So John and I bought a Wii so that we wouldn’t spend our winter sitting on the couch, we’d be up moving around, getting the blood flowing. You know. All those same reasons you bought a Wii. (Actually, we bought an XBox Kinnect but our apartment was too small for it. You had to be able to stand at least 8 feet back from the TV. It is 6 feet from our TV to our couch. Exactly. We got laughed at the store a lot when we returned it).
Turns out though with the Wii you can stream Netflix, so we ended up watching TV anyway.* But much better TV.
Which brings me to my latest Netflix discovery – Downton Abbey.
It’s British Masterpiece Classic, a period drama about a wealthy English Lord and his family as well as the servants who tend to the estate. Besides the delicious British accents and to-die-for dresses, the acting and character development is phenomenal. (You might notice Maggie Smith up there, yes, from Harry Potter).
The characters aren’t simple cookie cutter “sweet innocent maid” and “evil landlord” and “conniving sister”. They are real. People you love one minute, hate the next, and then shake your head and think “why did they have to do that? I was just starting to like them!”
The plot follows the family as, after the sinking of the Titanic, their line of inheritance is muddled leaving the welfare of the estate and the daughters uncertain. There is plenty of Jane Eyre-esque courting of unsuitable suitors and handsome Mr. Darcy types to fulfill any semi-romantic longings you might have. But the lives of the servants are equally, if not more so, fascinating. Issues of class, gender, love , thievery and impending war in Europe abound.
Besides the fact this will make you want to walk around saying “rather” and “oh dear me” with a faux-British accent, and possibly throw a garden tea party, this series has the ability to draw you into its world and make you forget for an hour that you are neither a lady nor a maid but a grad student who can’t feel the right side of your face because you had a cavity filled.
The biggest downfall of this show is season two doesn’t come on until fall of 2011. So I should warn you, you might want to wait until the week before it airs to start watching it, lest you be heart broken when you find out you have to wait months to see what happens next.
* It’s really my fault that we watched TV more than played on the Wii this winter as my IC was not treating me too well for most of February and March. But can I just say I beat John in the baseball game last week. And so we are never, ever playing that one again.