Apparently everyone in the entire world has been watching the BBC Super-Soap called Downton Abbey. I have found that boring conversations turn animated and protracted merely by mentioning the words "Downton Abbey." Here is what I have learned from the first three seasons:
- The aristocracy spends a lot of time eating magnificent cuisine in ties and tails and splendid dresses while the kitchen help, which prepared the magnificent cuisine, is eating gruel down in the kitchen.
- When not eating splendid meals, various members of the aristocracy and the kitchen staff engage in petty intrigues, attempts at revenge, and loud arguments.
- Lady Mary, having deposed the poor Turkish guy early in the whole story, now has lost poor Matthew in a bloody auto accident so he can be resurrected and act on Broadway. Was Lady Mary really so boring that Broadway was more appealing?
- A very elderly lady with a sharp tongue was the star of the whole thing.
- Poor wimpy Lord Grantham apparently hadn't studied agricultural economics, or perhaps had also skipped tabulating debits and credits, and was about to sink poor Downton Abbey at which time they would all have to move into a thatched cottage in the village and take their meals at the local pub or B&B. Of course, Lord G had already sunk poor Lady Cora's fortune on a kaput Canadian Railway. Some time and heated arguments ensued before Lord G acceded to Matthew's superior insights and realized they needed to "modernize" or go to the poorhouse. Fortunately, Lord G gained this revelation before poor Matthew met his bloody demise in time for the final credits for Season 3, leaving vast audiences in tears and ticked off that the Brits already have the next series and we viewers in the colonies must wait many months to be edified. Too bad we can't come up with something to equal BBC here in the US of A.
- Other than presiding at dinners and hunts and appearing imperial and patriarchial in grand living and dining rooms, I was never clear on exactly what Lord G's duties were or what he did in his spare time when not eating or presiding.
- Lady Cora didn't appear excessively worried when Lord G informed her he had flushed her fortune down the creek, but Lady Cora rarely expressed herself in any emphatic tone.
- Poor Lady Edith. Left crying at the altar by a rich guy who could have supported her in splendiferous fashion, she is now left to ponder her romance with Rochester, whose insane wife is locked away. Oh, I forgot, this is Downton Abbey, not Jane Eyre.
- After marching poor Bates around the jailhouse yard for most episodes in Series 3, he gets a reprieve and is able to return to Downton Abbey, apparently no worse for nutritional deprivation during his lengthy wrongful incarceration.
Meanwhile, the Sunday supplements today have counted up the number of marriages among the cast of our very own soap, The Young and the Restless. Downton Abbey doesn't even come close. Meanwhile, we start the countdown clock for next year's triumphant return with many months to construct our own version of what we think will or should happen