Trending
MOST READ
8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
4 Downtown Dive Bars to Embarrass Yourself In

4 Downtown Dive Bars to Embarrass Yourself In

City Guide 2014: In the last few years, San Antonio has made great strides when it comes to its mixology doings. Many good (and some great!) cocktail bars have been springing... By Tim Hennessey 2/24/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Happy Hour

Best Happy Hour

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Primal Screen

Upstairs, meet Downstairs

Photo: , License: N/A


Downtown Abbey (8pm Sunday, PBS)
Masterpiece has worked hard to expand its range, but the success of Downtown Abbey —rave reviews, Emmy awards, high ratings — proves that people really just want to see another variation on the old Upstairs Downstairs theme. And why not? Nobody can tease out the nuances of the master-servant relationship like the Brits, and few periods inspire British filmmakers more than the Edwardian 1910s. In that decade, the upper classes still had their sense of entitlement, plus all the elegant clothes and table settings that went along with it. But the age-old walls between the high- and low-born were starting to crumble, with a big assist from World War I.

The second season of Downtown Abbey masterfully exploits these tensions. It cuts back and forth from the serene estate in Yorkshire, where all the old rules apply, to the chaotic battlefield of the Somme, where none of them do. Matthew (Dan Stevens) returns to Downtown from the front with his new fiancée, Lavinia (Zoe Boyle), piercing the heart of former flame Mary (Michelle Dockery). The countess (Maggie Smith) treats Lavinia with exquisitely polite condescension upon learning that her father is merely a solicitor. “My, my, you’re very well placed if you’re ever in trouble with the law.”

Little does the countess realize that the snobs’ days are numbered. Down in the basement, new servant Ethel (Amy Nuttall) causes a stir by refusing to accept her station. “I want the best and I’m not ashamed to admit it,” she proclaims.

Everybody laughs at her, but we, of course, know that the rest of the century belonged to Ethel, not the countess.

The Bachelor (7pm Monday, ABC)
The new season features the usual manly-yet-sensitive dude, Ben Flajnik, who earnestly searches for his soulmate among a group of women chosen by the ABC casting department. This installment piles on the signifiers of fairytale romance: walks on a moonlit beach, evenings in a cozy hot tub, treks up a picturesque mountain.

It all looks so misty and enchanting that you feel kind of bad to see Ben’s pool of potential true lovers filled with basket cases and psychos, determined to destroy each other. Sample dialogue, spoken by women with angry tears and blotchy skin:
“She makes me sick!”
“I’m going to kill whoever comes through that door!”
“I just want to rip her head off!”
Nothing spoils a fairytale romance like decapitation.

Who’s Still Standing? (7pm Monday, NBC)
The eternal search for a new game-show gimmick continues. Who’s Still Standing? places contestants on top of trap doors and fires trivia questions at them. If they answer incorrectly, the trap door opens and — WAAAaaa…!

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus