American television viewers really get invested in their TV characters. Tens of millions faithfully followed ‘Bonanza,’ ‘Roots,’ ‘Friends,’ ‘Sienfeld,’ and now ‘Downton Abbey.’ Why? Millions of personal reasons, but overall it’s our way of living another life, one with all the appeal of set plots, dialog and outcomes.
In the real world — well, “real” is in itself really debatable — there’s no one writing the daily episodes. They just sorta tumble out helter skelter. Sometimes a great leader shapes the storyline, but only until some other leader or twist gets in the way. The ancient Chinese had this curse: “May you live in interesting times.” God knows we do. And yet, no one’s in real control of the times.
In the case of ‘Downton Abbey,” Mr Fellowes is, for he writes the series, including upcoming season four featuring the indomitable Maggie Smith as the dowager. But even Maggie doesn’t know what she will be doing and saying next year, because that is a secret sealed only in the mind of Julian Fellowes. This much we do know — he will give his storyline a logical thrust which will work its way through a splash of human crises in a way that will somehow reach a logical conclusion in the final episodes.
If only our world operated that way…if only our lives operated that way…if only.
Some thinkers have chosen to believe that someone or something does indeed “write” the play of life. For thousands of centuries it was a Deity [from the gods of ancient Persia, to Greece, to Christian Rome]. That’s what all those Delphic sacrifices and daily prayers were for! Asking heaven to guide our faltering steps through a minefield planet. Later on, thinkers decided that instead of a Deity there were natural forces at work such as human evolution. That’s what all these neuroscientific studies are for!
Whoever or whatever we believe is backstage feeding us dialog and directing our movements, we all have this itch to find some logical thrust and conclusion to this play of life. Now is there any way we can hire award-inning author Julian Fellowes….?
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