Saturday, January 21, 2012

Downton Abbey - Aristocratic British Sex - An Introduction

This is the second post this month about British sex (yes, it's a thing), but I'm 4 episodes into Downton Abbey (2010 - ) and desperately want to write about it, I know, I'm very much behind but I'm catching up. Let me give you an in as to where I'm at - Mr. Pamuk the hot-blooded, Turkish, male-model/male model just died after making sweet violent passionate love to the most uptight daughter of the Crawley family and effectively dislodging that brass stick up her British ass and causing her to talk in fragmented obtuse existential statements. 
Now who would think that a show written by Julian Fellows about snooty English people sitting in drawing rooms, sipping tea, and lamenting about how common everyone else is would end up on a blog about filth? But it has. Because we all know that underneath that facade of stoic faces, upturned noses, and stiff upper lips, lie heaving, sweaty, pulsating, throbbing, titillated, erect...ok i'm going to stop, i've run out of adjectives. But you know what I mean. Where there is seeming sexual repression, there is an eruption of sorts brewing beneath the surface waiting to to speak. This is the Romantic Era after all, but the people of Downton seem to forego yearning stares and brushing touches for uptight mannerisms and overly proper social graces. 
Listen to me, a smart drama written subtly and meticulously about class structure with just a hint of satire and old-worldly wisdom as well as brilliant character study, and i'm belittling the entire thing and turning it into fetish fodder. Typical. 
But does the show have a sexual angle? Absolutely, it's silly to believe that it's just a cerebral class drama, and if I could put in my two cents...or two pence (i'm so fucking clever) I would say that sexual repression is one of the main themes of Downton Abbey. Of course it's all explained through 'feelings' and 'emotions', but that's the only way to make it appropriate for the context of it. 
The most interesting of these narratives is with Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier), the evil footman. He strives for domination on a sexual level because he cannot get it in his station in life, nor even amongst his co-workers. He's very aware of his prowess and appeal and uses that to build an identity. 
Another very obvious narrative that wanders into impure thoughts land is the youngest sister Lady Sybil Crawley (Jessica Brown-Findlay) who's a Jane Austen novel away from creating her own Suffrage League and burning her corsets, not to mention her older sister Lady Mary who is the most sexually frustrated woman in the world which over time has turned her into a serious bitch. I don't know what her sexual fate is next, but I'm imagining there will be some passionate mustache play involved. As I said, I haven't seen it all, so this is merely an introduction of sorts into a narrative that I'm sure will take bold leaps and bounds in terms of sexual subtext. Can't wait to see how it unfolds. 

Very interesting article from The Telegraph about sex on Downton Abbey 

BELOW: Two-part parody of the show courtesy of two of comedy legends Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders.

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