As I dive into the drama let me begin with saying that I love Downton Abbey, and that if I could blog with a British accent, I would. I promise since this is an overview to be brief. The show is so lovely in that it balances a simpler time with extravagance, and there’s a crossed though clear line between right and wrong, which brings a refreshing mellow sensibility to the telly. I could go into Mary’s marriage troubles, Edith’s spite or Sybil’s suffragette sympathy, but I would do the show no justice by explaining the issues of the young ladies Grantham. Neither could I exalt it enough by diving into how the help see the turn of things as the hunt for an heir puts the fate of the Abbey and their livelihood into question. No one sees this more than Lord Grantham, who has an astonishing amount of respect for the legs he stands on, as it were, even to have a half crippled valet serve him well. To go into all the servants, and other characters, though wonderful, would also take away from the Abbey itself, as I lack the literary choreography to bring them to life and meaning without losing sight of the forest through the trees. Part of why I love this show is because in our current social and economic climate, where class warfare is common, I half expected that this show celebrating this era would have all the wicked be wealthy, and all the honorable the help. Instead we get a living picture and a diverse palate of human emotion and personality, refreshingly regardless of status. We are captured by a moment when it seemed that time held its breath for England before all ceremony, duty, and beautiful simplicity, for better or for worse were swept away by socialism, women’s rights, status equality and war, in the name of progress. And because we are so captured, we find that we too hold our breath, somehow hoping that the inevitable changes never come. In one season we go from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to a war with Germany in 1914. This show lacks nothing but filler, and I hope that my overview has done it justice in that respect, else my pledge to blog briefly has been in vain.
Keep calm and carry on.