From comedies to tragedies and everything in between, Masterpiece Theatre has something for everyone.
My first exposure to Masterpiece Theatre was as a small child, sneaking a peek at "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" through the stair bannister of my family's second floor (our Sunday bedtime was 7pm, but I couldn't sleep and tried to be stealthy at 8pm!). However, when one of Henry's wives was caught during a tryst, she screamed, realizing that it meant her death. I was terrified, but knew that I couldn't cry out, or I would meet a fate worse than death! To this day, I have never quite overcome that shock, but I have learned to appreciate good drama; Masterpiece Theatre may have been a catalyst to my double-majoring in Theatre in college, along with my chosen profession.
Although not every show will appeal to everybody. Personally, I avoid sitting through banal stories such as "The Virgin Queen (Elizabeth I)" or "Jane Eyre", and though I might wonder why shows such as "Prime Suspect" and "Sherlock Holmes" didn't air on "Mystery!",
I can eventually enjoy fast-paced romps and true-to-life stories, such as "Casanova" and "Carrie's War".
While stories such as "...Henry VIII" or "Prime Suspect" may be too intense for young children (per my little misadventure, above!), let them watch if they want to, especially with stories such as "Sherlock Holmes" and "Carrie's War", which can stimulate childrens' imaginations, as it did for me!
If you've never seen Masterpiece Theatre, you may have to wait for something that will tickle your fancy, but, I wish I could go back in time to view all the shows and series I missed! And, I assure you, I will give every current and future show a chance!