I’ve heard from so many people how much they love the PBS series Downton Abbey. Which, for the longest time, I called “Downtown Abby” thinking the plot was about a girl named Abby who lived in downtown England. Much to my surprise, there was no girl named Abby anywhere to be found once I started watching the show. But just because there was no “Abby” and the story had nothing to do with going “downtown,” I still found myself sucked into the wonder and charm of early twentieth century England. Even if it is bat shit crazy.
I must admit. I was weary about watching Downton Abbey. I’m usually more inclined to watch a series that revolves around science fiction or fantasy. So believe me when I say that I was less than enthused when my mother suggested I watch the show with her. Thankfully my brother was there to support my mother’s sentiments. Surely if my brother thought it was worthwhile, I too could find some merit.
And so began an
Netflix Amazon binge-watch.
And if you’re anything like me, and you’ve experienced the suffering and pleasure that is binge watching a show, then you know all too well that it’s really the only way to watch a series. And good lord – I had 5 seasons to get through. Such fun! Now – kids at home – here is your PSA warning of the day. Binge watching TV cannot be considered a healthy hobby, it can lead to many symptoms as classified by the following: lack of motivation to shower, inability to adjust to sunlight, trouble selecting your next meal, and problems talking to any other human being until you have completed a season. Even then, difficulty has been documented trouble adjusting back into society and returning to normal daily life. Please consult your doctor if you have noticed any of these symptoms.
That being said – I have thoroughly enjoyed the series. I recently finished season five. Not only have I enjoyed the beautiful sets and costumery that surrounded 1920’s aristocrats, but the show has served as a short history lesson for me. I’ve learned so many things since starting the show. These lessons were so influential, I thought it only proper to share them with the masses.
#5: Downton Abby Eggs & Staff Don’t Spoil
Honestly. Just look at the rows and rows of eggs in that kitchen, just sitting there – SOMETIMES FOR DAYS! I don’t get it. Actually, I had to look it up. How long can eggs sit out before they start to spoil? Do you know the answer? Take a guess. According to the egg safety center the maximum amount of time to leave an egg out of refrigeration is two hours. TWO HOURS! And here at Downton eggs last for days. Magic! Who cares about salmonella, who cares about fermentation, who cares about bacteria! We’ll just cook the hell out of it all and drown it with hollandaise sauce and call it a day. Never mind the eggs – what about the staff? With all the up-and-down, here-and-there, don’t you think these poor people would get tired? I’m tired just watching them. Daisy & Patmore are always cooking. Barrow & “footman-of-the-day” are always hither-and-thither. Hughes & Carson are always running around fixing things. Bates & Anna are always in and out of jail. Come on! When do these people sleep? When do they bathe? When do they just sit the fuck down? I barely remember them sitting down other than to eat breakfast. Is that the only meal they eat? GOD! It must be, wouldn’t want those eggs to spoil.
#4: Downton Lace & Pearls Are Magical
What was it about the turn of the century that cried for MORE LACE and MORE PEARLS. Who was it that said; “you know what I’m missing, fifty-shades-of-lace.” I don’t get it. Lace can be terribly scratchy, and never mind the fact that it can get caught on everything. And what’s even worse than lace dresses, are lace gloves. LACE GLOVES! Like that would protect your hands from anything. Imagine all the things you’d snag your gloves on, like a chipped tea cup, or an unsharpened pencil, or, heaven forbid, an uneven nick in the staircase banister! I hate lace. I hate it with a passion. You know what lace reminds me of? Doilies. Yes, doilies. Those little round things you find at your grandmother’s house. They cover all the furniture, and can even be used as a coaster. Down with lace! Hideous! And don’t get me started on pearls. God help me, those pearls. Have you worn pearls? Might as well sling chains and an anvil around your neck and call yourself Jacob Marley. Those damn things are so heavy. You know what I like after a long day of snagging my lace on everything in sight, is a sore neck from toting around 15 lbs. of pearls. No thank you. Apparently Downton lace & pearls are impervious to any sort of shenanigans or wear & tear. Lies! ALL LIES!
#3: Downton Marriage Proposals Are A Dime A Dozen
I think I’m more old fashioned than the old fashioned. It seems that at every turn there is a woman swooning for the the man she just met. And apparently it is customary to marry immediately. What is this act of bewitchery? Man meets woman. Woman blushes for man. Man proposes. Man & Woman marry in the morning. WTF? What happened to all the awkward dating? What about silly arguments over meeting each other’s parents for the first time? What about make-up sex? And lest we not forget the white elephant in the room….how about the fact that these couples barely know each other? Perfect strangers! What would Larry Appleton and Balki Bartokomous say? If you ask me, this is simply reckless – think of all the fancy dinners and flowers and chocolates you could get out of a rich aristocrat before you lead him on to marriage. Missed opportunities ladies, missed opportunities. And can we (the ladies reading this) be real for a second? I don’t know about you, but I only shave when I have to. Mostly I shave to ensure I don’t look like the village werewolf… because who wants to shave every day? Apparently the ladies of Downton, because lord knows with a proposal hanging around every corner, you better have your lady-bits in order. Aside from shaving, I guess this also explains why the woman have perfectly sculpted hair each day – who knows when you’ll receive a proposal?!
#2: Downton Encourages Underage Drinking
Drinks. Drinks everywhere. Drinks in the morning. Drinks at lunch. Drinks at dinner. Drinks after dinner. Drinks for dessert. And no one seems to care that these drinks are being served to anyone and everyone. If you have a seat at the table, you have a drink in your hand. OH LUCKY DAY! I’m not even mad, I’m jealous! Here’s your small helping of baby carrots, oh – wait – you’re out of wine? Let me fill that up for you lady Sybil. I know you’re barely 18, but drink up young girl, drink up. Must get you wasted enough to swoon for the next man that asks you to marry him. Maybe even the chauffeur. Maybe even tonight! Didn’t shave? No worries, he’s just as drunk as you. He’ll never notice. Now off to get married!
#1: Downton Old Ladies Give No F*cks
Apparently if you are older than 90 at Downton Abbey, then you have free reign to do and say whatever you’d like. You can give the stink eye to everyone you see. You can pretend to care and not care about whomever. If I think about it, apparently the “birthday laws” of Patton Oswalt were prevalent in old English aristocracy. Let me refresh your memory:
“1 through 9 — YES. You’re a little kid, and kids should get to celebrate birthdays.
10 — YES. You’ve entered the double digits. Something different has happened, you get a birthday.
11-12 — NO. Nothing special about those years.
13 — YES. Now you’re a teenager, and that’s worth celebrating. (And at Downton you can now drink! Celebrate!)
14-15 — NO. Again, nothing special here.
16 — YES. The laws have changed. Now you can drive, that’s worth celebrating.
17 — NO. What’s special about being 17? Exactly.
18 — YES. Awesome birthday. You can vote and own a gun. This is all worth celebrating (and if you’re in other countries including England, you can drink alcohol). Now that is worth a party.
19 — YES. It’s your last year as a teenager.
20 — YES. You’ve entered your twenties.
21 — YES. Awesome birthday, you’re as adult as you can get. Hit the bars.
And then…only one birthday every 10 years (30, 40, 50, 60 and so on) until you hit 90. After 90, you get a birthday every year because the law no longer applies to you!” – Patton Oswalt.
That last bit is very important at Downton – if you’re 90 then the law no longer applies to you. Do and say whatever you’d like Granny! Go ahead Professor McGonagall, work your magic. Diminish race, keep secrets about babies, put everyone in their place, and keep on truckin’. Sometimes I have reverence for these old bitties. Honestly, they remind me of my 97 yr old Grandmother. She’s still driving on the streets of California. Think about that for a minute. She gives no f*cks. Last year she told me I could spare to lose a few pounds. She’s not wrong, she just gives no f*cks. Sound familiar? Lady Violet and Lady Isobel have definitely seen their fair share of life. And with soooooooo much drama flying around left and right, I understand there is a point when you just don’t give a shit anymore. Why would you? You’re 90! Everyone thinks you’re crazy away, so why not play it up. Why not go all out? I would. I would fuck with as many people as possible. I mean, what else is a 90 year old woman supposed to do – this is her entertainment for the day. Sheesh!
So as you can see, Downton Abbey is an awesome show. And all joking aside, I absolutely love the drama. Though, I can tell you with a straight face I wouldn’t give up my Twitter & Facebook dominated century for anything. I don’t have the energy to keep up with all those stale eggs, rippy-lace, monster-pearls, midnight-proposals, drunken-teenagers, and back-handed compliments from old ladies. Them bitches be crazy! But when it’s all said and done – it does make for great TV! So….. when is season 6!? Momma’s gotta fever and the only prescription is more Downton!