Sunday, January 12, 2014

Downton Unbelievable

I used to be addicted to soap operas, and I've recently (last week)become enamored with Downton Abbey, which is basically a soap opera set in the early 20th century. Maybe it's the finisher in me, but I've felt compelled to watch every single episode from the beginning. I've found most of the characters to be endearing, and their English accents are fun to listen to. I also like historical fiction. All of that said, I can't believe I'm willing to put up with the ridiculous plot elements. For example...

[Warning: Spoiler Alert, though you'll probably survive if you know these things ahead of time. These are from Seasons 1 and 2.]

Update: Having finished all three seasons and started the fourth, I have to say that seasons three and four are much more believable and evolved than the first two. My opinions on the first two, though, stand.

***Edith--Seriously? She narcs her sister out, completely altering her future, and her sister doesn't tear her eyes out or even give her the silent treatment for more than five minutes? I've got sisters, and while we got along well for the most part, I'm pretty sure if one of them told the whole world that I was a slut (and I was) there would've been blood shed.

***A strapping young man in his 20s, inexplicably drops dead in the middle of a one-night stand. I know they didn't live as long back then, but that's a stretch.

***One day, Sibyl decides to become a nurse/candy striper and the next is a full-fledged nurse, seemingly the only one in a house full of ill or dying soldiers.

***The mother, who in real life is two years older than I am and whose youngest "child" is in her 20's suddenly becomes pregnant?

***Paraplegic Matthew leaps out of his wheelchair, surprising even himself but no one whose ever followed a soap opera. This is a big spoiler, but surely you'd have predicted it.

***Scumbag Thomas, in charge, after his history? Seriously? It's just plain stupid that he's allowed anywhere near Downton after demonstrating his poor character time after time. I guess every great drama requires a villain, but this one annoys me, especially because he changes his entire demeanor as often as he changes his clothing, and everyone welcomes him into the house as if they had no control of it. At least give the guy a secret blackmail conspiracy or something to explain why he's there.

***I predicted Patrick's return from the first episode. "He" finally returns and then disappears again. If they're going to introduce a plot twist, I think they should develop it fully and follow it through. Maybe he'll turn up again later, but if they follow course, he won't.

***Someone gets married and suddenly a gaggle of flower girls appear when we have seen nary a child in three seasons?  Then, as quickly as they appear, they're gone.

It just seems like the writers say, "Hey! I've got a great idea!" and they implement it for an episode and then drop it. And yet, with all of these silly, unbelievable plot turns, I keep saying, "More, please," along with millions of other people. What is it that draws us in so?  Maybe we're all just intrigued by the fact that all the women do is sit around all day, gossiping and managing all of their drama.  I know we're suckers for romance, and there is a fair share of that, too. I do love the gorgeous dresses the women wear; I would love to see some of those fashions come back.

Except for the corsets, of course.

Are you watching?

[Update: Seasons 3 and 4 are very different; much more believable, as well as somewhat dark. I'm all caught up, as of last night, and last night's episode was shocking!]

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