The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

January 3, 2014

Fans anxious to see return of 'Downton Abbey'

Sipping high tea or not, Joplin area fans say they are hungry to see the new season of the Masterpiece Classics hit series “Downton Abbey” that debuts Sunday.

The season’s first episode will air for two hours starting at 8 p.m. on Ozarks Public Television, which locally is KOZJ.

“The reason I like it is it’s about a family and the transition from the industrial era and how they are adjusting,” said Teresa Massa, a local viewer who said she and her husband have imbibed in the English custom of high tea a couple of times while watching the show, drinking tea while eating crumpets, fruit and cheese.

“Downton Abbey” is set in the early part of the last century as a family, the noble Crawleys, and those who serve them cope with the struggles of life and the changing times that come to bear on their old royal way of life in England.

The Massas have been tuning in since the beginning in 2010.

Teresa Massa said she discovered the new show one evening when “I was just surfing the channels and I saw Maggie Smith, so I started watching it because she’s a great actress.”

Smith’s character is a wizened but sassy dowager countess whose put-downs are cutting but tasteful.

Indeed, the series is well-heeled with writing and acting nobility. Its creator is Julian Fellowes and the cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Lesley Nicol.

Massa credits the writers and actors with developing the characters and the times in which they live fully in 3-D.

“Just the way they have treated the different characters, their lives and how they are changing and thinking,” is of interest, she said.

The setting of the first season starts on the eve of World War I, and this season’s shows will depict the year of 1922. Seeing how the straight-backed Edwardian family adjusts to the changing times, the changing roles of women during that period and the human frailties of those who live both upstairs and down in the castle where the series is set, keeps fans like Massa coming back.

There is the effect of what Massa calls “the American influence,” when outspoken Martha Levinson, played by actress Shirley McClaine, comes from America to visit her daughter, who is married to the family patriarch.

“But a great deal of it is the study of the history: World War I, the roaring ’20s and how they’re getting prepared for the 1930s,” is part of the program’s interesting plot, she said.

While the nobility upstairs face their challenges, the show also is compelling for its look at the lives and the roles of the servants and household staff downstairs.

Massa said she finds it interesting to view “just the way they do the cooking. I think we’re so used to the microwave. And how they do the ordering for the household. There’s an episode where one got in trouble for buying cheap stuff. It’s just different aspects of life.”

Downton’s popularity is demonstrated by its win of 10 Emmys and two Golden Globes. Last season’s finale drew 8.2 million viewers, The Associated Press reported.

That audience would likely please the residents of Downton, who, “though they have conflicts in all the levels of that household, they finally pull together,” Massa said.

The setting

“Downton Abbey” is filmed in and around Highclere Castle, a 200-room estate in Newbury, England.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014