Downton Abbey

Okay, so I know I’m a little late to the party, but season 3 of Downton Abbey is only 4 days away from starting, and you don’t want to miss it.

Look, there’s no way this is the first time you’re hearing about Downton Abbey. Chances are you watch it already. Chances are, as usual, I’m the last guy in the know.

It’s hard to say what makes the show so fascinating. If you told me, “Hey, there’s this great show; It’s like a soap opera about the machinations of the family of an upper class lord and their servants, set in post-Edwardian England,” then I would reply, “I do not want to watch that show.” And yet, the show is awesome anyway. Maybe it’s the interesting characters. Maybe it’s the beautiful cinematography. Maybe I secretly love post-Edwardian English romance but didn’t know it until now.

I really dig the whole upstairs / downstairs thing, with the dichotomy between the lives of the do-nothing lords and ladies and the hard-working, hard-scheming, dirt-poor staff who serve them. The way they’re the same, the way they’re different, the way they’re all just people with lives and hopes and dreams and secrets. Dirty, dirty, dark little secrets.

I think the root of it is that the characters are so well done, and just written in a way that American television never really is. You care about them, and therefore you care about what they care about, whether it is succession, romance, or the local flower show. You just do. Who would have thought PBS could compete with HBO when it comes to compelling television dramas?

There’s still time to get ahold season 1 and season 2 before season 3 starts on Sunday!