Downtown Abbey for Dummies

downton_abbey_s3_18esdt6-18esdtd I just can’t help myself. I would rather watch The Biggest Loser reruns than another episode of Downton Abbey.

Downton Abbey has become a cult hit in America – they are absolutely obsessed with it.

“American Downton fans organise Sunday night viewing parties, shell out on themed merchandise and chat endlessly about the latest plot twists on Twitter and Facebook” (BBC News).

You have to feel sorry for all those Americans sitting around, feeling cultured. All they are watching is a soap opera in fancy frocks. Now there is nothing wrong with a soapie but it shouldn’t pretend to be anything else.


Even the best soapie can’t really satisfy. It’s just too much plot for no particular reason. It goes on and on and on and on there is no binding theme to hold all the threads together. No plot line can be resolved because they need to make the next episode. Soapie’s rarely have anything intelligent or truthful to say about this world we live in.

Now I’m a big fan of costume dramas. In fact I love them. I just feel it’s a shame that people have flocked to this one when they could do so much better.

Honestly,I just find Downton Abbey very boring. Except for the wonderful Maggie Smith, the characters are singularly unattractive and dull. Am I the only one who sees it? Matthew and Mary from Downton Abbey would have to be the most droopy, boring and unappealing lovers on screen. Where is Colin Firth when you need him?

Maggie Smith is wonderful but most costume dramas have a whole host of eccentric characters. Poor old Maggie has to save the entire show.

Downton is also very short on laughs. It’s just not British enough I think. Everyone takes themselves very seriously. I wish they would employ Miranda Hart as a downstairs maid. Its needs some one to do something silly or at least tell those Crawley sisters to get over themselves.

So if you are looking for a costume drama to watch here are a few suggestions. All these have charm, intelligence and humour.

  1. Pride and Prejudice (1995) watch it because it was the start of great BBC costume dramas really. This one has it all!
  2. Our Mutual Friend (1998)
  3. Vanity Fair (1998)
  4. Wives and Daughters (1999)
  5. The Way we Live Now (2001)
  6. Daniel Deronda (2002)
  7. Cranford (2007)
  8. Little Dorrit (2008)
  9. North and South (2004)
  10.  Bleak House (2005)
  11. Lark Rise to Candleford (2005) – watch this for Dorcas Lane. Everyone needs a Dorcas in their life.
  12. Emma (2009)
  13. Call the Midwife (2012)
  14. The Paradise (2012)