Americans are eager for the return of Downton Abbey. Do the British really think we’re silly?

Americans from the First Lady to P. Diddy are proclaimed Downton Abbey fans.  One recent report stated Harrison Ford is a big fan and possibly interested in a role. American celebrities openly admit they’re “hooked” on the unfolding story of the Crawley family and fortune and big supporters of the downstairs complement, too.

It seems geography has something to do with whether or not Downton Abbey holds appeal. While Americans have embraced the show and helped make it one of the most widely watched television dramas in the world, playing in over 200 countries–just imagine Mr. Bates and Anna communicating in Mandarin– according to some reports British audiences think our fascination is a little bit strange.

One of the cast members mentioned in an interview that according to his experience the difference is Americans cross the street to tell the cast and crew how much they love the show and the British cross the street to inform them they never watch it at all.

Oh come on now!

Who doesn’t love Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley? I love the hats…clothes…and attitude!

Downton Abbey

Some reports state that British audiences think it’s nothing but a silly soap opera. Maybe there’s some truth to that.  I have no trouble admitting I like a good serialized drama. But silly? I don’t know about you, but the Season Three cliffhanger ending with Matthew…

Oh I won’t spoil it just in case…but silly?

Ratino One's Excitement

Simple pleasures are a good thing. My breathing lighter routine includes a little escape and Downton Abbey provides just the right amount of entertainment excitement. Oh I do hope no more cast members want off this show!

I hate to get news second hand

I was interested in reading more from the British perspective, but I ran into a problem. If I popped over to read articles originating in Great Britain, I accidentally stumbled upon details from the yet-unaired-in-America Season Four. We’ve been waiting since last February to see what happens next. I don’t want spoilers!

So why don’t you tell me.  Do you enjoy Downton Abbey? What is it that brings you back season after season? Or tell me why you’re not interested in this period piece?

And for my British and international friends–come on now…admit it. You like it, too, don’t you?

We can all agree Julian Fellowes isn’t William Shakespeare. But I think he tells a good story! And after all, don’t we enjoy a good story?

I’m curious. So maybe you can explain the difference between an American and a British response to Downton.

I know where I’ll be this Sunday at 9:00 P.M.–in front of my television. I’m not too proud to admit my addiction. Even if you think it’s strange.

And if you haven’t yet found your way to embrace this popular series, give me a nudge and I’ll do my best to convince you it’s a wonderful romp!

And then there are those gorgeous hats!

77 thoughts on “Americans are eager for the return of Downton Abbey. Do the British really think we’re silly?

  1. dadirri7 January 2, 2014 / 10:44 pm

    Now I really do feel I am missing out on something! We only watch ABC or SBS, not the commercial channels, so we don’t see it … maybe I should find the dvds???

    • Three Well Beings January 2, 2014 / 10:51 pm

      Well, not everyone would agree with me, but I do think you’re missing out on some wonderfully entertaining characters, Christine. Ha! I don’t know the differences in our channels or television programming, but here it’s not on commercial television. It’s aired on our public broadcasting station, viewer supported and commercial free. There are DVDs, however. I am hooked, so I may as well just admit it. 🙂 If you ever give it a try you must let me know what you think.

  2. Cathy January 2, 2014 / 11:31 pm

    I LOVE Downton Abbey Debra! (And I’m British!) I can’t speak for the rest of the Brits as I don’t live there any more, but I suppose it is not “the done thing” to admit you love a TV drama series. I bet they are secretly very proud of such British productions, and the newspapers do tend to be more cynical than the general population. The Brits also love the American soaps… I remember in the 80s how everyone denied they were “Dallas” fans (yet strangely enough all had a theory about who shot JR!). I saw my first Downton episode in the UK a couple of years ago and was immediately hooked. 😀 The first series was finally shown on German TV last Christmas, but after waiting for months for the second I decided to buy the DVD. Santa gave me the third series on DVD, so we are about half way through that now! I love Violet too, and the costumes, the cars and trains, the romance, the sheer unreality compared with life today… and the hats of course! It’s interesting to hear that it is so popular in the States, as well as other countries – I had no idea. The fourth series is out on DVD, but not in German yet (I can convince my partner to watch it with me in German but probably not in English!) so I will have to wait for that too. Enjoy your next episode Debra!

    • Three Well Beings January 2, 2014 / 11:46 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Cathy. You have the point of view from both being British but also living in another country. Downton is very popular in the United States, enough so that the producers and cast of the show have made publicity tours here that seem to be more about reaching the fan base than attempting to drum up more publicity. I think you’ve perhaps been accurate about the British press. Most of what I’ve heard or read that denounced the show was coming from a journalist, and so maybe it’s just fashionable to be negative about a serial drama. Very funny about the “Who Shot J.R.” years. I think we’re maybe more comfortable with the soaps here, and Americans are quite comfortable making fun of ourselves. I hope you can get caught up on the episodes soon. I had access to viewing season 4 early through a friend who had a source…very hush-hush I think. But I didn’t want to do that. I was looking forward to one week at a time, kind of like savoring a box of chocolates. I’m really glad to hear that you find it as enjoyable as I, and millions of others, do. 🙂

  3. sufilight January 2, 2014 / 11:38 pm

    Looks like I am missing a good series! Maybe I should watch it as I probably would enjoy it.

    Wishing you and your hubby and loved ones a blessed New Year! 🙂

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 9:02 am

      Thank you, Marie. I do hope that you also have a very full and healthy new year. And if you ever want a little nice escapism, I do recommend Downton Abbey. It can be a very fun romp! I wouldn’t want to wear the corsets, but the clothes alone are worth a peek. LOL!

  4. gingerfightback January 2, 2014 / 11:48 pm

    When Matthew told Mary that people were “panting” to see her enforce he toddled of and had a car crash, we stopped watching it then. Awful stuff! But if it keeps our actors in work…..

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 9:10 am

      I replied to you last night, Jim, but don’t see the comment. I offered to loan you my DVDs if you change your mind! 🙂 But somehow “awful stuff” sounds to me like you’ve shut that door! Those of us who are fans will continue to keep the actors employed, so that is a good thing. I know you champion the unemployed! Perhaps you could develop a new line of meat-hats for the actors? (if any of my readers do not yet know you, Jim, a reference to meat on the head should drive them over to make introduction!). Enjoy your weekend, and I will watch DA for you on Sunday night…awful stuff, huh?

      • gingerfightback January 3, 2014 / 9:13 am

        Each to their own Debra – have an hour spare tomorrow morning so will sausage up a few of the cast for you as a New Year’s gift!

          • gingerfightback January 3, 2014 / 9:17 am

            Any particular type of Sausage – I think old Fatty Grantham needs a cumberland!

  5. Promenade Claire January 3, 2014 / 12:43 am

    I’ll fess up here and now I’ve never seen a single episode. Mind you that might be cos I don’t have a TV …….. But I do watch a few things on iplayer (the BBC) and Downton is on ITV. Saying that I have a heap of friends who like it but probably more who don’t. Maybe it’s one of those secret watching things. I think the longer the series goes on the more people are complaining about the plots and the accuracy…. but what I want to know is why it appeal to americans so much?

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 9:00 am

      So far I haven’t had any Americans comment on why they watch it. Maybe I’ve made them all uncomfortable with the scrutiny and they don’t want to admit to it either. 🙂 I think it’s just a great big sweeping story and the historical backdrop is fascinating to me. The world was changing at that time in ways no one could have seen, least of all people completely removed from the realities of extreme poverty just beyond their gates. World War 1 plays significantly in the storyline and we begin to see attitudes change. It’s the contrasts between the lives of the characters, upstairs and down, that gives it so much color and I just love a good story. The writers were quite savvy to include an American in the family who is responsible for all the wealth in the Crawley family in the first place. LOL! I am hopelessly intrigued with any well-produced soap opera, Claire. It helps that this is part of Masterpiece Theater and on our public television stations…gives it a hint of sophistication. Or I like to think so. My secret is out. hahaha!

  6. Multifarious meanderings January 3, 2014 / 1:07 am

    I’m British, and I’ve never heard of it – but I live in Franc and don’t watch much TV, let alone British. The Brits love their soaps – Coronation Street and East Enders were always great hit. My kids watch US series like GLEE, and Little My is a huge fan of “despawut hasswifes”, as he calls it.

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 8:51 am

      And the British shows are all popular here in the U.S, too, although rarely do we have anything that is currently popular. I am never sure how television is “shared” between countries. When the ratings are published there is often a reference to international sales, but then I don’t know if that almost always means through streaming or other forms of watching. I do think some television must get “lost in translation.” I have to laugh at the idea that “Glee” and “Desperate Housewives” could be representative of American life. But I think that may be in part why some British reviewers have a concern about American exuberance around Downton Abbey. Maybe the concern is that we can’t differentiate between soap opera hyperbole and historical accuracy. Either way, it’s all fun. There are lots of places where our commonalities are delicious, and at the same time, we do retain our individual historical and cultural identities. To me it’s simply delightful we can talk about them!

      Thank you so much for commenting. I can add your name to the “No, I don’t watch it” list. But you might decide to sneak a look sometime. LOL! Think of me.

  7. Chatter Master January 3, 2014 / 2:21 am

    I’ve never seen it! Though I just read “Below Stairs”. I found the book and after reading it discovered it was the inspiration for Downton Abbey. I haven’t been intrigued to watch the show. But I have been intrigued to get the second book.

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 8:44 am

      Sounds like a book series I would enjoy, Colleen. I have watched Masterpiece Theater since the “Upstairs, Downstairs” days…so that’s got to be 40 years. Yikes! I’ve seen many series that addressed the relationship between the classes, but this one has particularly caught my fancy. As you are probably reading in the books you referenced, the downstairs staff certainly allowed for the “upstairs” crew to hold onto their illusion of wealth a lot longer than the changing world around them would have been experiencing. I think that’s part of what intrigues me about Downton. Following WW 1 and going into the 20’s roles began to change and life that had remained the same for hundreds of years was suddenly on a collision course with the future. After watching one of the seasons I found myself reading more about World War 1 and realized I didn’t know how much America had been affected by that war. So see? Downton is actually educational. hahaha! 🙂 I’m going to check into “Below Stairs.” Sounds like a book I’d really enjoy!

      • Chatter Master January 3, 2014 / 2:14 pm

        I’m intrigued by the same things. I am hoping to get to a bookstore to get the second. This woman wrote these books decades ago. I’m glad to see good writing, good stories, lasting and remaining valuable long after the writer wrote it!. 😉

  8. dandyknife January 3, 2014 / 4:18 am

    Canadian thots here. Sorry for the intrusion.

    Okay. First, look up British-born, Canadian-immigrated Stephen Leacock’s short story, “The Marine Excursion of the Knights of Pythias.” It’s a perfect example of British-descended Canadian self-deprecating humour. I suspect the British naysayers are mostly pretending to despise the show with a “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” attitude, the way Canadians love to hate Céline Dion.

    Next. Canadians not having much of a national identity, we like to contrast British with Americans and muse on where we fit along the spectrum (we never disowned the British, remember). One such analysis I read decades ago, a newspaper editorial, suggested that the Brits envy the Americans their hard-earned money while the Americans envy the Brits their long-established class.

    AHA!!! Downton Abbey has that tension woven right into the story with the American heiress Cora, and now her mum getting mixed up in the plot as well. It’s brilliant. Americans are an integral part of Downton Abbey — no Cora cash, no more abbey. The Americans can smile, knowing that once again they have stepped into the fray and saved the day. The Brits can be justifiably proud of the taste and decorum of their furnishings and finery. And we Canadians are right in there, too, knowing we can help Daisy cut carrots as well as anyone can.

    Hurray! Huzzah! Yippee for Downton Abbey!

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 8:36 am

      If I could give an award for the “best response” ever, Dandy, this would be it I’m laughing so hard at your statement about Canadians being proud of cutting carrots as well as anyone. That is just too funny. As it turns out, I love the downstairs staff! 🙂

      I will take your recommendation and find Stephen Leacock’s short story. I am genuinely interested in humor and attitude about humor between the countries. With so much that is similar, the nuanced and subtle differences aren’t easy for me to identify, but we know that our individual cultural experiences definitely impact our tastes.

      You mention the Canadians pretending to hate Céline Dion, and the British being so dismissive of Downton as part of the “does anything good come out of Nazareth” train of thought. This may be where I think Americans are decidedly different. We tend to be very loyal to our entertainers–completely to a fault. Anything goes, everyone is fine, nothing is too much–and I think, perhaps very much to a fault, as a whole the American attitude is never to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable with even the lowest forms of behavior or headline-grabbing story. I do think the general American attitude is never to be uncomfortable with excess…so Downton fits right in!

      I’m glad you weighed in…you have given me such a big smile with your excellent observations. I welcome the Canadian perspective! Especially yours!

      • dandyknife January 3, 2014 / 8:46 am

        Aw, shucks…
        I think your conclusion “I do think the general American attitude is never to be uncomfortable with excess” is brilliant! It’s, um, epiphanous, epiphanitical, epiphanic, um, I learned something new!
        Happy Epiphany, Debra.

  9. bulldog January 3, 2014 / 4:43 am

    Don’t know it and never heard about it… probably not something I’d watch unless they showed it on National Geographics or one of the sports channels…

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 8:18 am

      Fortunately there are only about 8 episodes a year, Rob, or my mind might turn to mush! This way I just have a few hours of total escape. Reading that Downton Abbey was big in over 50 countries, and that it was a huge hit in China, intrigued me. Maybe a lot of people are watching it secretly. So I’ll add you to the “definitely not interested” tally. 🙂

  10. aFrankAngle January 3, 2014 / 5:02 am

    I don’t watch it … but my wife does. She never heard of it until about 6 months ago when her sister told her about it. So she purchased seasons 1 & 2 to watch through Amazon … then caught season 3 during its recent airing … and she now is anxiously awaiting the start of season 4. Meanwhile, as she watches, I get blogging time!

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 8:13 am

      I think your wife has perhaps enjoyed the escape time, Frank. It’s great escapism. I watch almost everything that comes across Masterpiece Theater but nothing has ever attained this level of popularity. Perhaps one of the reasons is that word of mouth has been strong and with the advent of streaming video interested parties could get caught up and join the party. I was forced to go back and watch some of the earliest episodes again so that I could get Jay up to speed. LOL! He decided to join me. We’ll probably sit there on Sunday night with a big bowl of popcorn. 🙂

      • aFrankAngle January 3, 2014 / 12:55 pm

        Sounds like an enjoyable Sunday night. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to blogging time. 😉

  11. nrhatch January 3, 2014 / 9:02 am

    It’s the best period drama I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch, Irene. Stellar cast, characters, dialogue, setting, costumes, etc.

    Every episode has pulled me into the scenes unfolding.

    When I got Disc One Season One, I just wanted to satisfy my curiosity. Instead, my curiosity insisted on knowing “the rest of the story.” It’s a grand dance . . . above and below stairs.

    BTW: Kate Shrewsday is a FAN.

    • nrhatch January 3, 2014 / 9:03 am

      oops . . . Debra, not Irene. 😉

    • Three Well Beings January 3, 2014 / 9:15 am

      I am so glad you enjoy Downton, also, Nancy. I am really fascinated with the way it either catches fire in the imagination or leaves a person cold. That’s true with anything, I know, but maybe that’s my ego-centrism speaking. I love it, so why don’t “you?” Hahaha! Does BFF watch it with you, too? Jay does now. He didn’t at first, but I insisted he sit one time and watch it with me and he now loves it, too. It does have the qualities of a good soap…twists, turns and cliff-hangers. It’s also just a lot of fun! And isn’t that the best part! 🙂

      • nrhatch January 3, 2014 / 7:23 pm

        Yup. BFF is also a fan who resisted the series at first, and then became fully absorbed by the well written plot and dialogue.

  12. Slow Happy Living January 3, 2014 / 9:20 am

    I don’t have TV at home anymore, but somewhere in a motel room recently I watched a documentary about the estate where it is filmed, followed by a replay of season 1, episode 1. CFL then declared that he wanted to catch up with every back episode, but we haven’t quite gotten around to gathering ’round the computer to do that yet.
    Perhaps now with the new season starting, we’ll hear enough people talking about the show that we’ll get hooked too. You are the first in my world to do that, so I guess it’s time to let the fun begin!

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:50 pm

      I do think you’d have fun with Downton Abbey, Lori. It’s great escape-fare.And there aren’t that many episodes per season. I have watched a couple of very interesting documentaries on Highclere Castle, also, and I was interested in how many of the story lines in the show follow the history of the original family. I’m sure some of the fascination with Downton Abbey is that most of us cannot help but gawk at the opulence! Life was quite “exalted” for the landed gentry pre-income tax! LOL! There is much humor mixed in with the melodrama, so I hope perhaps you will get the chance to watch it from the beginning sometime. Maggie Smith has some great one-liners. 🙂

  13. Amy January 3, 2014 / 9:35 am

    I watched the first few series and really enjoyed the stories, acting, beautiful costume… I’ve been wanting to get the DVDs.

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:37 pm

      I am easily hooked on movies or television with multiple story lines…I want to see everything get all tied up in the end. 🙂 Thank you for adding your name to the list of Downton Abbey enthusiasts. I think my tally shows we’re about half and half–as I had read, not everyone thinks it’s worth the time. hahaha! Oh well…we’re all different in our entertainment tastes, aren’t we. I’m so glad you stopped by, Amy. Thank you.

  14. Eleenie January 3, 2014 / 9:47 am

    I’m not a fan, (not into period dramas) but my mum and sister (British) absolutely love it 🙂 I did, however, love the show that Julian Fellowes did about real unsolved crimes, ‘A Most Mysterious Murder’ I think it was called. He’s a pretty clever chap! Enjoy Downton 🙂

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:30 pm

      I do like other things Julian Fellowes has been a part of, Eleenie, but I don’t know “A Most Mysterious Murder.” I’ll have to see if it aired here. He’s a creative guy! Yes, I will enjoy Downton this season, I’m certain. I wish there were more episodes. And my goodness to wait ten months for a new season? Maybe that’s what creates the hype. 🙂

  15. dearrosie January 3, 2014 / 11:51 am

    Happy new year Debra.
    I’ve also watched Masterpiece Theatre every Sunday night since “Upstairs Downstairs” aired in the 1970’s and personally I don’t understand the hysteria about Downton Abbey. Sorry… Yes it has great hats, and of course Maggie Smith, and the interesting period of WW1 and the dissolution of Manor Houses and all their servants, but if you were to re-watch some of the earlier shows on Masterpiece Theatre you’d also stop and wonder what’s the reason for the fuss over this very mediocre show. Do you remember “The Duchess of Duke Street” which aired on PBS in the 1970’s. That show was brilliant. We just watched six episodes and even though it was made almost 40 years ago it isn’t dated at all.

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:28 pm

      Hi Rosie! So good to hear from you! I enjoyed your perspective on Downton, and no need to apologize for not finding it worth the enthusiasm (I prefer that word to hysteria. LOL!). Yes, I did see “The Duchess of Duke Street” and many others that were indeed wonderful. I loved each one. For some reason this Downton has captured a wider audience than the others, and it may be partly due to the popularity of the cast, or maybe more people are needing a good old fashioned soap opera/episodic drama and escapist thrill. The more the “real world” disappoints, I think people find reasons to bond around escape. I think what I’ve enjoyed the most is the ability to talk about the show with friends. Through the years I’ve been such a Masterpiece Theater supporter, but then couldn’t find anyone else in my groups of friends who followed closely. This has been a delightful exception! Perhaps more people are finding an interest in Masterpiece now then before they found Downton. That would be nice. 🙂

  16. Grannymar January 3, 2014 / 11:58 am

    I don’t have TV, but was introduced to Downton by my sister when staying with her in Dublin a few years ago, I have not missed an episode since except for our most recent Series 4 Christmas Special. My sister has it recorded, so I can catch up on my next visit. As for popularity, my twitter feeds is on the positive side and I think the ‘anti’ grumbles come from the press. The whole cast are wonderful.

    Maggie Smith, at 79, is in a class of her own. Here at Downton, Gosforth Park, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Quartet. All a good watch in my book.

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:22 pm

      Thank you for reminding me about “Quartet,” Marie. I missed that one! I just adore Maggie Smith and like to keep up with her movies! I am glad you’ve found a way to see the episodes. I am beginning to think that maybe it is just the press that feels compelled to criticize and put it down, because I think it’s worth watching for the cast alone. I’m certainly looking forward to it! 🙂

  17. Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective January 3, 2014 / 1:24 pm

    Who doesn’t need an escape, while watching something entertaining and well-acted??!! The scenery! The clothes! The accents! The drama! Loved watching Seasons 1-3; can’t want for Season 4.

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:11 pm

      I’m so glad you also enjoy Downton, Rebecca! It’s great fun, isn’t it? And yes, escape! I have never understood people who trivialize the benefits of watching television or a movie purely for entertainment. There are so few television shows that really capture my imagination, and this one does! Thank you for adding your voice to the “support” list. Such fun! 🙂

  18. ClassySass January 3, 2014 / 1:27 pm

    Debra, love the photos & quips of Ms. Maggie and her “comments”. AND, thank you for giving the date and time of the new season; you know I’ll be watching or at least taping it. Have you refilled the bottle to keep and reuse whilst watching? (hee-hee)

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:05 pm

      I haven’t had the wine yet, Ellen! I’m so intrigued with the wonderful bottle. Now there’s a thought, though…refill it. LOL!

  19. lifeonthecutoff January 3, 2014 / 3:13 pm

    You know, this is right up my alley, don’t you, Debra? The costuming, whether upstairs or down, the scenery, the rooms, especially the kitchen (all the real action happens in the kitchen, well, excepting that to-do with Pamuk). I love it all. I’ll be perched upon my sofa, cup of Lord Grantham tea (Republic of Tea has several select Downton Abbey brews available right now) at my side, perhaps a tea biscuit or ten, I’ll be right there, eagerly anticipating what will happen next. I’m actually hoping to post my own Downton tomorrow or Sunday morning. Who can resist?

    There is so much horrible television here in the States, which is why I think many of us appreciate such series as Downton Abbey. Besides, weren’t we the ones who invented serial television with Roots lo many years ago?

    I love the Lady Violet quotes you include here. She is such a font of one liners, isn’t she? I appreciate her sensitive, more mellow side, which is coming out more and more. Actually, reminds me a bit of my Aunt Babe!

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 8:04 pm

      I knew you were a Downton fan, Penny. I remembered the “invitation” you posted a couple of seasons ago, and how much that delighted me! I have recorded the Call the Midwife Christmas special but haven’t watched it yet. I’m sure I will this week. I have been waiting until I could sit down and have perfect, uninterrupted time! I do think that some of these shows are like having a big box of expensive chocolate. I don’t want to eat it too quickly, because then it will be gone. As I’m sitting here writing you are undoubtedly watching Downton…and I will be in an hour. 🙂

  20. lifeonthecutoff January 3, 2014 / 3:15 pm

    Me, again. Did you see the “Call the the Midwife” Christmas special episode that was on PBS last Sunday? If you haven’t yet seen it an enjoy “Call the Midwife”, see if you can find it, Debra.

  21. Hotly Spiced January 3, 2014 / 4:31 pm

    I love it too. It’s the only program on TV where I don’t think it rude to tell family and friends, ‘Don’t ring me tonight because I won’t be answering – Downton Abbey is on’. I now want to travel to England to tour the property where the show is made. Apparently at certain times of the year you can visit xx

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 7:45 pm

      I’m with you on preserving the time to watch Downton, Charlie. Fortunately for me, I suppose, most of my friends and family do watch it, so we aren’t disturbed. I also record it, because typically I’m an “early to bed” person, and this is the one night I watch the show live. So far, I do manage to stay awake. 🙂 I have heard the same thing about the castle being open to the public for tours. I would love that, too! Of course I have never been to England and there are so many reasons I would like to visit.

  22. Andra Watkins January 3, 2014 / 6:35 pm

    I read this on the toilet at 3am. TMI………..Sorry I am just cycling back around to comment.

    I have never seen Downton Abbey. I am ashamed to admit that, as I love Maggie Smith. I love all things English. I love period pieces. I know I can stream it on my computer, but when it comes time for me to sit still long enough to do that, I’m asleep. Or I’m reading to put myself to sleep. I think I need to do this on one of my next off-line times, when I can get writing done, not bother MTM with my Anglophilia, and watch episodes during breaks from writing. I know I would love it.

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 7:37 pm

      Somehow I was surprised you hadn’t followed Downton Abbey, Andra, but then we can’t follow everything that comes along! with your interest in all things English, that alone would make it enjoyable. Throw in a wonderful cast, including Dame Maggie, is a strong incentive to follow along. I am sure these episodes will be available in a variety of formats for a long time to come. You can catch up down the line when you have more time–or can stay awake! That’s my problem! I always record it just in case I do fall asleep. 🙂

  23. Kristy January 4, 2014 / 4:42 am

    I do want to watch the show. I saw a few episodes on a vacation a while back and loved it. Haven’t managed to catch it at home yet though. And I agree, the hats are awesome! Happy New Year Debra!

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 7:33 pm

      I think you’d enjoy following Downton Abbey, Kristy. There are only a few episodes per season. Then we wait, and wait, and wait…at least it isn’t demanding of time. I hope you had a good Christmas holiday and that the children enjoyed time away from school. I’m sure that now you’re headed back into the grind, a bit, but I do hope you have a wonderful 2014. It is so nice to hear from you. 🙂

  24. Kevin January 4, 2014 / 11:50 am

    I LOVE the show. Costumes. Maggie Smith. And Julian Fellowes. I first “discovered” him as an actor on “Monarch of the Glen” (watch this if you can) and then as the man behind “Gosford Park.” Great entertainment — which American television seems to be lacking.

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 7:30 pm

      Kevin, I’m so glad you also referenced Monarch of the Glen. We loved that show! Sometime about a year or so ago we were watching a special on the “making of” and all of a sudden the lightbulb went on and I realized where I’d seen Julian Fellowes before. I didn’t realize he was behind Gosford Park, but I suppose I should have guessed that, too! I’m so eager to sit down in another couple of hours and just feast. I’m hoping Shirley MacLaine is back, too. I’m so glad you watch it, too. More we have in common!

      • Kevin January 7, 2014 / 4:04 pm

        I recorded the premiere — two hours on a school night is a bit much for me. 🙂 And yes, we have so much in common. Imagine if we were neighbors! We could have Downton parties!

        • Three Well Beings January 8, 2014 / 8:29 am

          Oh wouldn’t we have fun, Kevin! I’d love to have a Downton party with you. LOL! I recorded it, too, but also watched it live. I do need to see it again, though. I can’t keep my eyes open until 11:00 pm on a “school night” without suffering a bit. I’m afraid by the end I was mostly listening. LOL! I’ll play a weekend catch up, and probably be glad the rest of the season is only in one-hour increments! 🙂

  25. Karen January 4, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    I’ve seen a few of the episodes but don’t watch it on a regular basis.

    • Three Well Beings January 5, 2014 / 7:25 pm

      Well, Karen, you’re stronger than I am! I can’t resist. 🙂 I’m eager to sit down tonight in about two hours and just see what the writers have in store for this year. Hope you’re doing well. The northeast looks tremendously cold. Brrr!

  26. Kathryn McCullough January 6, 2014 / 9:39 am

    First, I must say, we read so many of the same people, or rather have SO many of same folks are reading us. I’m excited to have found your blog. Thanks for the encouraging comment you left me about my memoir. It helps to get those, as the writing process can be slower than I’d like.

    I must admit, that I’ve never watched the show. I know, what a bore, I am. My sister loves it–that I do know.

    I look forward to following your blog!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  27. backonmyown January 6, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    I love Downton Abbey. I missed the first two seasons but then realized I was missing something important. All my friends were talking about it. I bought the DVDs and had a great lazy weekend in my PJs catching up. I’ve been hooked ever since. I think we Americans celebrate our emotions more readily than our friends across the pond. I’m guessing. Also, I agree that it’s a silly soap opera but it’s on PBS. And it’s British. And Maggie Smith is in it. (I wish they would figure out a way to insert Judi Dench.) What’s not to like? If we’re watching PBS we must be intellectual, right? 🙂 Good post, Debra.

  28. Aussa Lorens January 7, 2014 / 8:10 am

    Ah! Okay so I am too afraid to read any comments because I haven’t seen Season 3. I full out binged on this show about a year ago and could never quite put my finger on what was so addictive about it… but I’m glad I’m not alone. I hadn’t heard this whole First Lady and P. Diddy thing, that is hilarious! That show has such an allure to it… they have totally nailed the cliffhanger thing. I well remember that “just one more episode” feeling that kept keeping me up until 3AM, gazing into the glow of my laptop…. I’ll have to catch up soon!

  29. nuvofelt January 8, 2014 / 12:21 am

    I’m stepping in quietly from the other side of the Pond. I haven’t watched it since about the 3rd episode of season 1. It would take a lot for me to watch any more – but then I don’t watch much TV anyway. I gather it is popular from hearing friends discuss it – but I can’t add any more than that. I think it appeals to a certain age range over here. Of course, that’s one of the reasons I don’t qualify as a viewer 😉

    • Three Well Beings January 8, 2014 / 8:20 am

      I’m glad to have your input, nuvofelt. Thank you! I don’t think here in America the popularity is particularly age-based, so that’s interesting that you have observed age as a possible explanation for whether or not Downton Abbey is popular with British viewers. In the U.S. it may have caught on partially through strong word-of-mouth and simply the interest in talking about a show that is heavily episodic with fun “cliff-hanger” endings. The what-will-happen next to favorite characters is very appealing. I have enjoyed hearing from several friends who delight in telling me they don’t watch television, so they wouldn’t know about Downton. On the other hand much of what they watch on DVDs and streaming over the Internet sounds like drivel to me. LOL! So there is absolutely no accounting for taste, is there? I have found this a really fun topic, at least to give me multiple perspectives, so I am so glad you stopped by to leave yours. 🙂

  30. Tom McCubbin January 8, 2014 / 8:18 am

    I hadn’t heard of it before, but will be on the look-out, as Maggie Smith is one of my favorite actresses.

  31. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen January 12, 2014 / 8:18 am

    I do love Downton Abbey and can’t believe I missed the first show of the season! Now I’ve know what I’m doing this aft, lol! I think it’s the costumes and their unbelievable restraint and “proper” manners! Maybe that’s the appeal.. they’re so formal and, well, civilized. And the servants.. maybe I just envy their lifestyle:D

    • Three Well Beings January 13, 2014 / 10:11 pm

      I’m so sorry you missed the first show, Smidge. I’m sure you can find it on-line. It is the manners and civility, but also hierarchy and sheer elitism that adds to the entertainment. The extremes of formality are just amazing to observe, and there is something about the attention to detail in furnishings and table settings that I’m sure you find very interesting. I can imagine you hosting a beautiful party in that house. I should probably refer to it as a castle! 🙂 It would be fun to do at least once, wouldn’t it?

  32. rommel January 17, 2014 / 6:36 am

    Brit deliveries on entertainment is very different, that’s why. The differences and comparisons on their music, television and movies are very distinguishable. I didn’t know squat about Downtown Abbey esp. even now that I don’t even own a TV. The only thing I can reference to is that a lot of American versions of all British originals I’ve seen are pure crap. Ooops! My opinion. 😀

    • Three Well Beings January 17, 2014 / 9:17 pm

      Hahaha! There is a lot of crap on television, from both sides of the Pond! 🙂

  33. J9 January 18, 2014 / 2:47 pm

    I luuuurv Downton Abbey! I’ve seen the 4th season already, hee hee. Good things in store, rest assured! I saw the interview where the cast talked about American fans vs. British fans; sure made us sound like an excitable lot, didn’t they?

    • Three Well Beings January 18, 2014 / 8:32 pm

      Oooh! You’ve already seen season 4. Lucky you! Although I do rather enjoy the once a week…makes it last longer. 🙂 I agree with your assessment of the interview and we Americans sounding excitable. LOL! I think we must look really silly sometimes, but Americans are generally very enthusiastic. It’s not in our DNA to be too restrained, I don’t think. hahaha!

      • J9 January 19, 2014 / 5:32 am

        I watched it weekly, as it was airing in England. Let’s just say the situation was such that I could do that. 😉 One thing about the DA actors: at least they seemed to enjoy our enthusiasm.

  34. drush76 January 18, 2014 / 8:55 pm

    Look . . . “Downton Abbey” is an entertaining show. It’s beautiful to look at. And its had its moments . . . dramatically. But at its best, it’s mediocre. It’s like the “Charmed” of costume serial drama. Season One was probably its best.

    • Three Well Beings January 18, 2014 / 9:04 pm

      Ha! I guess sometimes “entertaining” is just fine! I do think Season One was the best. Most shows lose some of their flavor after a season or two. Thanks for adding your perspective. Of those who have commented, we are at about 50/50 for whether or not it is mostly rubbish! 🙂

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