No, really. There may be spoilers. You have been warned.
True confession. I don’t watch Downton Abbey. Oh I tried. I knew to pronounce it “Downton” and not “Downtown.” I sincerely wanted to be part of something that epic and universal. I wanted to be that au courant. I can’t get enough of Dame Maggie Smith and period costumes and castles and drama (scratch that—I have teenagers—I get enough drama at home). I’ve loved British television since I used to watch reruns of a couple of British comedies (RIP Richard Briers–you will be missed) on late-night PBS years ago (in other words, long before it was cool to love British television). I had particular interest because my son was serving in one of the areas where parts of Downton were reportedly filmed.
So last year I tracked down some reruns of season 1. I made it through about four episodes. And then I quit. The reason I quit watching is not relevant to this post nor to anyone but me. I still love that it is so epic. I still love Dame Maggie Smith. I laugh out loud at the memes. I enjoyed getting all caught up after watching the rather hysterical five-minute recap of seasons 1 and 2 that came out before season 3. But what I enjoy most now is Sunday nights on Facebook and Twitter, #downtonabbey, and Monday morning around the proverbial water cooler at work.
And how this, the third season, was (apparently) so particularly provocative.
It’s also clear that still, just over 24 hours later (actually what, a month-and-a-half later than it aired in the UK?), some are still reeling from the season finale. So I’m opening up the discussion today to a forum, of sorts, on Downton Abbey. Consider it group therapy session for anyone who needs it. Or, because I took the day off of work yesterday and missed the round at the water cooler, a friendly dish.
Do you watch? Don’t you? Why or why not? Who (yes, I know it’s “whom,” but I’m trying not to sound pretentious) do you love? Who do you love to hate? How are you handling the heartbreaks of season 3. Did you see it coming (if not, how do you manage to avoid all the spoilers)? Still planning to watch season 4? Or did you cheat and watch the whole thing on UK time and is this all old news for you?