Tuesday, February 28, 2012

You know how I get really in to things?

So, remember in January/February last year when I was obsessed with The King's Speech and King George VI? Poor Brittany, that's all I talked about for probably 2 months! I read books and articles, looked up pictures, wrote blog posts, listened to and watched any old news reels I could get my hands on. I was just fascinated with the story.

I'm telling you, when I get in to things. I get in to things.

My latest obsession?

Here's PBS's ynopsis of the show for newbies -- After a tragedy at sea claims the life of the presumed heir, Lord Crawley is faced with the possibility that the house he's loved his whole life might someday belong to a distant cousin he's never met. But before that can happen he must deal with his scandalous daughter, Lady Mary - considered by many to be the rightful heir to Downton. Even the staff has opinions on the family's affairs. And while most are devoted to the Crawleys, there are others whose selfishness and scheming do more than simply disrupt the well-oiled inner workings of the estate. As the servants' mischief escalates, even the most faithful employees begin to imagine a different life. 
Pitting hundreds of years of British aristocracy against the tides of social upheaval and technical progress, under the looming shadow of World War I, will the fate of Downton and its family - above and below stairs - be resolved? Or will life be altered so dramatically that its master no longer matters? " - PBS website 

I love it so much! I eagerly await each and every episode and when we're finished watching it, all I want to do is talk about what happened, who I'm happy or disappointed with, who is still being their nasty old self, and why oh why can't they just get together?!!

So, without further adieu, here are 5 of the many reasons I love Downton Abbey:

  1. The time period - "The half century from around 1890 to 1940 seems to me to form a bridge from the old world into the new," said writer Julian Fellowes, "For those who were young adults at the turn of the last century, the world they would die in would bear almost no resemblance to the world of their beginnings." Downton Abbey takes place in that time frame and depicts such historical events as the sinking of the Titanic and World War I (which is often overlooked in favor of WWII), as well as societal and technological shifts such as the feminist movement, the introduction of electricity, the telephone, gramaphone, and motorized cars.

    Season 2 ends in 1920, the year my Grandfather Mathews was born. I talk to him almost every week, which reminds me that 'history' is not so very long ago.

     da_wounded.jpg WilliamGrave.jpg
  2. It's beautiful in every way - the house, the people, the costumes, hair and jewelry, the language. Everything.

  3. Sometimes I long for a different era or culture, when people dressed and acted like ladies and gentleman and spoke to each other with civility and decorum even when disagreeing. Don't get me wrong, as a modern woman, I definitely don't want to go back to a time when women's options were so limited, but it's nice to escape into that elegant and graceful world every once in a while.

  4. Story lines that are rich and engaging (except for that Patrick Crawley mess, that was annoying). There are multiple story lines going on at once and, for the most part, I am equally interested in all of them. As one writer said, "[Downton Abbey] has plots that assume we can pay attention for more than 22 minutes."

  5. Interesting characters - Downton Abbey has an enormous cast of characters including those characters you love, those characters you hate, and those characters you're not sure what to think about. Even the good characters aren't immune to disaster or mistake, and the bad ones may prove to have a heart after all. You just never know.
    The Dowager Countess - I love her sharp, witty tongue and I laugh at her shock and dismay at the introduction of anything new (electricity, telephones, weekends), and especially, anything American.
    Matthew Crawley - Oh, the handsome Matthew Crawley and his unfailing integrity.
    Lady Mary Crawley - Sure she can be catty, but she's a passionate, strong-willed woman who speaks her mind and I can appreciate that. And the struggles she endures change her and she proves to be more unselfish in the second season than we thought her capable of in the first.
    Anna Smith- you can always count on her to do the right thing. She sees the good in people and is kind, but never to the point that she doesn't stand up for herself or fail to bring wrongdoing to light.
    John Bates - He is the epitome of the 'duty vs. desire' theme seen throughout the show. He's almost annoyingly closed off and personal. He is able to set aside deeply held feelings in order to do his duty.
    Thomas Barrow and Sarah O'Brien - They are unquestioningly selfish and mean  (well, Thomas more so than O'Brien. She's had a few redeeming scenes). But hey, they spice things up a bit. Plus, they're worth sticking around for because you just know that one day they'll get what's coming to them and you don't want to miss it.
    Carson and Mrs. Hughes - They are tough and strict, but when circumstances call for it, they show their tender and loving side as well.
    Lady Edith Crawley - I've enjoyed watching Edith's character grow from a victimized, misunderstood, witchy middle child to the nicer, more hard working, caring version of her we see in the second season. Hers is a transition not unlike what many of us go through from selfish child to mature adult. And just as she does, we sometimes slip into our old habits.
    Lady Sybil Crawley - She is a woman who knows her own mind and wants more out of life than eating fancy dinners, changing outfits five times a day, and entertaining guests. 
      Lord Grantham - I love him. He's a man that's always, always trying to do the right thing. And just as we all do, he sometimes fails in his efforts. But, one thing you can count on, when he does mess up or unintentionally hurts another person, Lord Grantham is very quick to do all he can to make things right again. He is real, and I like that.

      And a bonus/very important reason:

      And this is just a pretty picture of the Crawley sisters from Vogue UK

      Oh, and I bought this to further feed my hunger for all things Downton: 

      If you haven't already, go watch Downton Abbey. That is all.

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