When it comes to television I am basically a snob. I only watch the news, selected sporting events which I DVR so as to avoid commercials and very occasionally, a show on PBS which catches my eye.
Nevertheless, I have not missed a single episode of Downton Abbey. In fact, I have watched many of the episodes two or even three times. So what’s the attraction?
The series to date covers the lives of an English aristocratic family and their servants living on a country estate known as Downton Abbey from approximately 1912 -1922. Although the acting and dialogue is superb, and I profess to be smitten with Lady Mary, there must be some other reason why I and many others have been drawn to the show. When the screen deaths of two of the major characters in a three-week span makes the front page of section C of the New York Times, you need to take notice.
Perhaps Downton Abbey is the ultimate non-reality escape. Who can conceive of living as his Lordship does? Who can envision dressing formally each night for a dinner cooked by and served by a staff of servants who outnumber Downton’s royal inhabitants? How many young men or women would today willingly accept positions as servants? Although the problems faced by the characters are real, it is its times and setting which stand in stark contrast to our current society which makes the show a total escape from everyday reality.
I am already looking forward to season four. To those readers who are not currently devotees of the series, you have a year in which to locate and view the first three seasons. I doubt you will be disappointed if you do.