The new season of Downton Abbey opened with a two hour segment Sunday night. In it, Julian Fellowes constructs a loving and politically incorrect portrait of the Granthams and their relatives, our favorite upstairs aristocrats, portraying them as people who are truly noble as well as members of the nobility. And continuing with currently unpopular themes, it is the downstairs people who show their petty jealousies and vindictive natures. Mayor de Blasio, intent only on punishing the wealthy in order to provide for universal kindergarten, might want to start watching Downton and expanding his mind to allow for rich, good-hearted citizens of Gotham, as well as Edwardian English Granthamites.
The episode opens with the realization that O’Brien, Cora Grantham’s untrustworthy lady’s maid has absconded with no notice. We soon discover that she has been hired away by Lord Grantham’s cousin whose very own daughter is currently their houseguest in residence. Inter-familial intrigue is reminiscent of the current insistence on the part of our new mayor that his candidate, Melissa Mark-Viverito, be selected for Speaker of the City Council. Apparently the Bronxites disagree and are championing Daniel Garodnick, the lady’s rival. This may have been exacerbated by the revelation tht Ms Mark-Viverito failed to disclose the rental income that she derived from her Manhattan condo on the appropriate city financial forms that she was given. Lady Grantham honorably and summarily fired her grandchildren’s nanny last night after overhearing her refer to one of the children as a “wicked cross-breed.” We shall see whether our mayor drops his support of the candidate who fudged her finances in favor of the gentleman who did not.
Lord Grantham comes into possession of a letter written by his late son-in-law, Matthew Crawley, announcing his intention to make Lady Mary Grantham his sole heir. This would mean that Lord Grantham would have to share the control of Downton Abbey with his daughter, instead of managing it himself in the best interests of his infant grandson, the presumed heir. Though unnerved by this news at first, Lord Grantham accepts the legal recognition of the letter as valid; he rises to our expectations and warmly embraces his daughter’s future input and ideas. May we expect the same from Mayor de Blasio as he deals with his rival Italian capo, Governor Cuomo, who is determined to lower taxes, not raise them. The governor is convinced that he can find other avenues for funneling money into our children’s educational needs. At the moment, our mayor is adamant that this can only be done through additional taxation of the 1%, similar to his proud announcement that Manhattan was not plowed as thoroughly as the outer boroughs because those are where “the people live.”
Hard-working Gothamite couples with annual incomes of $500,000 must hope that their mayor may come to see them with the same elastic attitude that he extended to his new School Chancellor, Carmen Farina, who is earning a salary of $212,614 at the same time that she collects her annual pension of $200,000.
Stay tuned for the next episode…………………..
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