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Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Fond Farewell To 'Downton Abbey'

Nick Briggs
Nick Briggs/Carnival Film

It's always a good week when Audie Cornish or Barrie Hardymon sit in, but this week, with Stephen off finishing the Austin 100 (which is now available for your ears!), they both stepped into the studio with me and Glen Weldon to talk about the end of Downton Abbey, which ends its run on PBS Sunday night — and which, of course, ended its UK run at Christmas. We talk about the overall arc of the show, its devotion to romance above all, its surprises and quagmires, and poor, poor Edith, who really deserves some degree of happiness, don't you think?

In our second segment, we broaden out to consider period pieces more generally, from what makes them charming to what obligation they have to represent fairly what particular time periods really would have been like — especially for those not in the most powerful or luxurious positions.

As always, we close with what's making us happy this week. Audie is happy about a film she previously recommended having a great night, and also about a phenomenon you can find all over Twitter under the perfectly logical hashtag #TrapCovers. Glen is happy about the finale of Gravity Falls and about the return of Better Call Saul and its related podcast. Barrie is happy about waiting for Outlander to return to her warm embrace. And I am happy about several things: the Austin 100, our meetup happening Saturday night in Brooklyn at Lowlands Bar at 5:00 p.m., how good American Crime is, how bonkers Real Housewives Of Potomac is, and the crazy magic of the Spotify Discover Weekly playlist. But mostly the meetup! I might not shake your hand if I still have a cold, but come and say hello to me, Stephen, Glen, Jessica, Gene and Kat.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Glen, Barrie, Audie, producer Jessica, and producer emeritus Mike.

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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