Thursday, January 10, 2013

Going Inside Downton Abbey

Like many Americans, I am addicted to the BBC series, Downton Abbey. I have already seen all the episodes of season three (my daughter, with her computer know-how, was able to find it for me online and I watched it over the Thanksgiving Day break) and I am watching it again (like everyone else, on PBS television, every Sunday evening) but this time I am taking notes. I have to.

Martha, my doctor (PhD) friend, has talked me into co-teaching a course with her for a local college's Adult Continuing Education Program (or should I use the British spelling...programme?).

Our course is entitled: Upstairs, Downstairs Psychology. The classes will he held on Fridays (Jan 25, Feb 8-22) from 3:00-4:30 p.m. There will be tea served at each class (in bone china cups with scones and everything!).

Our goal for this course will be to analyze the mindset of those who lived upstairs (masters) and downstairs (servants) in English country houses like Downton Abbey. We will explore the dynamics of the master/servant relationship. We will also revisit episodes of Downton Abbey.

Martha and I have started a blog that will go hand-in-hand with the course.

I have been watching British television programmes since the 1970's. I remember seeing some of the original Upstairs, Downstairs series back then.

Last year Martha watched every episode of Upstairs, Downstairs as her broken arm was mending. She admits to burning out her Kindle Fire and having to get a new one. Now that is an addiction! She told me I just had to watch the entire series. I did, on Netflix, and had I had a Kindle Fire, I probably would have burned mine out too.

Julian Fellowes, the creator/writer of Downton Abbey, must have watched Upstairs, Downstairs in the 1970's also because some of his story lines are very similar. I would recommend watching Upstairs, Downstairs (the 1970's version, not the recent one, I tried to watch that and lost interest) to everyone who enjoys Downton Abbey.

I am looking forward to co-teaching the upcoming course. Who wouldn't like talking about a favorite television series over a "cuppa"?

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