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Caryn James

Best Downton Abbey Mashups and Parodies

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 11, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
One of the surest signs that Downton Abbey has become a full-blown hit and pop-cult phenomenon is the mini- and strained flap that has erupted about whether it is snobbish or middle-brow or an old-fashioned soap opera. I don’t see why it can’t be all three. The series satisfies our indulgent fantasies of an old-fashioned life of leisure. Of course we know it’s pure illusion; even Michelle Dockery, who  plays Lady Mary, told David Letterman about her working-class roots, and the fact that her ancestors would surely have worked downstairs.  But what a satisfying fantasy!

Downton Abbey: Does Mary Get Matthew, And Will Patton Oswalt Tweet?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 5, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
It took a costume drama about nose-in-the-air aristocrats to give PBS pop-culture traction. But just before New Year’s, there was Patton Oswalt catching up with season 1 and  practically swooning as he Tweeted with arch wit but no irony, “Oh DOWNTON ABBEY, how have I only just now seen your 1st episode? I'm as besotted as a vicar at a crumpet orgy!” And,  confessing his attachment to Lord Grantham’s feminist daughter, his unlikely sex symbol of a valet and the household’s proper but deeply humane butler, he admitted,  “I  now have a lust-crush on Lady Sybil, a man-crush on Bates and a scorching butler-crush on Mr. Carson.”  

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