Wednesday, February 01, 2012

And now Downton Abbey has become our yardstick for, well, everything

So, two things which are backgroundy but necessary for the actual story, which in itself is rather brief.

One, Nick and I have both gotten completely and utterly sucked in to Downton Abbey.

Nick's taste runs to the Office, Archer, 30 Rock, the Simpsons, and Family Guy. I watch so little TV that he's in charge of the Netflix. And I had been badgering him to put Downton in our Netflix queues for ages.

And instead he kept ordering films about cowboys and dwarves. Not together. I was annoyed. I mean about the not-Downton. Not about the cowboys and dwarves not being in the same movies.

Anyway. So he was humoring me in ordering this Masterpiece Theatre period drama. We finally started on Downton and he was hooked from the first episode.

We started one season late, and caught up on Netflix, and it is just delicious. I love it and I want it to go on and on. I don't care if it's a soap opera all dressed up in gorgeous early 1900s outfits. Nick is equally riveted.

Our TV room is becoming a kid's room, and so we got rid of our behemoth television. So last week Nick, Betty, and I all piled onto her bed to watch.

And this past Sunday I was in NY for work, and because I was out for a work dinner, I missed the first 20 minutes. I haven't yet had time to catch up, and it's kind of like knowing you have dessert waiting.

And in fact, speaking of NY, I stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria. I'd never been there before I called Nick, "It's so grand!"

"Like Downton?"

In fact, yes!

So that's Downton.

The second thing is that our English basement tenants, who we adore, are leaving us. Well, one has already moved out, and the other leaves the end of this month.

Personally, it makes me very sad, because we like them both, and we like each of their dogs as well. And mortgage-wise, it's not an ideal time to rent, and we need it rented. They kindly gave us ample notice, and we have been actively looking for tenants for March 1.

So Sunday, when I was gone, a lovely couple came and looked at the place. They need to move mid-March. Nick liked them a lot, as did Betty.

They love the location, the fact that our apartment is big, quite new with new appliances, a washer-dryer in the unit, and lots of security bars. When we moved in, one of the first things we did was convert the scary murder basement of death into a separate, safe, and nicely done apartment.

It is nice. But it's an English basement. There are lots of windows, but they are ground level. This is just a fact.

So Nick has been corresponding with the potential tenants. They have some time, and they are looking around. They liked our place, but have reservations - mainly the lack of natural light. Which I totally understand.

So Nick forwarded to me the most recent email, in which the guy asked Nick to let him know if we had another tenant we were considering.

Nick called and said, "I understand them looking around. But they might just not find a place they like better. They could still choose us. Because in 44 days they're going to have to move."

"Yeah, but we don't want someone who doesn't really want us. That would be like wanting to marry Mary, but having to settle for Edith."

"We're not Edith."

"Well, we're not Mary."

"Maybe we're Sibyll."

"Oh, we're not Sibyll! Sibyll is exquisitely beautiful! With tons of natural light!"

"Fine. But we're NOT Edith." He sounded insulted. "Her problems go far beyond lack of light. We're definitely way better than Edith."

Hooked, I tell you.


  1. This post just made my day! I've watched season 1 by self, but am willing to watch again if it means getting my husband into it!

    1. I hope you do! We were still getting caught up on season one while watching season two (because our DirectTV sucks and wouldn't record, and we didn't want to wait for it to come out). I would really like to go back to season one again once two is over.

  2. As you can likely tell from my FB postings, I'm obsessed too. Obsessed. Not to mention, I'm madly in love with Mary and, more particularly, her dresses. I've seen photos of that apartment and I'm quite confident in the following statement: it is the Lady Mary of English basements. No Sybil and absolutely, most definitely not Edith. It's top-notch.

  3. Related, I was just telling my husband (also a Downton Abbey fan) that Lady Mary's eyebrows have their own Twitter account: @L_MarysEyebrows.

    1. That's a wonderful compliment! The Lady Mary of English basements! Thank you!

      As for her eyebrows - that is truly hilarious.

  4. I've been hearing about Downtown Abbey. I'll check it out. The former scary murder basement of death sounds really nice!

    1. Kate, it is one of my favoritist things. It's the only TV I watch, just because I lack time. I love it so.

      And it is nice now, thanks!

  5. I watch on, so I've seen about halfway through Season 2. And I have to say, Edith seems to be less awful lately. My guess is that it's more of a Mr. Carson v. Mr. Bates situation. Both CLEARLY what you want in your corner, but only one bears a striking resemblance to Sam the Eagle?

    Erm. I think I've strayed from the topic.

  6. They are all getting kinder to each other, I think. But I cannot forgive Edith for writing to the Turkish ambassador. And as Lady Cora said, Edith just doesn't have the same advantages as Mary.

    I didn't remember Sam the Eagle, but just looked him up and laughed. I love Mr. Bates, I do. I'm worried about what his wife will do. She is one mean Luna Tic.

  7. I must be the only person in the world who doesn't get the appeal of "Downton Abbey". To me its sole purpose is to get the piss taken out of it on "Harry Hill's TV Burp".

    1. P - I dunno - is it an American thing? Everyone I know is crazy about it and I keep reading articles about its popularity. But for us, English manor houses are far, far from our reality, and thus kind of exotic.

    2. I'm not sure - it seems to be pretty popular in the UK too, but it definitely seems to have been embraced over your side of the Atlantic. I was quite taken aback by its popularity with you guys!

      Oh, and living in Glasgow, English manor houses are pretty far from MY reality too, so if your theory is right, I really SHOULD have liked it... ;-)

  8. And what about Granny, the Dowager Countess who has THE most wonderful lines. She is pure genius!

  9. I am absolutely obsessed with Downton Abbey too!!! My Mom and I accidentally found it on Netflix last summer, and we screamed when we found out season 2 was starting back in January. I have taken it as my mission to spread the word about the awesomeness that is Downton. I love that you and Nick had a conversation like that! I am in Ireland for the next 2 weekends and will miss the next 2 episodes, but will be looking for them online! My future in-laws have seen the whole of season 2, as it finished here in Ireland in December, and they said its fantastic! I already can't wait for season 3. I watch a lot of TV, probably way too much, but I have never been this excited about a show, even Lost.

  10. I love this post. Chloe and I have been watching Downton since it began last year. O'Brien is one of the most loathsome characters, but what I really want to know is what made her the way she is.

  11. I love Downton! A friend kept telling me to watch, and last weekend my fiance and I watched all of Season 1 and caught up with Season 2. Yes, in one weekend.

    I'm scared about Mrs. Bates, too. She is EEEEEEEEvil, I'm sure of it.

    Also, I am now following Lady Mary's Eyebrows on Twitter.

  12. I too loved Downton and had watched it in the US when it was first run. Now that I've moved to the UK I fell into an in-between hole. I left the States just before Season 2 started - but here in the UK they've already finished broadcasting it. {Why me, oh why me?} :-)

    Fortunately I think a Netflix UK service just started up... must go investigate.

  13. Hahaha I made DG watch the second programme of Downton with me and now he is completely hooked too. We are eagerly awaiting the 3rd season now. Starts in a couple of weeks, cant wait! Love love it. Best thing on TV


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