It’s nothing but hitting the bricks hard for Philadelphia City Council.
And that means strong leadership, meaningful reform, and – you guessed it – honoring a fictional television series made in another country.
Jokes and jests aside, City Council opened day one of its winter session with, among other things, a resolution honoring and recognizing WHYY and the series Downton Abbey for its sixth and final season on PBS.
“Downton Abbey is one of the most watched series ever on WHYY since its debut on PBS in 2011,” said City Councilwoman Cindy Bass.
“Downton Abbey has been enjoyed by all ages and demographics. It’s now in its sixth and final season, with 59 Emmy nominations – more than any other non-U.S. show in Emmy history.”
Councilman Mark Squilla introduced the resolution, calling it one of the most honored series on all of television.
“We commend all involved in this momentous occasion, extend sincere respect and admiration from this legislative body,” he said.
The legendary Kenny Gamble, half of the record-producing duo, Gamble & Huff, was in the Council chamber bleachers for the announcement.
A heckler in the crowd yelled, "Is Downton Abbey about Philadelphia?," eliciting a few chuckles.
David Thornburgh, president and CEO of the good-government watchdog group Committee of Seventy, shared a few thoughts.
“It’s not unusual for City Council to use resolutions to make symbolic statements. They’re throwaway items, but they’re meaningful. I happen to own a few [resolutions] on my shelf, myself. I would be disingenuous [to say] otherwise,” he said.
“Let’s just hope this was not the most pressing business they had to deal with today. And I hope there wasn’t any debate,” he quipped.