First, it was Full House. Then came 90210, Dawson’s Creek and Sex and the City. Most recently, Grey’s Anatomy but I’ve lost interest in that – couldn’t handle all of the surgery scenes once I went through it myself. Not only have I seen every episode of these shows, but I can recite most of them too. Maybe not something to brag about. I haven’t had much time to watch a TV series in the past two years. With Aiden’s sleep habits, I’m usually in bed with him early and naps are inconsistent. This means little time for consistent show watching. With my surgery and accompanying down time, I’ve needed things to keep me busy. I had a list of ideas, but the list did not include Downton Abbey. A friend suggested I utilize my Amazon Prime membership and start from the beginning. Five minutes in (the Titanic!) and I was hooked.
I wish I had started watching the show right after surgery. My new obsession was timed with starting to feel better and being able to take care of the kids again. This means I’ve had to be creative with my watching. It also means I haven’t gotten much sleep. Who knew there was an Amazon Prime App and that ear buds worked so well with an iPhone while lying in bed? Now I will say, I promise I haven’t traded quality time with the kids for watching. I would MUCH rather spend my time playing with Aiden and Audrey than watching a TV show. Most of the time. No, really, all of my watching has been at night or during naps. I tried to watch once when Aiden was playing, but when I mentioned Abbey, he thought I meant the Abby on Sesame Street, so we ended up watching Elmo instead.
I know I need to take a bit of a break before diving into season 4. I’ve started to use phrases like, “very well” and “I’m afraid I’ve…”. And between Downton and Thomas the Train, I’m pretty sure I’ve developed a bit of a British accent. While I do find British accents appealing (okay, that even sounded British), mine would be more like bad acting so it needs to stop.
As I’ve been enjoying this show, and know millions of others do too, I’ve been thinking about its appeal. What draws me to a family who is from another era and is totally the opposite of everything I know? I think it’s just that. With all of the “reality” TV out there today, I think most people still yearn for a departure from real life as their entertainment. That’s always been the point of TV and movies, hasn’t it? Why else would we love E.T. or The Notebook or even Billy Madison? Because aliens don’t really live in our closets, summer romances don’t usually last and rich immature adults don’t get to go back through school while winning the heart of a beautiful girl. We love watching these things happen, though. Of course “based on true events” stories have their place in our hearts too, but I tend to lean toward the stories that take us far away. It makes the hard, lonely, boring, sad times more bearable. And sometimes it just helps us to forget that we were puked all over by a two year old earlier that day, while the baby was screaming bloody murder.
So I look forward to returning to Downton and seeing how the Crawley family “gets on.” But I’ll save it for when I need to escape everyday life. The Tanners, Brenda and Dylan, Dawson and Joey and even Meredith and Dr. McDreamy will always be there for me too, when life gets a little rough.