This is sort of hard for me to admit (since I am straight guy) but I like watching the wildly popular TV show Downton Abbey. For those that don't know Downton Abbey is British TV show that airs on PBS and is written and created by Julian Fellowes. The show revolves around a British great house and estate, Downton Abbey, and the family and servants that live in it.
The show has been ratings gold for PBS and there has been a lot of talk about why the show is so popular. There are a lot of reasons why the show is excellent. It includes a great group of actors including Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, and others. As well the writing by Julian Fellowes seems to be quite well researched and well done.
While I am not a psychology expert or TV junkie, this is my list of 5 Reasons Why People LOVE Downton Abbey:
1. Not Working Appeals to Us
One of the reasons Downton Abbey appeals to people is that the show revolves around British Lords and great estates. These British families were so rich and well-off that they didn't have to work at all. They inherited money and land which made them fabulously wealthy for generations. Being known as a “Gentleman” basically meant you didn't work. Working was seen as something only lower and middle class people did. In the show this is reflected in many smart quips and lines. Essentially the servants do most of the work running and maintaining the house while Lord Grantham and the Crawley family don't do much. This lifestyle quit appeals to men and I assume women too. Imagine not having to clean your house? Cook dinner? Wash dishes? That would be totally awesome and isn't something that American are use to seeing much.
2. The House
HighClere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed, is an amazing and impressive house and estate. No matter what people say, everyone has thought or dreamed about what it would be like to live in a big and beautiful house.
3. Soap Opera
The best way to describe Downton Abbey is sort of like a soap opera, without the bad writing and bad actors. Some of the plots and stories are a bit annoying but you watch, enjoy the show, and have fun anyway.
4. Time Capsule
Considering how advanced society and technology is in 2013 it is fun for people to get a glimpse into a different time period. In the Downton Abbey Season 1 they installed electricity in the house as a ‘new thing' and later thee house had phones installed. Seeing what technology was cutting edge back in the day is fun for a generation that is plugged in so much. You always wonder, “How did people live without the internet ” Hey, know you know.
5. Everyone Else is Watching
Basically everyone you know is watching and talking about the show. So you got to keep up with pop culture, watch the show too, and say you like it.
Downton Abbey is now in Season 3 and takes place after World War 1. Here is the description for Season 3 from the PBS website.
Downton Abbey has weathered the war, and the prospect of an impending wedding for Mary and Matthew brings great anticipation, as well as Cora’s mother from America, Martha Levinson. New World and Old World are about to clash as Martha tests tradition at Downton, and the patience of the formidable Lady Violet.
Aside from the sparks upstairs, a very real crisis threatens the foundation and future of Downton. Great houses have been crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I, and Downton may not be exempt. In response, Robert clings decisively to his duty to maintain the home at all costs. But in this changing landscape, nothing is assured, and even the Crawleys may be faced with a new battle to safeguard their beloved Downton.
You can catch the show on PBS on Sunday nights at 9PM. Next week is the last Downton Abbey episode for Season 3.
What do you think of my list? Do you agree or disagree? Do you love or hate Downton Abbey? Leave a comment below and let me know!