Aristocracy's bitter fruit
It is embarrassing to me to see that so many educated American citizens are "star-struck" by wealth such that, to them, wealth itself seems to be an end justified by any means ("Lording It Up," Jan. 6). This show is about aristocracy. Aristocracy has been recognized as a crime against humanity. All of the pretty little fantasies about aristocracy (kings, queens, princes, etc.) are incomplete without the truth of the subjugation of millions in each of the respective countries and the refusal by these aristocrats to recognize the pain and suffering of their fellow human beings, while keeping to themselves all of the wealth of their respective countries, violently where necessary.
This show is a disgusting display of how that money, the wealth of nations, was used by a few who "assumed" power to give themselves an opulent lifestyle. Why would Americans, people who fought to free themselves from one of the worst tyrants in history, King George III, allow themselves to become so unaware of this history that they allow themselves to be "charmed" by this garbage?
I'm glad that there's a bit of a spoiler in the article. I think Season 3 will be the beginning of the end of America's love affair with the show. To all, who, like me, adored the show in its (perfect) first and (imperfect) second seasons: Season 3 is heavy, clunky and bleak — totally out of character with the narrative, structure, tone and ethos of the show. By the end of the season, we're left with a series in existential crisis in terms of where [Julian] Fellowes will go from here and why we should bother tuning in for more. After watching the first episode — which I assure you will be the best episode of the entire season — you may not believe me. But you will. "Downton" was an oasis in a TV landscape filled with dark, tragic and/or cynical universes — and many of them are excellent viewing. But "Downton" was our escape from that. No more.
Television has staying power
Great piece by Robert Lloyd ("Crank It Up," Dec. 30). Another contrast with television today would be the survival of almost five late night talk shows besides "The Tonight Show" i.e. Letterman, Kimmel, Conan, Stewart and Handler. . Such a thing could not exist in the '60s or even the early '80s, as Dick Cavett and Joan Rivers could tell you.
TV will definitely last forever due to our emotional and physical attachment to it. Especially my generation (I'm 24). We've quickly realized that the movies have run out of (good) ideas.