At first I was in denial. I resisted for an awfully long time. And then suddenly, it happened: I fell hard and fast. That’s right, I’m in love again!
It all started with my friends on Facebook, ooh-ing and aah-ing and cooing. The more I heard, the more I had an inkling that there was a lot to like. And then one night, while curled in bed with my iPad, the recommendation from Netflix pushed me over the edge. Finally, I succumbed to temptation: I clicked “play”…and I was immediately transfixed by the Grantham family and Downton Abbey.
I mean, I’ve always enjoyed the works of Victorian England writers – the Brontes, Edith Wharton, etc. and I can’t deny a fondness for the Queen’s colorful English…I’ve recently found many occasions to use dramatic words like “deplorable,” “ghastly” and (accompanied, of course, by a raised eyebrow) the phrase, “Some manners would not go amiss.”
I watched the entire first season that night, completely drawn into the scenery, costumes and stories of the Downton aristocrats and servants. I felt as though I’d been admitted to a special club — a group of millions of viewers who are likely equally smitten with Cousin Matthew and envious of Lady Mary’s uncanny knack for always saying exactly the right thing in any given circumstance.
Certainly not all characters are equal, but it is a delight to watch the family weather various challenges, from the Titanic’s sinking (and loss of an heir) to war and death, to new economic realities. We watch as Robert, ahem — Lord Grantham — the family’s patriarch, transforms from a strong leader to a man hopelessly clinging to past glory. (For those of you who follow here, you’ll note that the middle-aged white man, unable to adapt or reinvent himself and grown bitter, is no stranger to the author of this blog.) We watch how Cora manages him masterfully.
And then there are the servants…
So between the mostly excellent writing, acting, scenery, costumes, cinematography and lessons in managing men, I eagerly await tonight’s episode – and the words and phrases whose use it will likely inspire.