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As you may recall last year, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes announced that he intended to introduce a black character to the show’s cast for its fourth season. And what better way to attract more diverse viewers? And it was later announced that the character will be played by Gary Carr, who many of you will know from his role as the young ambitious cop Fidel Best on the BBC series Death in Paradise. In the upcoming season 4, Carr will play a singer at an exclusive night club. The character he plays has been described as “a charming and charismatic young man.” One of the producers of the series said that Carr’s addition to the cast “will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can’t wait for viewers to see in series four.” Hmmmmmmmmmm… What could that mean? I think I have a guess.
Here’s the first trailer for season 4, which premieres in the U.S. on PBS in January 2014:
I wonder if, for our readers in France, a series like this is akin to what CNN’s Black In America series is for us in the USA. Long-time readers of this blog will already know that we aren’t too high on those Soledad O’Brien-hosted episodes, and wish they’d die a quick death. Alas, they must be a cash-cow for the network, otherwise it wouldn’t continue to broadcast them. But really, if you’re a reader of this site, and you live in France, I’d love to read your reactions to a series like this. Granted it’s Al Jazeera, a network that I actually trust and watch a lot of very informative, thoughtful, useful content on. However, I don’t like to make assumptions. Al Jazeera presents a 3-part series that the network says will tell the story of blacks in France – a long history of segregation, racism, protest, violence, culture and community building – from the turn of the 20th century until the present day.
The series actually began yesterday, August 29, with episode 1. Episodes 2 and 3 will air next week Thursday (September 5) and the Thursday after that (September 12), respectively. It doesn’t appear that it’ll be available to American viewers. I wasn’t able to play any of the clips. It appears that Al Jazeera and the newly-launched Al Jazeera America will each broadcast their own location-targeted content, unlike before Al Jazeera America debuted, when those of us in the USA could watch just about every Al Jazeera program via their YouTube channel, or their website. Not anymore it seems, which stinks! I hope they reconsider. CONTINUE READING ABOUT THE UPCOMING EPISODES