The Reckoner!

Classy Reckoning! Masterpiece Mystery vs Masterpiece Classic

With the excitement over the premiere of Downton Abbey's 2nd season stateside reaching a near fever pitch, it seemed like a great time to honor PBS for bringing the wonders of bringing British television across the pond.

Downton Abbey has the been the talk of the water coolers this past week (at least around my water coolers anyway). But Masterpiece Classic is also the division of Masterpiece responsible for any of those Dickens adaptations you like so much (Bleak House, Old Curiosity Shop, Little Dorrit) as well as the re-airing or new versions of the complete Jane Austen cannon a few years back.

Meanwhile, Masterpiece Mystery! soldiers on with healthy doses of old favorites like Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot and fronted by Edward Gorey's amazing opening credits. They've added some new names to the game Inspector Lewis (available on Netflix instant streaming!), Zen with Rufus Sewell, and Case Histories set in Edinburgh. This season, they're adding a prequel to the beloved series a Touch of Frost.

Sorry for those looking to let Sherlock break the tie. This update of the famed detective story starring Benedict Cumberbatch (say out loud for extra fun) counts as both.

So who earns your PBS donation this year? Masterpiece Mystery! or Masterpiece Classic?

Reckoning Results!
Masterpiece Classic
Masterpiece Mystery
Hosted by Laura Linney
Hosted by Alan Cumming
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Reckoning Comments!

I think I prefer Masterpiece Mystery precisely because of the Law & Order factor.  Inspector Lewis is basically about a quarter-click away from your garden variety Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode, and I don't mind -- you get to see somewhere besides New York City for a change.

Sal and I just did a a crash course in The Forsyte Saga over the past week, and it reflects all that is good and bad about the whole Masterpiece Theater experience.  It's handsomely mounted, excellently acted, full of romance and melodrama, and frequently boring as shit.

The Reckoner!