Archive for the ‘Jacqueline AAR’ Category

The Appeal of the Villainous Hero

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

villain Notes from the Underground, written by Fyodor Dostoevsky begins with the famous opening line, “I am a sick man… I am a wicked man”. In the novel, Dostoevsky creates a hero who possesses all the characteristics of a villain: sarcasm, disillusionment, and a general lack of care for the well being of others. The hero is in actuality an anti-hero, a man who acts like a villain, but who ultimately possesses a core of goodness to redeem himself through words and actions.

Why PBS Masterpiece Never Fails to Deliver

Monday, January 24th, 2011
YouTube Preview Image

There is literally nothing I love more than to watch actors in full period regalia amidst the greenest, lushest English countryside, arguing about entailment and alliances and status.  Literally nothing. I wish I were exaggerating, but I’m not. Which is why I love Masterpiece on PBS. When it comes to a good period piece, Masterpiece always has me covered, and the newest installment, Downton Abbey, is no disappointment. The country scenes are so green and the characters so British it’s almost painful. Masterpiece, which airs on Sunday nights, has already run three of the four episodes, but if you’ve missed them they are available online.

Downton is Abbey is written by Julian Fellows of Gosford Park fame. Coincidentally, the show is more or less  similar to the movie in television format (without the super hunky Clive Owen), but never fear, it’s just as good if not better than the movie.  We begin in 1912 with the very recent news of the sinking of the Titanic.  The Crawley Family seems to have the same problems an inordinate number of families had at the time: Too many girls, not enough heirs.  Since the heir to the estate was on the Titanic and pronounced dead, the family is in an uproar about who will inherit.  There is an immediate dichotomy between old and new generations.  On one side, the family is prepared to allow the estate to go to a perfect stranger as good, obedient English families are supposed to do.  On the other, the family is prepared to bring in the lawyers and fight it out in court.