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Welcome to British aristocracy
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OK, OK. I confess: I’ve become a “Downton Abbey” fan. After years of making fun of Wife Nancy for her addiction to so-called period pieces both on television and in movie theaters, I’ve gotten hooked on the PBS Masterpiece Classic series which chronicles an English manor family in the early 20th century. (A question, by the way: What do you call people who insist the only television shows they watch are on PBS? Answer: Liars.) “Downton Abbey” is pretty daring for Masterpiece Theater -- sort of like a shotgun wedding between “Wuthering Heights” and “Desperate Housewives,” with a dollop of “Days Of Our Lives” thrown in … stilted language, Victorian customs, infidelity, conniving servants and lots of exquisitely paneled rooms in the cavernous manor house, which is known as -- no surprise here -- Downton Abbey. Anyway, here’s the plot line, rolled into a couple paragraphs: the Earl of Grantham, a land-poor English nobleman whose family owns the palatial estate, marries a rich American woman for her money.