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On TV, Taste Trumps Trash

PBS recently began the third season of Downton Abbey a British program set in the World War I era. It follows the lives of the Crawley family, owners of a large estate, and their servants as they all try to adapt to the changing world. Viewers adore it for the way it encourages them to imagine living the suit-every-day lifestyle of the Crawleys. ABC’s “Modern Family,” however, focuses on the daily lives of an American family. It captures viewers with its relatable characters and dilemmas and makes a comedy out of situations nearly everyone can identify with.

Yet both stories of old English manor life and a comedy about average Americans have more in common than would seem.

Both of these programs stand ahead of the sea of trashy, shallow reality programs that focus on catty drama and offer a more stimulating alternative to “Here comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” and the like.

“Modern Family” may stoop to the occasional “potty” joke but relies mainly on witticism and comic timing to charm its audience. It moves at a fast pace, and each line shows careful consideration on the editors’ parts.

Downton Abbey ‘s gripping drama has a set of characters who all conduct themselves with class and dignity. They consider it a scandal to be caught wearing the wrong tie to dinner!

The popularity of these dissimilar shows succeed because they offer higher quality entertainment and because they make a statement: despite what television producers assume, many viewers still value tasteful, refined shows over garbage gossip.

Written by Jenna Kent’16


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