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


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.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.