Monday, February 4, 2013


Yesterday afternoon, while the rest of the country was in breathless anticipation of the Super Bowl, I began to watch the first of two episodes of the HBO series, Treme, which takes place in post-Katrina-and-the-federal-flood New Orleans.  At game time, I continued on with the next episode of the series.  The story turned sad in quite a surprising way to me, so startling that, for a while, I could not believe what had happened.  I don't want to spoil the story, because I hope some of you will consider watching the series, since it is the best expression of the soul of the city of New Orleans that I have ever seen in a movie or TV drama.

Spoiler alert!  Once again, I made the wrenching transition from New Orleans to  Downton Abbey and post-World-War-I England.  Of course, the Crawley family is still grieving the death of Lady Sybil, and there's a row about the baptism, with Tom Branson wanting his child baptized Catholic.  Poor Lord Grantham seems to be out of touch with the rest of the family on just about every level.  It seems only Carson stands with him to maintain traditional values.  The Crawley ladies won't follow him when he appears at a ladies luncheon at Mrs Isobel Crawley's house and orders them out because the cook, Ethel, is a former prostitute, and he doesn't want their reputations besmirched.  Says the Dowager Countess of Grantham:  "It seems a pity to miss such a good pudding."  And that settles the matter,  Lord Grantham leaves alone.

The good news is that the tedious story of Bates in prison for a crime he didn't commit has come to an end, and he will be return to his post as Lord Grantham's valet.  Unrequited love abounds amongst the younger staff in the servant quarters, and the times they are a-changin' for the family and the staff.