So who knew this show had such a following?! Apparently I missed this memo. I wander around my house computer in hand watching every second of every episode. Let’s just say there is a lot of British drama to be had! Here are some reasons that I freakin’ love this show! (Keep in mind I have the LAST episode in season 3 left)
1. First and foremost, the fashion! My oh my, the fashion.
“Take me around back. I should hate for Papa to see me like this”
Every meal is an event, every outing is soiree. Dinner never is just a husband and wife sitting down over a nice bottle of wine. Everyone comes and enjoys the food and the company (when everyone is behaving… I’m looking at you Maggie Smith). The dresses are to die for. Every piece worn is made with the lavish tradition of the time. The ladies of Downton are dressed to impressed, because, well, they need suitors. Women nowadays wear corsets as tops…Wrapped in the finest fabrics, Lady Mary, Lady Sybil and Lady Edith spend most of each day getting in or out of clothes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have girls who help them get ready just for dinner! And how can we forget fashion forward Sybil in her pants looking so fierce! No character is ever under-dressed. Even when they are, they are still dressed in the finest clothes. Yoga pants and a Hanes white tee aren’t worn to run into town.
2. So much sass
“Things are different in America, they live in Wig Wams.”
Do you know what a Maggie Smith is? I bet you do. She is an award winning actress, but you probably know her from playing Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter series. Well, Maggie Smith’s character, Dowager Countess Violet the Earl’s mother, is a one woman insult machine. When she is let loose on her country cousins, especially the meddlesome Isobel, her tart tongue is sharper and eminently quotable. You should watch this show for Maggie Smith alone because who doesn’t enjoy an old woman with a tongue that lashes like a hot whip?
“I don’t care a fig about rules.”
My favorite is the banter between the girls! They are all beautiful, spoiled and determined young women. When you put three strong minded sisters together you are bound to have to whit crash through some conversations. They are so ahead of their time and really say what they feel and are not sorry about it. They make a stand with their views, fashion sense, or choice in men. The fact they are not timid and meek women really makes their sassiness lovable. They are showing that women are more than pretty items to adorn the arm of a man.
3. That House…
“The role of houses like Downton is to protect tradition, that’s why they’re so important to maintain”
Highclere Castle, where the Crawley family “lives”, and the castles/grand estates that adorn the European countryside make for great architecture/interior design lusting. But one of the best things about Highclere is that you can actually visit and tour the inside! Then there is the amazing detail and intricacy of each room, a castle that was made brick by brick of the finest materials man could find. From the high ceilings to the marble pillars, the details makes you want to decorate with gaudy crap from Hobby Lobby. And can we talk about the scene shot around the balconies. Who doesn’t want to dramatically sigh and lean over a balcony that is 20 feet up? Or run through the long hallways adorned with gold accents? Or being able to house a literal army and not have to worry about room?
“No one ever learned anything from a governess except for French, and how to curtsy.”
Impulsive and passionate, the youngest Crawley daughter and family rebel, Lady Sybil, is constantly looking to make use of herself. She wants to change and better the world. Training as a nurse, she feels purposeful and liberated. She has such pride from her family that it makes it difficult at first to fall in love with a “bad boy” that isn’t from their world. I first fell in love with Sybil when she went to go get a new dress made and came back looking like a Persian princess in her pantsuit. She is proud and confident. She does not have the same worries that her sisters do. She wants women to vote and to have a skill set, she feels as though women have more to offer the 20’s then being a wife and birthing children. She follows her heart and does not let anyone’s opinion deter her from what she wants.
5. Love stories
“I know what real love is and there aren’t many who can say that.”
You have the obvious stories of Mary and Matthew and Bates and Anna but then they are my favorite relationships like Mary and Carson and Daisy and William’s father Mr. Mason. These stories show love in its purest form. The love of a father and his daughter, the love someone has for a child as they have watched them grow into a beautiful and strong woman (even though Carson never admits Mary is his favorite 🙂 ). These are underrated love stories but they are by far my favorite ones.
“Find a cowboy in the middle-west and bring him back to shake us up a bit!”
Then there is the Earl of Grantham’s three girls, three beautiful, strong willed, and intelligent girls. They fall in love and they don’t care who it aggravates. From Sybil marrying a chauffeur, to Mary refusing to fall in love with just anyone, they would give any father a few greys. We can’t forget about Edith (even though we usually do) but her almost romance with that old guy really brought out something fierce in her. They worry about love (as all women do) but they worry about finding the perfect man, not settling for old Duke what’s his name.
6. Hero and Heroines
“Alright, let’s give it a go and see what the future brings.”
The Earl of Grantham is an even-tempered and thoughtful man (when he isn’t macking it with the new maid in the pantry). His wife Cora is an American heiress who has a soft demeanor and large heart. What is Downton without the three daughters? Each having their own personality from Mary, who at times seems a bit cross, to Edith who just has some terrible luck in love and in life, lastly Sybil the free and charismatic spirit. And let’s not forget about Carson, the stiff-upper-lip butler or Miss Hughes, the housekeeper who rules the house with an iron fist. And both have given up their outside life for the duty of Downton. There are just so many characters love and cheer on!
“I’d like to give her the old heave-ho in a dark alley somewhere.”
Downton is good at creating awful situations with some pretty good schemers. The best at being the worst is Miss O’Brien, Lady Grantham’s maid who is the master manipulator; she uses her evil to keep her curls wound tight. Her, on again off again sidekick is the homosexual footman Thomas, who the closet has turned into a conniving cheat. These two typically work together when they aren’t trying to ruin the other. They are both extreme cowards who will do anything and I mean anything to get them ahead at Downton. They make things interesting though. If it wasn’t for these villains I don’t really know how interesting the show would be. Whenever there seems to be a lull in the show, O’Brien and Thomas swoop in to save the day from happiness and peace. Plus we all have a little of them in us and we secretly enjoy when they shake things up a bit.