I had been wanting to watch Downton Abbey for ages, but I couldn't seem to find the time for a marathon. A few people actually told me to catch it because they thought I would like it. (Blame it on all my tweets about old movies on TCM--some of the very few things I actually watch.) Then I had a day off from work and, now, five glorious days off, so I could finally spend all the necessary hours in bed to finish the two seasons (so far) of this British costume drama.
My friends were right. I LOVED it. I can't believe I have to wait for months for the third season to come out! For now, allow me to share the top five reasons I love Downton Abbey:
1. As a friend so aptly put it, it's "a British Falcon Crest." (You can tell how old said friend is by this reference. And how old I am for getting it.) It's been described as a costume drama that runs like a soap--there was even a storyline involving amnesia at some point! I'd call it a guilty pleasure, but since everyone (except the American Cora Crawley) has a British accent, it all seems so highbrow. Har!
2. The story line. While I find it cool that, even with over a dozen characters on the show, everyone seems to get an equal amount of screen time, what I find most entertaining is the idea that this could have really happened. This place and these characters could truly have existed in the past--but this could very well have been Middle Earth for all I can relate! Men wear tuxes to dinner, aristocracy don't work and have endless "weekends," Downton Abbey is a frickin' castle... So surreal!
I am so fascinated by the class distinction (for example, marrying a lawyer or a doctor was considered beneath them). I grew up having househelp, but nothing like Downton Abbey servants--I didn't even know the difference between a butler, a valet, and a footman before watching this show.
3. Lady Violet Crawley's zingers. I've laughed out loud so many times because this character, played so brilliantly by Maggie Smith, has the best lines! Some gems:
Mary: "I was only going to say that Sybil is entitled to her opinions."
Violet: "No, she isn't until she is married--then her husband will tell her what her opinions are."
(When her granddaughter was feeling sorry for herself) "Don't be defeatist, dear, it's very middle class."
(And possibly everyone's favorite...) "What is a weekend?"
4. The setting. There's something about the past that speaks to my soul. (It's one reason I'm often tuned into TCM.) It sounds cheesy, but shows (and movies) like Downton Abbey are kind of like a time machine--they give me a glimpse of a time that I'll never experience. Women were proper ladies, men were proper gentlemen, and everybody dressed up for a simple family dinner. At home. Seriously, the clothes are tuhdiefor. And I like that the characters repeat their outfits, so it's realistic in that sense. (I don't think Upper East Siders would be caught dead wearing the same thing twice.)
Downton Abbey-esque made for one of the weddings I'm attending this year. In fact, if I were to get married all over again, the entire theme would probably be inspired by the show!
5. Lady Mary Crawley's skin.
At first, Mary was the character I loved to hate. But as the show progressed, I found myself rooting for her more and more (and staring at her more and more). She's made mistakes, she secretly has a soft side, and, well, she has the most luminous skin ever. Can you say "girl crush"?
Sigh. Five more months. I'm tempted to watch everything all over again. I do have two more free days! (Dowager Countess, for us working-class folks, it's called a long weekend.)
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