Thursday, January 3, 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On


Jeff and I are T.V. trendsetters. Make that telly savvy, for we were among the first of our generation to hop-on the British show bandwagon. So when it was Ross-and-Rachel-this and Dylan-and-Brenda-that way back in the 90s, we were busy "ardently admiring and loving" Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet - a la Colin Firth.

Okay, fine. We were also watching Friends and 90210. But our discovery of English dramas so captivated us body-and-soul that we named our firstborn child after a Jane Austen character. Oh, and our first cat, "Willoughby." (RIP, my sweet Willoughby.)

Sixteen years and several fortnights later, we could fill a scullery maid's pantry with the amount of Masterpiece Theater we've seen - everything from period dramas (Forsyte Saga, Cranford, Wives and Daughters, etc.) to every adaptation of Emma, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility known to mankind, not to mention the I-think-this-might-be-too-scary-for-me Charles Dickens classics. Even the new stuff, like Sherlock.

And finally we come to...(drum roll please - with some bugle, flute and fife - compliments of the British Regiment, no doubt)...the third season of...(da-ta-da-DA)...Downton Abbey! But a word to the wise, it's not "Downtown, things will be great when you're Dowtown Abbey," but rather Down-ton, as in "I just ate a ton." Oh, but things are great when you're watching Downton Abbey. Positively great.

And now it seems the entire world is watching. At last! Jeff and I are not alone. You know, I always felt our sophisticated tastes in television were meant to be shared. But I'm amazed at the type of people getting sucked into the goings-on of the Lord Grantham and Crawley families. And by type of people, I mean men. Sure they'll tell you it's because it's set during World War I or because the 1911 Renault parked in Downton Abbey's garage is super dope.

But whatever, right? Who cares it's called a "British feelings" drama. I think the average bloke likes it for the same reasons as the rest of us, with all its costumes, genteel ways, and politeness. But I'm sure dreams of inheriting an estate like Lord Grantham's helps a little. A dream that will actually come true in heaven (John 14:2).

And it turns out I'm not just a sucker for the accents after all, for I find that English period dramas - the ones dealing with strength of character amidst heartache - tend to slow me down, making me a more ponder-ish and reflective person. And I like my ponder-ish side. That's Downton Abbey for you. Keeps you calm and carries you on.

Now that's brilliant.

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