All is lost! Downton Abbey storylines sucked me in!

English house

It’s no Downton Abbey but just a pretty English home with a rose garden — I figure most people are ready for some green after all this snow! Image courtesy of Saffrodite, Morguefile.

I should’ve known. Resisting the allure of Downton Abbey was doomed from the start. After all, it pulled in my mom, my niece, my cousins and multiple friends.

You would think that I would have been a fan of Downton Abbey when it first aired. First reason: I love period dramas, especially anything involving the Brontë family, Jane Austen characters or people running around moors.

Second reason: England and its architecture. Highclere Castle….Ahhhh. Who wouldn’t want to watch a show with a marvelous building like that?

Third reason: the actors. It’s cast with talented people like Elizabeth McGovern, Dan Stevens, Brendan Coyle and Maggie Smith. Heck, I’d watch it just for Lady Violet and her barbed one-liners.

Fourth reason: I’m told the sinking of the Titanic gets things going. And if you’ve been following me for a while, you know how I feel about the Titanic.

Somehow, I managed to evade the lure despite Downton Abbey appearing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. But Downton Abbey exerted its charms and I’m powerless to resist its well-written scripts.

Okay, okay. Seriously, I caught the tail end of one episode (WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!) where Matthew Crawley doesn’t make it home from the hospital 😦 and the first episode of Season 4. That first episode got me intrigued but I’m coming into the middle of the story. Now I want to find out…

  • What will happen with Mr. Bates and Mrs. Bates?
  • What’s going on with bandleader Jack Ross and the Downton Abbey people? (I respect a man who jumps in and saves a woman who’s about to get publicly embarrassed.)
  • What’s happening with O’Brien and Barrow belowstairs?

I’ll guess I’ll have to borrow somebody’s season collection and park myself in front of the TV to get it all. That’s a lot of episodes to get through, but I’d really like to see Shirley MacLaine’s Martha Levinson go up against Lady Violet. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be epic.

Now where’d I put that British breakfast tea and McVitie’s chocolate-coated digestive biscuits? (For the uninitiated, digestive biscuits are similar to graham crackers.) I know they’re around here someplace…… (*scampers off for a Downton Abbey marathon*)

And then there’s those custard creams. I have to track down a U.S. source for those cookies (er, pardon me, biscuits). Ever since I read about them on Elinor and Gwen’s amazing blog “Life, the Universe and would you pass the custard creams?,” I’ve been longing to try them. (Foodies and art lovers, this blog is well worth your time. Don’t make me come over to your blog and chase you there.)

Readers: What got you started watching Downton Abbey?

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “All is lost! Downton Abbey storylines sucked me in!

  1. I watched the first season as it was airing on PBS Masterpiece Theatre. I don’t remember exactly how I heard of it, but I got hooked pretty early on (yeah, I’m a Downton Abbey hipster). Then I watched season two and absolutely hated it, thought the writing was awful, and gave up. Not to mention my two favorite characters eventually died. But I really loved season one and I have it on DVD.

  2. Impybat

    Commenters were always mentioning it on The Hairpin. So I started streaming it. And that was it!

  3. I’ve heard so many people talk about that show, but still haven’t ever watched an episode (but I hardly ever watch TV–it’s not my thing). But I did tell my husband the other day that if I DID watch any TV, that I wanted to watch Downton Abbey because of all I’ve heard about it. And you just pushed me over the edge. I, too, must track down a friend to borrow the seasons from.

  4. We had heard so many people talking about it, that we finally started watching it. Like you, the first episode sucked us in, but we are still early in season 2. You didn’t spoil me about Matthew, though. I had already heard something about that. I hate to hear that, too. I really like him.

    And I’m very frankly surprised that O’Brien hasn’t hung herself. I don’t know how she lives with what she did.

  5. sally1708

    I too was determined not to be sucked in to this drama (and I’m English!). I watched an episode on a flight last year and it got me hooked. So hooked that I watched all of season 4 when it aired later in the year. I was always a bit confused about what had gone before though… .
    I recently watched ‘a box set’ of season 3 during a longhaul flight. It was a chunk out of my life but let’s face it, I had nothing much else to do and I am now much better informed. 😉

    • I could cheat and read up on all of Downton Abbey through its Wiki site, but I’m determined to be methodical about it and start with the first episode of season 1. It is puzzling when you start halfway through.

  6. I adore period drama, particularly 19th-early 20th century. My husband and I started watching Downton when season 1 came out on DVD and we were both hooked with the first episode. After we were done with the first season, I then devoured “The Grand”,and “The Forsyte Saga” as I waited for season 2. My husband and I rushed home through the snow from our parents’ with our infant daughter to catch the season finale and I turned away and hid her face at the crash. I didn’t want her to see what happened to Matthew. I know, she was two months old at the time. 🙂

    It is my favorite show, by far, right now.

  7. I resisted Downton Abbey when it was on TV in Australia, but succumbed to the series on DVD while I was Italy. I used the excuse of some bad weather and watched them all right up to Matthew’s death, about which I was very cross. I believe the actor wished to exit the series, so they had to write him out…what a pity. Anyway, I am looking forward to series 4.

  8. A longtime Masterpiece viewer, I was hooked on Downton Abbey from its beginnings. I’ve been enjoying back-to-back Sunday nights with Sherlock.

  9. I guess I’m a minority. A DA resister. Please refrain from booing and crumpet tossing. I started watching the series from the very beginning for the very reasons you mentioned and then it got to be all too much. I had a flashback to the eighties when all those night soaps like Dynasty aired. Over rich in caloric drama I’m letting the DA craze pass me.

  10. Firstly, I have to admit that I missed the whole first season. In my defense, we didn’t have access to the relevant channel at that time. When the second season was about to air there were endless adverts and reminders – and I was ready! Period drama, Maggie Smith, English stately homes: what’s not to love?!
    Most importantly, chocolate digestives are my favourite biscuits…

  11. Jools

    So many of my American friends have been ‘sucked into’ Downton, and it makes me so happy! But whether or not you’re into English TV, or costume drama, or the nuances of those upstairs/downstairs times, what you can’t deny, is that Downton has all those attributes which make for a great ‘page-turning’ story… drama, conflict, intrigue, secrets and lies, compelling character flaws. What it has, more than anything else, is a beating HEART. As for biscuits (yes y’all, biscuits) – there’s nothing on earth to beat the simply sublime chocolate digestive.

  12. Oh my god. I am steadfastly avoiding this although some nights it is difficult. You poor thing. Hope you recover soon. Dianne

  13. Such a lovely show! My social media crowd was buzzing about it and when I saw that the first season was streaming on Netflix, I was curious enough to check it out. I am too ashamed to admit how quickly I caught up on the whole series. Drama that rich really should be enjoyed more slowly, if only to avoid heartburn.

  14. Jaclyn

    I’m cheering for another Downton fan! We’re obsessed in my house. I have watched from the beginning, Steve is crazy for Downton too, and we’ve also hooked my mom and several of her friends. I can’t remember what convinced me to tune in for that first episode – I’d heard a lot of hype about it, and I remember my father-in-law commenting that he was planning to watch (he’s an even bigger Anglophile than Steve and I) so that probably had something to do with us deciding to watch, too. Lady Mary is my favorite character, so I’m hoping that this season she finds some peace and some lasting happiness. And I’m very curious to follow Lady Rose – the Crawley family’s first flapper, maybe? – and Lady Edith as they both challenge convention. Oh, and I LOVE the Dowager Countess. I’d watch Maggie Smith read the phone book!

    • And did I mention that actor Toby Stephens is her son in real life? He would make a great guest star for Downton Abbey. I’m sure they could find a way to work him into a storyline — maybe some visiting gentleman. I can’t see him as a butler or footman after “Jane Eyre”.

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