So, last night I turned on the season premier of Downton Abby, poured myself a spot of tea and settled into a comfy chair to watch one of the most widely anticipated moments in woman world.
I admit it. I’m hooked on this upper crust family and their houseful of doting servants. My heart begins beating a little faster when the music starts and Lord Grantham starts walking across the grounds of DA with his beloved dog.
It’s a beautiful show to watch…the dresses and all. Beats the Walking Dead, hands down. And I love that it is a bonding time for many of my friends scattered around the country, as we all gather around the telly. Or is that British for telephone?
If you don’t know about DA…stop reading right now. The rest of this will make NO sense to you and when you do come to your senses and realize the colossal mistake you have made (because you are 3 seasons behind!) you will thank me for not spoiling anything for you.
As Grandmama Violet (Dowager Countess) would say: ” I feel the need to vent my spleen.” (she would say Spa-lean).
You know, as a writer, that you have made a HUGE mistake in the story line, when you have to promise the world that no one will die in the next season of your show. There may be lots of things we don’t know, but when you take death out of the realm of possibility—we can all settle in for a long winter of bliss…I mean boredom.
Only the good die young.
There are 2 characters that I personally would not miss at all and both of them are downstairs, sitting and smoking at the table, waiting for the bells to ring.
Last season they (and by “they” I mean Julian Fellowes, creator of DA) ripped our heart out TWICE!!!! The wailing and gnashing of teeth on the night of the season finale could be heard all the way across the pond. This prompted his quick announcement of no deaths in the next season.
I know we supposedly came from the same stock, but Mr. Fellowes found out PDQ that we Americans are happy ending folks.
I think that most women could accept the death of S. We all know that death is no respecter of persons and when it comes to childbirth in that period-everyone was fair game.
But M!!!! What the heck? There is no excuse for this to have happened. None.
Gather round children and let me tell you what used to happen in the olden days when an actor wanted to leave a show to try his luck on Broadway or if the director was just sick of his uppity ways—(make sure you’re sitting down for this)…..they got a new actor to play that role. <gasp> And what was truly amazing…..we –the audience- understood that this is only a FICTIOUS ROLE! And the story kept going in the way it should.
But not DA. How will anything ever be the same without M? Ever? <insert audible sob here>
Hence the state of rebellion in the US the night of the final episode. Ginormus mistake, Julian, old chap.
I do have a soft spot in my heart for the UK lovers of DA though. DA season ran from September till the middle of December in the UK. Our poor British counterparts had to weather the blow of M’s departure the week before Christmas.
But, alas, what are we but mere simple folk? We can’t possibly be expected to see that another person playing the role of M, might actually work.
DA reminds me of a song from the play, Camelot.
*What do the simple folk do?
They must have a system or two
They obviously outshine us at turning tears to mirth
And tricks a royal highness is minus from birth
What, then, I wonder, do they
To chase all the goblins away?
They have some tribal sorcery you haven’t mentioned yet
Oh, what do simple folk do to forget?
Don’t mess with us again, Julian. Or you just might see how we chase the goblins away.
*What Do The Simple Folk Do? From the play, Camelot, by Lerner and Darby.