Sunday, January 6, 2013

The return of Downton Abbey!

Tonight is the long awaited return of Downton Abbey! I am sooo sooooo excited. NPR gave up all stories about world events this past week to cover all-Downton-Abbey-all-the-time. Did anything happen in the news this past week? I wouldn't know.

It's been a long gap since season two for us Americans so the refreshers were helpful. My family in England started watching the third season in October but they have been very good about not posting spoilers on Facebook, for which I am very grateful.

If you have never seen the show and want to know what it's all about, I made a little guide for you. There are some spoilers, but nothing major.

First, some important facts:

1. It is Downton, not Downtown Abbey. So just stop saying that now.

2. The show takes place early in the 20th century, back when meals were an elaborate production and you were either a noble or a servant. There was no in-between. None. This show has undone anything my history teachers taught me.

3. Lord Grantham (head of the household) takes great pride in his role as head of the house which he always refers to as simply "Downton." Where he (or any other nobles) got his money from, I have no idea. I've never understood this. There's no way of knowing. Investments? Inheritance?

Jimmy Fallon did a great job impersonating Lord Grantham in this sketch:

4. Lady Grantham is an American. She's a nice, understated woman who seems to have adapted to her fancy British lifestyle with great aplomb.

5. It's on PBS. You may need to give yourself time to find that channel since you probably never watch it for anything else. (Burn.)

6. The theme song is really good. It's dramatic, passionate, and oddly enough, sounds a lot like the X-Files theme song. I almost always play air piano to it when it's on because that's how I roll. In fact, I play air instruments whenever a song really speaks to me. My sister, Katherine, claims I have no idea how an actual guitar is played based on my air guitar. But when she tried to show me, I hated it. Way too restrictive. My air guitar goes all the way up and down the (air) strings. Way better that way. Anyway, here's the theme song if you want to listen to it while you read about some of the main characters.

Here's a short guide to some of the main characters. I know these pictures are small, but just click on them to enlarge.

Do you watch the show? Who are your favorite and least favorite characters?


Nate Stamper said...

Probably the only dude that will the affirmative! I love Downton and will shout it out loud, probably lose my mancard and all my other guy friends that only watch NFL football.

BTW- Best Blog in a long time...laughed out loud like 4 times.

violet50 said...

I'd forgotten that you play air piano to this song. Looking forward to that. Your character analyses were spot on. I love this show and wish we didn't have to wait so long to see it! And yes, I hadn't thought about it, but it does sound a bit like the X-files theme song. You write good, if slightly, biases t.v. reviews. O'Brian has an ounce of goodness in her. Well, maybe not.

Angela said...

OK, first of all, I love you. Crack me up. Reading this made me wish I could watch it with you! OK, so Season 1 Edith was a total beast. Season 2 she found herself, I thought and I just feel sorry for her Jan Bradiness there as the middle sister. Mary... I go back and forth over. I think she's grown up a lot and I've rooted for Matthew and Mary... but no, I don't love her. Matthew is the same way. I like that he's gained an appreciation for the importance that the estate is and that it actually has a purpose.
I reeeeally hate how Isabel is treated. She is exasperating and annoying in her quest to be helpful and teach these aristocrats that there's more to life than them, but I feel SO badly for her at times.
Daisy drove me crazy. Daft. Hopefully now that she's got a father figure she can figure out how to use some common sense.
I may be the only one out there that thinks this, but i reeeeally hate Branson. Hate him. I hate that Sibil (did I spell that right?!) fell in love with him and all I can think is that if the show ends up going into WWII, he's gonna be a Nazi. Just sayin.
Love Anna and Bates. FREE BATES!!!
O'Brien.. I think she's more complex than we think. Her remorse over the soap and subsequent miscarriage that Cora had, the loyalty she has toward her, the compassion she had for what's his bname that had shell shock... She has suffered in her life, I think and there's more to her than meets the eye. I just don't get how she and Thomas got to be so buddy buddy and conniving. I mean, I don't get it. And Thomas is just a jerk. But as I rewatched season 2, I realized that he's got major internal struggle and that he's just living his life behind the great wall of thomas. Man alive, I could go on and on. I mean, I have already. In any case, I CAN'T WAIT!!!!! 5 more hours!

lizzie mc.- said...

WooHOOO! My husband & my favorite show... Christmas presents 2 years in a row! Do I watch, why wouldn't I?! So Character, I used to be annoyed by the Dowager Countess, now I cheer her and Isabel on in their confrontations and improvement of each other. My favorite character is probably a bit obscure, I love Mrs. Hughes. She's logical, humorous, faithful and strong. You are my favorite blogger and, I believe, albeit a challenge, I think the Dowager Countess would give you the annual blogger cup for best comedy! LOVE THIS POST!

Katherine said...

HA! I pretty much agree with your character analyses, too. And yamma hamma, Thomas is a hotty IRL!! Yowch.

As for your air "guitar," it becomes more of an air KEYtar than anything. It's like you have to combine your air piano with air guitar and what you end up with is...somethin' else. :)

And I love the Downton Sixbey sketch!! Jimmy's the best!!

Ashley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley said...

Watching the return of Downton I got goosebumps during the theme music. Why no love for Branson? I think he's adorable (him and Matthew... swoon). Him and Sybil are my favorite couple. Edith is my least favorite since she seems to lack a backbone, and I've got no interest in her relationship with Old Man Anthony. I'm quite surprised how a show with so many characters manages to keep me engrossed in all their stories.
We need to make a FREE BATES meme and spread it around. I want him and Anna to be happy together finally this season.