Season two of Downton Abbey just hit US shores, and the general audience consensus seems to be “AWESOME!” There have, however, been recent articles by naysayers who’ve seen the entire second season and don’t like it. Why might this be? Who doesn’t love glamorous, soapy fun? A (spoiler-free) theory or two after the cut!
One reader goes so far as to theorize that “Downton Abbey is not actually that good. People miss Mad Men-type shows where rich people do bad things.” Having seen the entire first and second seasons, my first reaction to her statement was “psh, it’s so much more than that.” But is it?
Downton fans, think about why you love the show. Are your favorite moments when Lady Sybil is selfless or Lady Edith becomes a better person? Or do you enjoy the illicit lovers dying in bed, backstabbing sisters trying to destroy each other and caustic remarks from Grannie? (“That’s [blank]‘s replacement? I suppose looks aren’t everything.”) Yeah, you do. Our reader brings up a good point — what else makes the show good? Do we really just watch it to see some pretty, proper socialites get mean and dirty?
I’m going to say “no” to that question. I think there’s something to be said for the love of conflict in entertainment, but that’s not all Downton has going for it. Yes, its scandals make for good viewing. But this show also has romances you (really, really) root for, friendships that are touching to see and even a few lessons on making difficult — but correct — decisions in life. I think it’s nicely well-rounded, though I still can’t wait to discuss some of season two’s tawdrier moments with new viewers.
Do you watch Downton Abbey? What do you think of it?