Saturday, October 12, 2013

Downton Abbey Wows China

Downton's Michelle Dockery in Macao
One of the things about living abroad is that we're often a year or so behind the popular culture of back home, particularly television. Often we've missed out on things altogether, like reality TV. We've never seen an episode of Big Brother or I'm A Celebrity...; nor Pop Idol or The Apprentice; nor what are undoubtedly great series like The Sopranos or The Wire. Of course we could download them and much is available in the local DVD shop, but generally we can't be bothered.
However - and this is faintly embarrassing - I've just got into Downton Abbey. It's been a huge success in China, with regular audiences of 160 million per episode. So as much for work's sake as anything else, I thought I'd better check it out. Yes, it's a "cosy pocket of sameness", not much different from Upstairs Downstairs made 40 years ago... but I'm hooked. But don't tell me what's happening in the current series. I'm still on the first one.


  1. The other thing about living abroad is that I miss out on what the notoriously cynical UK media says about popular culture, which is doubtless damning in this case?