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Showing posts with the label Masterpiece Theatre

The Daily Beast: "6 Best Spoof Videos of the Emmy Nominated Period Drama Downton Abbey"

PBS’s white-hot British import Downton Abbey , nominated this year for 16 Emmy Awards, is now a bona-fide cultural phenomenon—with its own spoofs. From Jimmy Fallon’s "Downton Sixbey" to the Mean Girls - Downton mash-up, I take on the six best. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature "6 Best Spoof Videos of the Emmy Nominated Period Drama Downton Abbey ," in which I take a look at the six best Downton Abbey video spoofs and discuss the swirling pop culture influence of the period drama. While devotees of costume dramas instantly fell under the spell of Downton Abbey when it first premiered in the U.S. in January 2011 on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic, it took a second season for it to truly permeate popular culture. Nominated for 16 Emmy Awards this year—including Best Drama, Best Actress in a Drama, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and seemingly a billion others—Downton Abbey has become deeply entrenched

The Daily Beast: "Rewind: Rome Burns in I, Claudius"

Thirty-five years ago, PBS captivated audiences with the blood-and-sex-laden ancient-Roman soap I, Claudius , which is still influential. A new DVD version comes out Tuesday. Over at The Daily Beast, it's the first of a new series called Rewind, which will look back at a television show or film that has proven to resonate. You can read my latest feature, "Rome Burns in I, Claudius ," in which I take a look at PBS' ancient Rome-set drama, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of its U.S. broadcast this year. I, Claudius celebrates the 35th anniversary of its U.S. broadcast this year. A rapt and devoted audience consumed this spellbinding ancient-Rome period drama when it first aired in 1976 on the BBC in the U.K., and in 1977 on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre. Starring Derek Jacobi as the titular character and featuring some of the best boldface names in British acting circles, the Emmy Award–winning show—which ran 12 episodes and is today being released as a remaster

A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented: An Advance Look at PBS' "Tess of the d'Urbervilles"

Last year, PBS and station WGBH--which produces such fine series as Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! --had an idea: they would combine the two series and then split the new series, simply called Masterpiece , into three sections: Classic, Contemporary, and Mystery. These new sub-series would better showcase the individual ideas contained therein and remain branded both individually and under the Masterpiece umbrella. This Sunday, PBS stations will debut the 2009 season of Masterpiece Classic , which includes adaptations of works by Charles Dickens, including the eagerly awaited Little Dorrit, Oliver Twist, and David Copperfield , Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights , and Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles , which kicks off the season on January 4th. Adapted by David Nicholls ( Starter for Ten ), Tess of the d'Urbervilles , written by Thomas Hardy in 1891, tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield ( Quantum of Solace 's Gemma Arterton), a girl from a shiftless rural

Not Your Parents' "Masterpiece Theatre"

For some, PBS' long-running showcase series Masterpiece Theatre has always had a bit of a reputation of being comprised of stuffy, drawing room dramas and dreary period pieces. Personally, I've never felt that way. Sure, it's known for its well produced costume dramas, but it's also the series that introduced Chief Detective Inspector Jane Tennison ( Prime Suspect ) to the States and lately it's been offering unique and engaging material that ordinarily might not have been within its original purview. Last year, the trend started with the superbly gripping serialized drama Bleak House (nominated for virtually every miniseries award on the planet), which proved that Dickens' serpentine story of greed, long buried secrets, and lawsuits had as much in common with soaps as The Young & The Restless . It also raised the bar for British costumed dramas, presenting the story framed within stunning shot compositions and quick-cut editing that gave this timeless p