I’m trying to write a post about Downton Abbey for my entertainment themed blog, but I keep looking at the clock and thinking that I should get to bed. It’s getting kind of late and I have too much to say. I wanna turn my light off soon. Plus, I wanna watch an episode from season two, and episodes of Downton Abbey are about 50 minutes long, so I should get to it if I wanna get to sleep at a halfway decent hour.
Watching Downton Abbey again feels strange. When I first started watching it several years ago, I had just become unemployed. My mother and I devoured the first season in a day and a half, just in time for the premiere of season two. The second season was also a blast — progressivism and Spanish Flu and temporary paralysis. There were only two or three episodes left to air when my mom came home one day and told me she had bought the entire season on DVD at Barnes and Noble. This meant we didn’t have to wait another several weeks for the thrilling conclusion — the answers were at our fingertips.
“Wait, what do you mean it’s already on DVD?”
“The British version,” she said, smiling mischievously. “The episodes have already aired in the UK. Now they’re all on DVD. At Barnes and Noble.” We laughed like villains.
About a year later, season three premiered. I had a job. It was a silly job, but it was something. I didn’t have work the day Downton Abbey came back on, though. It was an exciting afternoon of coffee drinking and pajama wearing. Then, a few days afterward, my mom and I had a fight. I downloaded the rest of the season and watched it without her.
It was a stupid fight. I guess it was necessary, though. Well, no, not necessary, but kind of unavoidable. That’s ok. We’re close, so that’s what happens. If I ever have a daughter, I hope I fight with her, too. It’ll hurt, but it’ll be better than never fighting with her. You only never get mad at people you don’t think about.
Anyway. I watched the rest of season three by myself. I was really sick that day. I couldn’t breathe through my nose. I was sad, and sick, and alone, and then sad things happened on the show and I felt even more sad and even more alone. I couldn’t tell anyone about what I had just seen, because everyone else was watching it legally, and I couldn’t tell my mom, because she hadn’t seen the episode yet, either. Because she was also watching it legally. Without me. Because I was mad at her.
Two months later I moved out of my parents’ house and immediately got sick again. This time I had a fever and my throat was on fire. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch and watch Downton Abbey, because it’s a great show to watch while you’re sick, even though it’s only going to make you sad. I kept putting it on, but every time I did there was all kinds of, “This isn’t my thing” and, “This is boring” and, “We should rent Wreck It Ralph.” There was also Branson. Tom Branson. Jealousy over my attraction to Tom Branson. The chauffeur. The Irish chauffeur. The fictional Irish chauffeur. And for all my reassurances of, “Tom Branson isn’t a real person,” I was never quite forgiven.
But that’s all over. That is so, so over.
Season four premiered on Sunday night. I didn’t watch it ’till Monday. And it was silly. And it made me happy. And some parts of it annoyed me, and those parts made me want to email my mom. So I did, because we’re not mad at each other anymore and haven’t been for a long time. Because we love each other. Really love each other. So we worked things out.
Watching Downton Abbey in my own apartment makes me feel like I’m getting away with something — like I’m meeting up with someone I was temporarily estranged from, or catching up with an old friend I was previously banned from seeing. Either way, the series is entirely too important to me. I’m ok with that, though. Why should I be embarrassed? I watch the show and I feel happy and sad and excited and nostalgic and I think about love and sadness and change and forgiveness and good riddance. There are worse things I could do than love Downton Abbey for deeply personal, totally inflated reasons, right? I mean, just because it’s dramatic and stylized and British doesn’t have to make it stupid. Right? I mean, it’s not stupid. It’s…It’s…
it’s motherfuckin’ Downton Abbey, bitches. And I’m gonna watch as much of it as I like.