Thursday, February 23, 2012


The Jewish Week looked into the news that Shirley Maclaine would be joining the cast of 'Downton Abbey' in Season 3 as Lady Cora's mother, Martha Levinson:

A period drama set in the years before and after World War I, “Downton Abbey” follows the doings of the noble family and their servants on an impossibly gorgeous estate.... [T]he show’s press packet describes Cora’s father as “Isidore Levinson, a Cincinnati dry goods millionaire.” Sounds promising!

Sadly though for the social climbers, all historical evidence indicates it’s highly unlikely that anyone like the U.S.-born Lady Grantham would also have been Jewish. Baron Julian Fellowes, the show’s creator, has evaded repeated requests to comment, but a number of scholars feel duty-bound to let Jewish Downton fans down gently.

“I cannot offhand think of any Cincinnati Jew who actually married into European royalty,” said Brandeis professor Jonathan Sarna, who would probably be in the best position to know as he wrote a book called “Cincinnati Jews.”

This reminds me of the time when then-Senator Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to Josh Lyman, a fictional character on 'The West Wing', protesting his remarks about the closing of a New York military base (in the episode "Full Disclosure".)  They say now that it was meant to be tongue in cheek, but I don't know....

What people always seem to forget is that 'Downton Abbey' exists in Earth Prime-Time, not Earth Prime. We don't have extraterrestrial aliens living among us (although I'm not too sure about this couple at the far end of my floor), nor humanoid robots and talking horses. And yet they exist in Toobworld.

I'm the one writing about the fantasy world of the TV Universe, and yet I'm not the one who has problems distinguishing between reality and fiction.....

Thanks to my fellow "Iddiot" from the IDD, Sharon Goldberg, for pointing this out.....)


BTW - the pictures are of Shirley MacLaine as Coco Chanel.......

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