Monday, January 14, 2013

Going Downton

Two things here. If you don’t watch Downton Abbey (and you probably should!), this won’t be much fun. And, if you do or might watch Downton Abbey but haven’t gotten to the third season—well, I will try to tap-dance around spoilers.

I missed the first season of Downton Abbey on PBS, but I heard so much about it that I thought I’d give it a whirl. Needless to say, I was instantly addicted.

I kept doing this: “It’s over? How long’s the next episode? Forty-two minutes? That’s not even an hour. It’s only 10:30, so I can watch it.”

Then Big A. got involved—but as a spectator only, the first season. When [SPOILER ALERT] O’Brien moved the soap, I started screaming at the TV. “Oh, no, she DI-DN’T!” I may have used a naughty word as well.

My husband called to me, “What are you watching in there—football?”

Season Two came along soon after that and he started casually sitting on the sofa at some point Sunday night, just ending up there before it began. This cracks me up because, generally, any period piece with British accents puts him to sleep. He calls them “I’m just a bit tired” movies/shows—a tribute to The Remains of the Day, of course.

He stays awake for Downton Abbey, though. And, at the end of last season, he seemed a little shocked to find out we had to wait until January 2013 for the next one.

So far, this season has been really fun. Like everyone else, we enjoy Matthew and Mary. During the first episode, we realized that might be because Mary has some traits that remind us of our own daughter. She’s both persistent and dramatic, for starters.

When Mary burst into tears and left the table the night before her wedding, Big A. and I just laughed ourselves silly, having watched S. do the same thing at our table earlier—well, except S. curled up in a ball on her chair. (In case you’re wondering why she was sobbing, you should know that we’re not cruel to S. any more than anyone is to Mary. I think Little A. looked at her or something.)

The best part was last night, though, episode two. Big A. and I have taken opposite sides of the Matthew/Mary debate. [I’m trying to avoid spoilers here.] Although he goes to extremes, I understand Matthew’s point of view; Big A. does not. He’s all with Mary on this one! I even tried to get him to put himself in Mr. Swire’s position, but no luck.

So when it came time to decide at the end of episode two and Matthew looked like he would continue to be stubborn, Big A. said, “If I were her, I’d just hit him in the head right now.” Not two seconds later, most of you know what happened.

Mary says, “If you [spoiler deleted]…then I shall have to beat you about the head.”

So there’s no hiding that we get into our DA watching. Then, as we watched the previews last night and the credits rolled, Big A. turned to me and confessed the real reason he resisted the show in the first place.

“I can’t believe you’ve got me watching a British soap opera.”

But, come on! Scenery, architecture, clothes, drama, intrigue, repression, love, biting sarcasm (wit, not vulgarity!)—if you’re going to watch a soap opera, THAT is the way to do it.

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