Ah, the pathos of dying aristocracies. William Deresiewicz understands why Julian Fellowes’ period drama has been a hit, but he’s not sure that talk of a US version is all that wise:
I doubt that it will catch; Americans are much less interested in our own aristocracy, for the simple reason that we don’t like to acknowledge that we had one. But we did, and it also had its mournful decline, albeit somewhat later. I think of The New Yorker in the days of William Shawn, during the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s, as the WASPs, in all their prep-school glory, were slowly buried by the multicultural horde—of writers like E. B. White and J. D. Salinger and George W. S. Trow, with their elegiac charm, their glamorous fatalism. So sad, so sad. But then the Jew in me rears up and makes me think, tough shit, you had your chance. The fact is that the threatened fall of Downton Abbey leaves me cold. Step aside, you lazy toffs. Time to give somebody else a turn.