Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Everything Old is New Again: Downton Abbey’s All the Rage!

By Suzanne Kashuba

The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star cast plus guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3 airs over seven Sundays on PBS beginning in January 2013.<br /><br />Credit:<br />(C) Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE<br /><br />Usage:<br />This image may be used only in the direct promotion of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC. No other rights are granted. All rights are reserved. Editorial use only. Unlike First Lady Michelle Obama (who already received her season 3 DVDs), most of us will have to wait until Jan. 6 to find out what awaits the Crawleys and their hired help during the Roaring Twenties.

No worries, though. Seems like reminders of “Downton Abbey” are everywhere. Who would have thought that a Victorian-era drama originating with the BBC and airing on WNED could so quickly find a place in 21st century culture?

How has “Downton Abbey” changed our world? Let me count the ways. Here are just a few examples of how the “Masterpiece Classic” hit has permeated pop culture.

  • A marshmallow tribute: The iconic cast photo (above) was re-created for the 2012 Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest. (It didn’t win but was a semifinalist.)
  • A preppy legend: Ralph Lauren’s fall collection and recent advertising has been influenced by the series. The fashion icon also is sponsoring “Masterpiece” on PBS.
  • A fashion statement: Nostalgic, traditional fashion is experiencing a revival.
  • A “Late Night” spoof:  "Downton Sixbey" paired Jimmy Fallon with Brooke Shields.
  • A cupcake creation: The series inspired the author of the “Cupcake Topper” blog to create some Downton Abbey-themed desserts.
  • A creative rap: Adam WarRock even rapped about it.
The “Downton Abbey” story in rap.


If you need more of a Downton Abbey fix before the new season premiere, watch the brief clip below, then plan to join in WNED’s in-studio preview  event on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. Space is limited, so reserve your seat now. Call (716) 845-7000, ext. 352 or email corpcomm@wned.org.


Watch Downton Abbey Season 3 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Tune in Sundays, beginning Jan. 6, 2013 to WNED-TV.

What’s next? Will there be knock-off period dramas? Will the most popular girls’ names be Daisy, Sybil and Cora? Share your predictions below.

Also, where have you seen examples that “Downton Abbey” is all the rage? Was it a Halloween costume? Vacation plans? A local ad campaign? Share your stories and photos here.

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