Shaking My Fist at Downton Abbey

in Entertaining nonsense and profound thought

I’m only as far as the end of the third season as I watch on DVD and not weekly. So if you haven’t watched to the end of the third season go away now and come back when you’ve caught up.

I’ve broken the house rule about waiting for the entire family to watch – but as it was my Christmas present and they don’t read my blog so they’ll never know – I feel justified talking about this now.

Part of my problem with this series is probably that I watch a disc at a time rather than weekly. The drama is compressed and there are no breaks to grow the anticipation. Which is fine with me as there is enough anticipation watching a disc at a time. I should also say I do like the story but it’s very tiring.

Down to the fist shaking: I’m beginning to feel manipulated and I don’t like it. BIG SPOILER ALERT!!…

Take a look at Matthew Crawley. He likes Mary.  Mary doesn’t like him. Mary likes him, he doesn’t like Mary. (simplified, I know.) This goes on until you want to pull your hair out. Then Matthew falls in love with Lavinia, then Matthew’s a cripple, then he’s not a cripple, then Lavinia is taken off by the Spanish Flu, but Matthew can never Wed Mary because he has betrayed Lavinia’s memory. And on and on and on, until finally OMG Matthew and Mary are wed. They stay married just long enough for an heir to be born and then whoops, Matthew dies. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? YOU COULDN’T LEAVE HIM BE FOR JUST A LITTLE WHILE? HE HAS TO DIE THE DAY HIS SON IS BORN? I’m shaking my fist at you, Downton Writers. Shaking my fist, you jerks.

And then there is Bates. He loves Anna but he has a secret in his past. They can never be together. The impossible happens and they can be together. Then not again. Off and on, off and on until they get married but Bates goes to jail for murder. He’s to be hanged. That sentence is commuted and now it’s only life in prison. Anna is working on his release but of course all kinds of things go wrong in prison. We wait and wait and cry with Anna and wonder if Bates really killed his wife until finally he’s released. But now I can’t enjoy it. Because I’ve got this awful feeling that the next thing the DA writers will do is kill off Anna or Bates.

Shall we talk of Edith and her failed hopes? No, let’s not. I can’t stand it. If a miracle happens and her boyfriends crazy as a loon wife dies so Edith can marry him then we know something just as awful will happen. Or how about Sybil? Nothing to talk about there – she died in childbirth.

I’m considering not following the fourth season. I can’t watch in on TV because of my schedule and I’m not sure I can stand whole happiness-death thing over and over again. There’s only so much an american can take.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

BarbN January 14, 2014 at 3:22 am

This is EXACTLY why I quit watching. The rest of my crowd is still watching it, but I refuse. Too soap-opera-ish for me.


Kat January 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I was highly upset over the killing of Matthew as well and after a bit of research I discovered that the actor wanted to leave the show and the writer/creator (Julian Fellowes) decided to kill him off rather than recast him. I think it was a lame idea, myself, I mean if we have 75 Dr.Who’s why can’t we have 2-3 Matthews? Whatever.
As for Sybil, that really upset me as well, but then to kill Matthew… too much. I haven’t started the next season yet.


Kate George January 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm

I thought about the recasting thing since you brought it up, Kat, but I’m not sure I could love another Matthew. That actor was so good in the role. However, I think I’d rather a new actor rather than the death of Matthew!


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