To Me, My Future Downton Abbey

If there’s one thing that contemporary television period dramas like to do, it’s poke at the outdated societal norms that now seem, if not quaint, then at least faintly comedic from a distance. Oh, look, he’s worried that coming out will destroy his social standing, the shows sneer from a quasi-enlightened standpoint. Or He’s come home from the war injured but now has to deal with people thinking he’s a coward, will he cope?

(British period dramas do this more than American ones, but I suspect part of that is simply that there are more British period dramas. Although things like Mad Men do tend to have elements of “Those wacky old guys, smoking and sexist!” in weirdly comfortable tones.)

It got me thinking – when there are period dramas made about nowadays, what are the issues of the day going to be that get revisited with a smug tone of superiority? Are the audiences of tomorrow going to shift uncomfortably in their seats as the HoloViewers of 2094 scoff at racism and cis-privilege?