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Zachary Stevens Headshot

Not Too Shabby, That Downton Abbey

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As much as I resent the snow that graces my colorful state of Massachusetts each year, I do thank the current blizzards for my involvement in Downton Abbey. I was always keen on indulging myself in the Julian Fellowes drama but with keeping up with sports, current sitcoms and the Kardashians (okay, I joke on the latter) I never gave myself time for this presentation of Masterpiece Classic. Coincidently, my mother had the same idea for the PBS show after hearing rumblings of how addicting it is. As the snow piled up due to Nemo, a storm, not the name of a Disney creation, we turned on the fireplace and began on episode one.

Seven hours later, season one was completed and I was in awe. Never in my life had I sat down and watched an entire season of any television show in one day. And even if I had, I know I would have become restless to move on to something else; my interest would be wavering. Yet, with Downton Abbey, I was glued to the screen and craved more and more of the Crawley family and their ever entertaining servants. I was engulfed with the story to the point that I felt as if I knew the characters and subsequently developed a non-psychotic parasocial relationship with each. The show provided a truthful glance into the lifestyle of human beings of different class ranks and it wasn't a farfetched account; a type of display we commonly see in the entertainment world today. It was real, invigorating, and yes, addicting.

In two weeks, I have finished every season to date and find myself walking around in circles waiting for a glimpse of season four to appear. I have made the theme my ringtone and have even learned to play the piano interlude. I now know why this series was talked about amongst the masses and I regret I did not start watching from the very beginning. If I had, then I would know how to cope with the waiting period; a timeframe almost three times longer than any other show's hiatus in between seasons. Ah!

Still, the hardest part in this whole ordeal is the temptation to look at spoilers to see what will happen as the season progresses. If only somehow the show can congruently be shown in England and the States this problem would not arise for the Downton die-hards and myself. When I succumbed to rumors that Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) was not going to be signing on for a fourth season, I quickly paused my search before I found out his inevitable fate. And, I'm glad. When he met his untimely death after being at the pinnacle of happiness I was momentarily distraught. After the dramatics and recent death we had been prone to, I believed the audience deserved some temporary happiness going into our almost year hiatus. But understandably, that would not be Downton Abbey's style.

The only thing we deserve as fans is the impeccable story telling and authentic acting the crew presents in each fifty-minute episode. To me, this is a rare feat to accomplish week after week without ever boring the audience and losing its appeal. Normally shows begin to wear out their welcome in third and fourth seasons. The writing gets repetitive, the acting stale and we almost wait for something drastic to happen to bring a show back to its glory. So, ultimately a few days after seeing Mr. Crawley display his prominent smile for the last time, I fully understand why he had to go.

We now are primed for a new era with the Crawleys and it breathes a breath of fresh air into the series moving forward. Thankfully, Mary gave birth to a boy, the future heir of Downton, so we won't be concerned in that area. But the Lady will be engaged with new love interests (Mr. Fellowes, I am available) something I am most eager see.

The fourth, hopefully not last, season of Downton Abbey should continue to impress its audience and be a guilty pleasure. If you ever find yourself stranded inside due to the weather like me, or if you have an extended time in which you are looking to be exposed to a new show, please consider this. You will not be disappointed, you will be addicted and it will leave you talking for months to come.