Premium

Hate Woke TV? Dump Disney and Go All in on Masterpiece Theatre (and One Show in Particular)

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.

Okay, okay. Let’s dispense with two things right off the bat: 1. I know you’re not watching woke TV. You all were done with that nonsense a long time ago. 2. Yes, Masterpiece Theatre is part of the dreaded PBS (defund, defund!), but I don’t have cable and subscribe to Masterpiece through Amazon Prime Video. That way, I get only the top-notch Masterpiece shows and none of PBS’ other dreadful programming.

There’s also a third point of order: Yes, that headline and this post 100 percent mean I’ve turned into my parents. No apologies, I am loving (almost) everything Masterpiece is putting out these days, and my current favorite is the new iteration of “All Creatures Great and Small.” If I remember correctly, the first iteration aired on PBS back in the 70s and 80s? I had grade school friends who were big fans of the show and the series of books by author James Herriott, but these friends also liked Greek mythology and Dungeons & Dragons, something I and my big, feathered-back hair didn’t get.

Well, maybe I get it now. We’re living in the digital age where we’re bombarded 24/7 with information and misinformation and disinformation, and all that dreck greatly heightens the appeal of good, old-fashioned storytelling. A lot of people embraced simplicity during the lockdown years because it was comforting during a time of great chaos; you couldn’t find yeast anywhere because everyone was making bread from scratch and getting back to the basics. Luckily for us, shows like the rebooted “All Creatures Great and Small” go hand in hand with that renewed craving for the simple things in life.

If, like me, you’re newer to the story, “All Creatures Great and Small” is an autobiography of James Herriott’s life as a veterinarian in the very picturesque Yorkshire dales in northern England. The story begins in the 1930s, with England still recovering from its World War I losses, yet on the brink of the next big war. Herriott is a brand new vet and joins a veterinary practice run by WWI veteran (and vet!) Siegfried Farnon. Herriott takes up residence in Farnon’s house and becomes a part of the extended family that lives there — the housekeeper, Farnon’s younger brother, and a menagerie of animals.

The joy of the show is that the problems faced by the characters are real and relatable: girl trouble, family estrangements, challenging workloads, and trying to find your place in a new community. It’s a credit to the show runners that they stay true to the source material and don’t try to insert 21st-century wokeness into the storylines. It’s a show the entire family can watch, which is quite the rarity these days.

Disney used to be the source of such quality entertainment, producing movies and shows that parents felt comfortable letting their kids watch. They didn’t think twice about it. As a kid of the 70s, I remember well tuning into “The Wonderful World of Disney” on Sunday nights for such classics as “The Shaggy DA,” “Herbie,” “Escape to Witch Mountain,” and “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” (starring a very young Kurt Russell!). It was appointment television for me and my elementary school classmates. The Disney of 2023 is unrecognizable to me, with its rejection of the American family and its wholehearted embrace of leftist ideology. The joy of the Disney of the past was that it was there to entertain; the sadness of modern-day Disney is that it’s run by immoral people who think it’s their job to indoctrinate us — even as profits nosedive and layoffs loom.

With Disney bending the knee to radical leftism and abdicating its role as the home of quality entertainment, programs like Masterpiece Theatre fill the hole left behind for viewers craving some escapism without Hollywood preachiness. The stories they tell are often period pieces, like the iconic “Downton Abbey” and the popular-with-the-ladies “Poldark.” It’s compelling storytelling without the nonsense, a winning combination for those of us looking to take a break from the modern world.

Season Three of “All Creatures Great and Small” is currently airing on Sunday nights on PBS.

Sponsored

Recommended

Trending on RedState Videos