“Downton Abbey” and the Allure of Historical Drama — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #127




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We discuss the appeal of this Julian-Fellowes-penned British historical drama in light of the new film. Is this really “a new era” or just more of the same, and is that bad?

Your Pretty Much Pop host Mark Linsenmayer is joined by returning guest Jon Lamoreaux (host of The Hustle music podcast), plus a couple: former newscaster Corrinne MacLeod (whom Mark SCANDOLOUSLY went on one date with at age 12) and her husband, the photographer Michael MacLeod.

We talk about the excellent casting and how such a big cast gets juggled, the appeal of this particular historical setting, revolutions against the class system in the show, and the soapy plots. How can a film give us enough of such a big cast? We also touch on The Gilded Age, Bridgerton, Howard’s End, Gosford Park, The Great, Poldark, and more.

A few relevant articles we looked at include:

Hear more Pretty Much Pop, including recent episodes on Jackass, This Is Us, and The Expanse. Support the show at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choosing a paid subscription through Apple Podcasts. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.

Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is the first podcast curated by Open Culture. Browse all Pretty Much Pop posts.


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