Reasons To Be Cheerful #54: Downton Abbey

7 Oct

The general consensus amongst myself and friends of at least moderate intelligence is that Downton Abbey is; well, a bit shit. It’s full of clunky lines, unbelievable storylines and well below-par acting. And yet we all keep flocking to it. Why, you might ask? Here goes:

1. It’s Full of Surprises

Say what you want about Downton, but it’s not afraid to pack a punch. Last night after 50 minutes dominated by talk of syllabubs, almost-flirting and the entirely redundant Mr Mosely, Anna got raped. And let’s not forget the deaths of the family’s only likeable characters, Sybil and Cousin Matthew – both untimely, both leaving annoying other halves. One season, it jumps from the Somme to flapper in the blink of an episode; the next time round it’s a dreary parade of lone days that seems to go on forever.  Who’d want TV that was always exciting anyway? (I guess there might be a couple..)

I say Mary, I fancy I might walk again next week!

I say Mary, I fancy I might walk again next week!

2. British Pride

Downton is HUGE in America. And noone over there seems to realise quite how crap it is. It actually wins awards, and not the National TV ones that are dominated by the midriffs of soap ‘stars’. This, conversely, fills me with pride. Not so much for the show or it’s middling actors. More for the superiority of us Brits. Americans have given us The Wire, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and a whole host of other really, genuinely fantastic TV programmes. And yet they still fall for what is essentially a terrible script, nicely wrapped up in beautiful period garb and the Queen’s English, just because it satisfies their ideals of Britishness. How ghastly!

One man's treasure...

One man’s treasure…

3. The Clangers

During a break from WWI:

Lord Grantham: “Still in one piece, thank God”

Cousin Matthew: “Touch wood”

Lord Grantham: “I never stop touching it”

C’maaaaan.

4. The Tabloid Fodder

It’s a world-renowned fact that any TV show is vastly improved when its viewers are able to compare the actors’ portrayal of characters to their real life selves, as seen on the pages of Heat. Well, any dedicated celeb follower will know that you can’t even glance at the Mail’s Sidebar of Shame without seeing Lady Mary or Anna hogging the limelight at some kind of premiere. Joanne Froggatt who plays Anna (and who started off as a cult runaway in Corrie a few years back) is the worst offender. It would seem that given the confidence of American success, the entire female cast now believes itself to be made up of fashionistas. Long gone are the upmarket versions of Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actresses. No, they’ve been swapped for Prada and Vivienne Westwood in a serious case of over-exposure that has been outdone only by former (that’s former) Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton.

Upstairs meets downstairs meets snoozefest

Upstairs meets downstairs meets snoozefest

Envelope opening anyway?

Envelope opening anyone?

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: I don’t like the way they’re diluting Dowager Maggie’s wonderful acerbity by making her all nice)

Maggie I love you, but let's not lose the froideur

Maggie I love you, but let’s not lose the froideur

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One Response to “Reasons To Be Cheerful #54: Downton Abbey”

  1. biancaamanda90 October 10, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    Nice article, you may find this interesting too http://whataboutourvoice.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/downton-abbeys-rape-scene-in-bad-taste/

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