Downton Abbey - Just Like Sands Through The Hourglass

The way it works around here is that Josh or I suggest a show and then sometimes we watch together, or at the same time on our own, or just on our own.  He said he was going to watch Downton Abbey with his wife, I said I didn't really have an interest in some stuffy Masterpiece Theater thing.  But I had some free time and I was curious to know if it would be online for free at PBS.  It was.  Well I thought, I'll take a peek, just to see what the fuss is about.  The first thing that happens in the show is a telegraph comes through and the person is shocked at the news.  They didn't tell me the news.  And the information is passed from person to person without me knowing the news.  They kept me out of the loop.  One season later, I am still hanging on any twist or story they want to let me in on, or keep me out of.  The damn show is nothing more than a Soap Opera with an English accent.   I watched the entire season 1 in 2 days.  Just like when I was 14, I want to know if Bo And Hope are going to get together.  Although this time, Bo and Hope are called Lady Mary and Matthew.  And it isn't set in Salem; no, this Days Of Our Lives is set in Yorkshire and it is called Downton Abbey.

At first, I was only slightly intrigued by the two worlds this show provides.  The top level - the Lords and Ladies and the bottom level - the servants and maids.  I didn't care one bit if Mary found a husband.  Why would I be interested in if the Earl of Grantham gets to keep his precious Downton Abbey or not?  And like I am going to feel for this dude with a limp.  So Thomas and Miss O'Brien are a little mean to the man.  Oh, I hate those two.  They are so mean to Mr. Bates.  So he limps.  He can still do his job.  She kicks him.  Did I mention that mean old bitch Miss O'Brien kicks the war-hero-with-a-secret in front of a Duke and he falls down?  Yeah, he does the old pebble dive in front of everyone because she kicks his leg out.   Oh, I hate Thomas and Miss O'Brien.  And one more thing, Anna loves Mr. Bates and I know that Mr. Bates loves Anna.  But the two keep getting torn apart by that dour lower class lady's maid and the sneaky in the closet THOMAS!!!!  Ok...ok....ok.  I need to settle down.  And I am gonna think of Maggie Smith for a second so I can smile.

I would say anyone who wants to win a Best Supporting Emmy for the next couple of years might as well just stay away from Lady Grantham, Dowager Countess.  She is going to win the Emmy with the ease of winning a rose contest.  And this time, she won't dare just give the prize away.  I have a feeling that this show was created to make sure people remember that Maggie Smith has more to offer the screen than playing Professor McGonagall.  I could spend the next 3 paragraphs with the quips and profundities that this character has given us and it would be the best blog ever.  But, I will show restraint and share just this one.  Speaking to her rival, Mrs. Crawley, who has asked her to remove herself from the rose winning contest because she thinks her stature is what is gaining her the trophy, our Lady states, "You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal." To which Mrs. Crawley answers, "I take that as a compliment."  Lady Grantham mumbles as she walks away, "I must've said it wrong."  Any actress could read the lines but no one could have delivered it with such bite.  Maybe Elaine Stritch.  But only on this side of the pond.  You add the English accent and Maggie wins that contest too.  Also, I can't stop speaking in an English accent.  I now understand why it happened to Madonna.  Everything sounds better in their accent.  We should have kept it.  Although my family is ready for me to lose it.

OK, I have to stop gushing like a fan and become the TV snob I am accused of being.  There is no way around it, this show is a soap - plain and simple.  But to me, it's the politics that truly keeps me watching.  Revenge is also a soap but I grew tired of seeing rich people fight rich people.  It was out of any realm I could relate to.  Downton Abbey is truly showing the war between the classes.  The same war that our 24 hour news channels are telling us we are all in.  And you know what? Neither side of the war on the show are behaving half as bad as their counter parts are in 2012.  When the cook needs her eyes checked, her employer pays for her doctor bill.  When a servant dreams of being more, Lady Sybill sets up an interview for her.  And when tradgey befalls the Crawley's and that rat bastard Thomas revels in it, Mr. Carson and the other servants stand up for the family.  One side needs the other.  They work together to keep things moving for the society.  Both have perks and their place.  And both sides see that and respect it.  The two sides do not take advantage of each other but instead strive and thrive off each other.  Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I just want Lady Mary and Matthew to get married.  Heck with this, I am off to watch Season 2 and I hope Thomas dies in in World War 1.

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