Quite a few months ago, a friend asked me if I had ever heard of a show called Downton Abbey. At the time, I hadn’t. She said it was a great show, and she thought I would really like it. So I looked it up on iTunes and downloaded the first season.
I sat down and watched the first episode. I liked it. I had the feeling that if I kept watching it, I might grow to like it a lot. The fact that Maggie Smith was in it alone made it worth watching. But that was it. I didn’t watch any of the other shows at that time. I guess I got busy, I didn’t feel like I had the time to dedicate to a new series, whatever.
So I heard recently that the end of the 3rd series (as they’re called across the pond – as opposed to seasons) was coming to an end in Canada and the US, and everyone online was raving about this show. Many of the fansites had info on the show, and I thought to myself – I need to give this another shot. So I re-watched the first episode of Series 1, Episode 1 to jog my memory about the show. Then I watched Episode 2, 3, 4….well, you get the picture. By this time, I was hooked. When I finished the first series, I quickly downloaded the second. After the 2 days it took me to devour it, I downloaded Series 3.
You know how it is. You get watching a new show, or a favourite show that you have seen before but suddenly have all of the episodes for. You become consumed. All you can do is watch it. All you can think about when you’re not watching it…is watching it. I did this once during the summer of 2003 or 2004. I was off work on vacation for two weeks, and I had recently acquired all ten seasons of Friends. I watched the entire series in those two weeks. Joe left the house one day in the morning with a ton of errands to run and things to do and people to see. When he left the house, I was laying on the couch, watching Friends. When he returned 8 hours later, the scene had not changed, except for an empty bowl on the floor in front of me with a few popcorn kernels. I was obsessed. One more episode…one more….I’ll just finish this DVD. You get the picture.
Anyway, I digress. I got seriously into Downton Abbey. I loved it so much, that I started thinking in a British accent. I started becoming afraid that I was going to answer people in a British accent. Sad, but true.
So what is this show about? Without giving too much away, because I totally want you to watch it for yourself, it is basically about the Crawley Family, and their servants. Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham, and their three daughters, Ladies Mary, Edith and Sybil. They live in a manor in the English countryside called Downton Abbey. A huge house such as this obviously takes several live-in servants to run. When you change your clothes every ten minutes, and formally dine at every meal, you can imagine that the house is constantly bustling with activity. This story is as much about the lives of the employees of Downton as it is about the family that lives there. Their lives are separate, yet they are intertwined.
The ups and downs, the love stories and broken hearts, the joy and the sadness, the downright devious deception – you will eat it all up and beg for more. It is dramatic, it is beautiful to watch, and it is humorous as well as heartbreaking. I can’t believe that we’ll have to wait basically until next year (or perhaps late this year if we can get our hands on the UK release) until we can see Series 4, which they are making right now.
Download this – or buy the DVD. The video below is a preview of the first series. It gives you a taste without giving away too much.