I read an article that compared the BBC Masterpiece Theater Hit Show: Downton Abbey with American Girl dolls. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-pearce-rotondi/downton-abbey-american-girl-dolls_b_1291876.html
I admit I am one of those Gen Yers whose parents could afford the $82 price ticket (I wonder if they regret that now). I have continued to collect these dolls into my adult hood because they were such a wonderful part of my childhood. Their allure is in their stories and the accuracy in which they make history come alive. I won’t go into the then and nows of their product line. For this post, I am only looking at the connection between Downton and Pleasantville.
Is Downton the American Girl of adulthood? I don’t know if I would say that. I love Downton Abbey and I love the historical line from American Girl. I know plenty of non GenYers that are in love with this show and also plenty of GenYers who did not own anything from Pleasant Company (American Girl pre-Mattel) who are equally obsessed. So saying their is an automatic link between the two is hard to swallow.
I also don’t really see the comparison between Molly-Edith, Felicity-Sybil, and Mary-Samantha. if you just HAAAAVE to pick characters to fit- then sure we can make those girls fit into each other’s shoes… but its not going to be a cinderella fit.
What I do see, and find my imagination wandering into, is the connection of Mary and Samantha, but it is not personality based. Samantha, a 1904 tween, would be about Lady Mary’s age during the time period Downton Abbey is taking place. Many fans of Samantha, enjoy imaginging what happened to Samantha as she grew up in the early 20th century. I have heard both colorful and even dark images, including Uncle Gardner jumping from his Law Firm’s window when the Stock Market crashes. It is an easy step to slip Samantha’s person in Lady Mary’s position because of the similarities in looks , age, and financial situation- NOT an exchange of their personalities.
Downton Abbey is so rich in design that even without an incredible story line, the places, dressings, furniture, and accessories are a giddy treasure to devour. Those of us GenYers that did this very thing with a doll line would be natural candidates for a further cinematic appreciation. But our past neither makes or breaks our love for this current show.
If someone wants to really marry the two then I submit the pictures posted at the top of this post. That is my Samantha doll from the very early 90’s. Thanks to a very talented seamstress and the wonderful world of Etsy I have been able to completely merge two loves into one. This is how Downton Abbey becomes the American Girl for Adults. The little girl inside those privileged GenYers aren’t going to be content with only the eye candy. If you insist on drawing a line between the two then I demand you do it with a full set of matching clothes, furniture, and accessories. (For those wondering- The set above isn’t complete. I plan on adding a belt, making a better hat and a second string of pearls with the knot)