Completely Off Topic: Downton Abbey

Although it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of my blog, I am compelled to write about my two-week marathon of watching the Downton Abbey series in its entirety. It’s surprising that it took so long for me to begin watching this show, as I am a massive anglophile and generally drawn to anything with British accents and grand costume. But it wasn’t until I began to hit the exhaustion wall of approaching my third trimester of pregnancy that I decided to allow myself 30 total hours of laying in bed glued to the unfolding drama of the Crawley family.

Much has been written on the events of the third season in particular and I went into the show knowing full well that two of the main characters would eventually die. But that knowledge didn’t lessen the agony of watching Sybil die in childbirth or watching the final happy moments of the family crushed by Matthew’s devastating death.

Cramming three years of a series into such a short time is a particularly difficult task when you feel like you are watching a program jump the shark on fast forward. And I do believe that any show with this many untimely character deaths will inevitably go downhill, both in spirit and storyline.

As far as I’m concerned, the death of Sybil was paramount to the death of Dana on The L Word – untimely, devastating, and leaving us without an important central character. Couple that with Matthew and it’s pretty much like when Nate died on Six Feet Under but at least you knew that the series was ending. I know that the actor who played Matthew wanted to be written off the show, but I just don’t see how the show will recover.

Also, the introduction of cousin Rose is such a desperate attempt to add a youthful replacement sister to the show. It’s cousin Oliver on The Brady Bunch, or more age appropriately, cousin Pam on The Cosby Show. I hope she at least has a friend like Charmaine.

Gorging yourself on such a heavy dose of television drama can actually leave you pathetically sad. Now the show is approaching the Great Depression but I can’t see how we can get any more depressed.

Despite the fact that it is entirely fictional, did the last season of Downton Abbey leave you feeling down?

By Richard Munckton from Windsor, Melbourne, Australia (Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle)) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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