

So what is all the fuss about?

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