Last night we caught up on last Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey.
In case you've not seen it, I'm going to warn you now not to read further. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, as over-the-top as it was. They could perhaps have added an earthquake, Banquo's ghost, and a plague of locusts, but aside from that, I can't think of anything.
Nick said, "You know, this is pretty unrealistic."
"I know. They live in fucking England, and they wear sleeveless dresses and it's always sunny."
Seriously. The two times I've been in England that it was warm and sunny for days in a row, they were experiencing major drought. But anyway.
Also, I covet their dresses. I truly do. Not, you know, how repressed women were back then. Just the pretty pretty outfits of the very rich.
The truth is, I'm not looking for realism in my entertainment. I don't care that Mary, Edith, and Sibyl never age, even though it's been, like, seven years since the show began. Or that Matthew felt some tingling (when he first mentioned it I was all, tingling? down there?) and then all of a sudden stood up and lo, without really any rehab, was walking!
I don't even care that the evil characters are so nearly purely evil. Although once in a while you do see the glimpses of humanity in them. And as one of my gay friends pointed out, Thomas is gay in the early 1900s. Think about the lack of social acceptance and the amount of self-loathing he must have.
Which helped me loathe him marginally less.
Nonetheless, we need him, and we need O'Brien. Which is why he can steal from them and dabble in the black market have pretty much everyone including his employers hate him, and still keep living there because suddenly he's helpful in a pinch.
The evils keep the level of intrigue high and move the plot forward.
And we need Sir Richard just as self-serving, hateful, and smarmy as he is. Personally, I think he killed Mrs. Bates. There's no way she committed suicide. She's a Voldemort. Plus, wouldn't it be a tidy way to get rid of him down the road?
As for Lavinia - was she seriously that selfless? And did the Spanish flu make people gasp like that? I know that tons of people died from it, but did they sound all consumptive as they were giving up the ghost and choking out their final wish for their fiance to find happiness with another?
My ass, is all I can say about that.
Also, why wasn't she buried in London?
Oh! And Nick wants to know - doesn't Sir Richard ever need to work? Personally, I think that his empire to the point where he doesn't actually have to. Plus they have the modern telephone. He can telecommute if necessary.
All this said, I do not care. I eat the Downton drama up, and I wish it would go on and on and on.
Life has plenty of realistic grimness; I don't seek it in entertainment. I like my dramas dramatic, my romances romantic, and above all, I want a happy ending. I don't care how contrived it is. When all is said and done, I want it all wrapped up in a shiny red bow.
Which I thoroughly expect from Downton in the very very end.