Oh yes, I'm one of those "Downton Abbey" addicts.
Last night season 3 of "Downton Abbey" began on my local PBS channel. Oh my, oh my. I am in heaven.
|The staff of Downton Abbey|
So why do I love "Downton Abbey" so much?
Well, I've always like costume dramas, especially English costume dramas since that is my ancestral background on both sides of my family (Tipton, Lewis, Hughes, Warrick, Bennett, Hadfield, Hickman, Hannum, Darlington, and Dutton). There is no family surname in my ancestral tree that ends in a vowel. None. Nada.
|Susan Darlington Hannum - my great-great grandmother|
But that's not to say that any of my English ancestors ever inhabited such a grand manse a Downton Abbey. In fact, I doubt if any of my ancestors even were the servants. But it is nice to fantasize that they did.
|Earl Granthom and Carson, the Butler|
No, what I love about "Downton Abbey" is the human drama. "Downton Abbey" to me is a metaphor for life in general.
Societal acceptance. Survival. Love. Rejection. Happiness. Sadness. Disappointment. Great joy. Success. Failure. Life. Death. All of it.
There is the Earl and Countess Grantham, lord and lady of Downton Abbey, a Yorkshire country house. The series follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants during the reign of George V.
|The Countess of Granthom and her daughters|
Just like real life, there are winners and losers, saints and scoundrels. And some who are a mixture of both. There are the phonies and the legitimate.
This series follows the lives of the "haves", who live upstairs (think of the old series "Upstairs, Downstairs" years ago which I also loved). It also follows those who live "downstairs", the servants. I you want a parallel to modern life think of the Mitt Romney family living in their California house with four car elevators and the servants to keep that 1% clan afloat in their privileged existence. Oh wouldn't I love to see a series about the Romney family. Hint, hint!
|The Dowager Countess - Dame Maggie Smith|
I would love to review all the characters and their story lines but this space is much to small for that here and besides, so many other writers are writing reviews much better than I ever could. But what I did want to say is that perhaps my favorite character is the Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith. Oh my, oh my. She is a delight! I just wish she had more time on the screen.
|Thomas - gentleman's valet (and closeted gay man)|
One other character I want to mention is Thomas, the valet. Thomas is a closeted gay and is he ever a nasty, vile bitch. I'm not sure what to think about this portrayal of a gay character. While I didn't think a "Jack" type character (think "Will and Grace") would be appropriate on a Masterpiece Theater series, I'm not sure if I appreciate a gay character such as Thomas. Of course I've known gay men like Thomas; bitchy, selfish, predatory and evil but still. Of course it's no new flash that not all gay men are heroes or saints but.....I would like to see a touch of humanity in Thomas. After all, no one is totally bad....or good. And that is what I like about "Downton Abbey", it generally presents all of its characters with all of their strengths and weaknesses and how they survive and seek happiness. And after all, isn't that what we all seek to do? Survive and find happiness?
|Can Thomas be redeemed? Stay tuned.|