There’s a bit of a flap over Downton Abbey, the British television series now being shown on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater. It’s been reported that the version shown in the U. S. was cut from eight hours to six.
The change seems to be rooted in Americans’ short attention span and desire to get right to the action.
There’s also the problem of the entail, which Americans might not understand.
Oh, well. I could be insulted by the slander regarding the attention span. One of the people who implied that, however, is an American. Also, I’ve heard the same thing about my manuscript: Hook readers with the first sentence, and get the murder in by the end of chapter three.
But I do think most Yanks watching Masterpiece have patience enough to delay gratification, and intelligence enough to figure out the provisions of the entail.
I understood most of I, Claudius. Ancient Rome was more foreign and more complex than pre-World War I England. I understood Fawlty Towers, too–even Manuel, and he was from Barcelona.
Some say the two versions of Downton Abbey differ because PBS programming isn’t interrupted by advertising. Some have said the two are essentially the same.
Whatever. When all is said and done, I’ll watch it on Netflix and decide for myself.
Until then, I’ll be grateful for the fuss. It’s given me something to write about.