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Downton Abbey: To Watch Or Not To Watch

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 11:31 AM

Yesterday, while discussing the evocative music in the PBS mini-series Downton Abbey with its composer John Lunn, I 'fessed up to not having watched the series, except for the first episode the night before.  I could certainly see why people get hooked on it, and I felt that if I went on and watched the second episode, I probably would be hooked. So we put out the question, on the air and on our Facebook page: should I make the commitment and watch the whole thing?  Or was it just another pretty face in a long line of Masterpiece Theater series? 

Well, the results came in – on the phones, on our comments page, and on Facebook, and the message from Soundcheck listeners couldn’t be clearer.  Although there were (literally) one or two notes of caution, most of your responses are best summarized thus: “what kind of an idiot are you?  You watched the whole first episode and you’re still not hooked???  Get back in front of the TV this instant, mister!”

So thank you.  Thank you, Soundcheck listeners, for your clear and unambiguous message to watch the series. 

I’m not watching the series. 

I just can’t – I know it’s beautiful to look at, and Lunn’s music is lovely (and to me, quite reminiscent of Michael Nyman’s score to the Jane Campion film The Piano, which had the great advantage of being over in two hours).  But it’s already in season 2, and who knows, if it continues to be a success in the ratings, how many more will follow?  I can’t be watching Anna and Bates’s grandkids getting rich by selling heroin to rock stars in the 70s and using the cash to buy an abandoned, dilapidated Downton Abbey in Season 12… I went down that road with Lost.  By the end of season 1, there were already more guns and people on this uncharted, deserted island than there are in Texas.  Then people started time-traveling and shape-shifting and moving the island and I just wanted it to end.  And I swore, as God is my witness, that I would never be Lost again. 

Don’t bother leaving a comment.  I’ve made up my mind. (Go ahead and leave a comment. Sincerely, -- The Editors)


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Comments [6]

Gabriela Ulate from Orlando, Fl

Actually, Its only planned for one more season. Season 2 I waited till all the downloads where finished on my Itunes and watched all the episodes in 3 nights!!! I must say, I LOVE loathing Thomas and season two only added fuel to that fire!! Really, go ahead and watch it- Season two is a lot of ups and downs and some great turns and twists.


May. 02 2012 09:38 AM

You can catch up on season 1 for next to nothing on - free if you are a prime user of Amazon.

Feb. 04 2012 01:50 AM
Pete from England

'I can’t be watching Anna and Bates’s grandkids getting rich by selling heroin to rock stars in the 70s and using the cash to buy an abandoned, dilapidated Downton Abbey in Season 12…'

Mind if I sell this idea to Julian Fellowes? It's actually brilliant.

Jan. 23 2012 03:17 PM
LL from UWS

I'm watching but not enjoying it enough. Too middle brow and choppy. It doesn't hold a candle to "Upstairs, Downstairs".....and I haven't found a character to identify with yet.

Jan. 22 2012 11:57 PM
SKV from NYC

Speaking as someone who is not "hooked" but is watching the series anyhow, I think you're making an error, and an error of hubris. The show is not as good as many another Masterpiece series, and not nearly as good as Gosford Park, its progenitor, but it is worth watching. And I suspect you're just trying to distinguish yourself somehow by not watching, and that's just silly.

Jan. 22 2012 05:55 PM
Kent Lebsock from New York City

Yep, you're an idiot. Using that logic, none of us should ever try anything new again but sit around and relive only what we knew. Idiot.

Jan. 22 2012 05:12 PM

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