I had bronchitis in January, and I went through a bout of insomnia born of sleeping at odd times during the day. Every time I was up at 2am, there was this lovely show about these British people from another time and I was completely enthralled. I'm glad it comes on at 9pm on Sundays because I was able to stop setting my alarm at 2am just to watch.
I love it because the costumes, accents and sets are rich and lovely.
The other actors hold their own and the cast is stellar but I love Maggie Smith. Well before my world became immersed in all things Potter-related, our household loved Maggie Smith. She is older now and has wrinkles and showing her age - and it doesn't matter. She is simply beautiful. Glowingly, achingly, brilliantly beautiful. She is such a refined actress that every word she utters steals the scene. Every move she makes, every turn of her had, flip her wrist weilding her walking stick. She is incredible. It's worth watching the show just to watch her. She gives the younger acresses a run for their money just sitting in a chair. It's incredible to behold.
I love it because it's so heavenly dramatic.
It starts off with the sinking of the Titanic, delves quickly into war time and just as quickly jerks us back out of it. World War I "tis but a handbreath, but a tale" in this series.
Everyone is falling in love all over the place but always keeping the traditional British "stiff upper lip" while trying to hold it all in.
The Lords and Ladies constantly cross lines with the servants in the most unrealistic ways.
The outcome of the drama is nearly always predictable and yet watching it unfold is satisfying.
But most of all: I love watching these deliriously rich white people try to hold onto a way of life that we know went the way of the buttonhook and the phonograph. This world, quite frankly, is so classist that there is no room for racism. Oh, it's there, but you just can't see it because people of color simply do not exist in this world.
Yet, I still like Downton Abbey and I will continue to watch it, despite the fact that I can't help but feel it's like those dreadful 50's, 60's nostalgia shows about "a kinder, gentler time" that never really existed.
Downton Abbey is, and only ever was, real on TV.
And that's the way it should be, Thank God.