Homeland Insecurity: Getting down with ‘Downton’
by Lisa Davis
Feb 03, 2013 | 962 views |  0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
My husband is trying his best to watch “Downton Abbey” with me.

There’s not a whole lot on TV that we truly enjoy watching together.

He’s sports, I’m sci-fi.

He’s C-SPAN, I’m BBC.

His newest obsession is an Internet reality show about cyclocross racing.

My newest obsession is four-year-old episodes of “Battlestar Galactica.”

He gripes that my viewing history is messing up his Top 10 Suggestions list on Netflix.

He’s right. My son and I have been Netflixing the BBC series “Merlin” together. My daughter and I have been watching old episodes of “Cosmos” with Carl Sagan.

But last month, perhaps as repayment for my watching the BCS title game, my husband started watching the third season of the BBC period drama “Downton Abbey” with me. Every Sunday night, we follow the goings-on at the country estate of the aristocratic Crawley family and their downstairs staff.

I had seen the first two seasons of “Downton,” so I knew who slept with whom, who jilted whom, who was bankrupting whom and who might have murdered whom.

My husband didn’t bother trying to catch up. My 11-year-old son came along for the ride, too, because he’ll watch anything.

We all agree that the sharp-tongued Dowager Countess is the best thing about the show. “Don’t be defeatist, dear. It’s terribly middle class.”

But it hasn’t always been easy to be a fan of “Downton Abbey.”

First was figuring out how to pronounce it.

Second, there is the issue of spoilers. The third season of the show has already aired in the UK. The folks across the pond already know the answers to such burning questions as: Just how is O’Brien going to stab Thomas in the back? Why are Lady Mary and Matthew suddenly the most milquetoast couple in all of England? What if Bates really did murder his first wife? When is Lady Ethel going to wise up and run off for adventures in foreign lands?

I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers, but it didn’t work. I know who dies next.

During one episode, a storm knocked out our satellite signal just as Mrs. Hughes was learning whether or not she had cancer.

During last week’s episode, just as the possibly pre-eclamptic Lady Sybil was giving birth, the phone rang. I made my husband answer it.

After he had hung up, he no longer seemed interested in the gentry’s labor pains. I fear the spell had been broken for him. “Downton Abbey” had been revealed for what it is: a sloppily written soap opera in fancy dress. “Dallas” with better hats.

I know this, but I don’t care.

My husband and I had started off the evening watching “Downton Abbey” on the couch with our son sandwiched between us. My son balanced his dinner on his lap: a plateful of Market Pantry popcorn chicken and tater tots. I’d already eaten a bowl of cereal at the kitchen counter.

Two of us were wearing gym shorts. One of us was barefoot. One of us was belching. Loudly.

Ah, but on screen, the first footman was serving dinner to men in white tie and ladies in bedazzling evening dress. More Hollandaise, milady?

Email Lisa Davis at ldavis@annistonstar.com.
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Homeland Insecurity: Getting down with ‘Downton’ by Lisa Davis

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