End of An Era – Downton Abbey

I’ve watched my fair share of TV shows throughout my life….

As a young ‘un, I grew up alongside Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. In high school I swooned over Dillon in Beverly Hills 90210.  In college I drooled over Jake Hanson in Melrose Place.  During my early years of marriage my heart broke when Charlie Salinger was diagnosed with cancer in Party of Five.  I found myself delighted by a philandering, sociopathic, murdering Mob boss in the Sopranos.  Followed by an intense captivation of Walter White in Breaking Bad.  Madness and terror in Game of Thrones.

The level of wholesomeness in the TV shows I’ve watched throughout my life has steadily gone downhill…

Until Downton Abbey.

I will probably never encourage my Beach Rose to watch the beheading of Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, but I will most certainly be trying to persuade her to pick up this classic series.

There are only a few television series that become classics.  That are passed along from one generation to another.  That are worthy of being passed along.

Little House on the Prairie is one such example.  There isn’t a mother out there who would prevent their daughter from watching that innocent and touching show!

And now, Downton Abbey…

Oh, how I will sing the praises of Downton Abbey to my little girl and tell her that she just must enrich her life by watching it.

To be transported to a time when some of an aristocrat woman’s biggest concerns were what dress to wear to dinner.  When your every domestic obligation was carried out by the hired help.  When you had to decide whether to fill your day with a leisurely stroll among the grounds of your estate or at a royal ball.

I, along with millions of people across the world, looked forward to my Sunday nights with my mug of hot vanilla chai tea, snuggled up to my hubby on the couch to lose myself in Lord Grantham’s world.

Every show, in every season, was lovely.  There was some suspense as to what happened to the characters that you had grown to know and love. There might be a struggle, some heartbreak, some family squabbles, but for the most part all episodes ended resolved.  And brought you a sense of peace and well-being.  And didn’t cause the anxiety or nausea or disgust that dissolving bodies in a vat of acid might bring about when watching Breaking Bad.

And although “everyone lived happily ever after” in the finale, it is exactly what every viewer expected and loved about the wonderful feeling Downton Abbey left you with each time you shut off the TV at 10pm on Sunday nights, when it finished.

There could have been no better nor more appropriate way to bring the show to a close than to have Maggie Smith utter the last line, in reference to wishing that times were not a changing and that we could all stay in the past and revel in it.

For we all wish that this were the case with Downton.  We all wish that the show would go on.


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