Friday, May 20, 2022

TV Quote of the Day (‘Modern Family,’ As Jay Makes a Logical Deduction About a Case of Exhaustion)

Manny Delgado [played by Rico Rodriguez]: “For whatever it's worth, my eyes have stopped itching, I can taste my food, and I have a lot more energy.”

Jay Pritchett [played by Ed O'Neill]: “You took a three-hour nap yesterday!”

Manny: “I was tired from the marathon.”

Jay: “The Downton Abbey marathon?” — Modern Family, Season 6, Episode 13, “Rash Decisions,” original air date Feb. 4, 2015, teleplay by Daisy Gardner, directed by James Alan Hensz

Off and on for the first half-century of its existence, I have been something of an aficionado of Masterpiece (or, as it known earlier in its younger days, Masterpiece Theatre). By my count, I’ve taken in about 30 different mini-series under the umbrella of the British import—not just acclaimed entries like The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and The Forsyte Saga, but even the likes of Strangers and Brothers, The First Churchills and The Last of the Mohicans. 

But Downton Abbey? I’ve seen only about three episodes from its first season. It wasn’t that I hated it, mind you. But it was never really “appointment TV” for me.

And so, while the Crawleys became something of a cash cow for the PBS system, tried out almost as much as those musical specials for nostalgic baby boomers during those fundraising marathons, I’ve been largely content to sit on the sidelines.

That’s been nothing like the case for a pair of male relatives of mine. While I, comparatively speaking, have watched everything on Masterpiece but Downton Abbey, they have watched nothing but that show. The wonder of it is that these guys normally are neither Anglophiles nor culture vultures, but more than happy to spend several hours a night watching one sports event or other.

It was a sad day indeed in those two households when those relatives and their wives watched the last of the original 52 episodes of the show after six seasons. Then came the movie version in 2019, and—wouldn’t you know it?—they were among its troop of fans out for opening weekend.

This weekend, when each of these relatives will be otherwise engaged, that won’t be quite the case with the premiere of Downtown Abbey: A New Era. But you can take it to the bank that the first chance they get, they’re going to catch up to the latest adventures of the Earl of Grantham, Lady Cora and Crew.

And, beyond that, the next time there’s a PBS Downton Abbey marathon, they’ll be taking it very seriously indeed, unlike Modern Family’s Jay.

(For those of my readers who can’t get enough of the show, you’ll want to check out the Downtown Abbey Online blog.)

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