If you haven’t seen the British, Masterpiece Classic show “Downton Abbey,” you may want to consider adding it to your Netflix lineup. But you should definitely stop reading here because I have a bone to pick with the show.
I am a firm, and maybe crazy, believer in true love and that it’s out there. I may be in the minority.. eh sorryboutit. But back to Downton.. The show is driven by the relationships between its main characters and how they are affected by WWI, class, social standards, and English tradition. But here is what I have learned so far about true love…
1. Cora & Robert — The love between the mighty Earl of Grantham and his American wife is true when the show begins. They even sleep in the same bedroom (gasp), defying the British social norms. But the part that they fill in for you as the show goes on? Robert had no money to run his estate because of bad investments and had to go to America to find a rich heiress. And what’s even better… he ends up losing all of her fortune in bad investments again. Yet, for some reason everyone pities how hard it must be for him? Ugh.
2. Sybil & Branson — A lady of the house and the Irish chauffeur. Their love crosses classes, religion, and English oppression. The family even starts to finally come around to their relationship, specifically when Sybil is the first of the sisters to get pregnant. So what is my problem here? Oh yes, Sybil dies suddenly during childbirth. Like, WHAT. She was only 24 and finally had her family and her true love… well too bad for Branson because now he’s stuck with the Crawley family without her. Literally horrible.
3. Anna & Bates — Anna is without a doubt the kindest and most caring person in the show. She is a ladies’ maid and falls in love with his Lordship’s valet, the integrity-driven, Mr. Bates. Just when they finally admit their love, Bates’ evil ex-wife is determined to ruin his life. She kills herself so Bates will get blamed for the murder and spend his life in jail. So that’s where he spends the beginning of their love affair and most of the third season.. in a gross, gray (grey for you Brits), dungeon of a jail.
4. Edith — Yes, Edith is alone. The middle daughter always seems to be unlucky in love, and most other happenings in her life. For anyone afraid to grow old and be a spinster, try to avoid watching her parts. Edith’s first love was arranged to marry her sister but then is killed in the Titantic. Her second love turns her down because he is an old man, realized after some meddling from Lady Mary. Then her first love returns during the war, unrecognizable ,and is turned away by the whole family. And re-enter the old man who now only has one usable arm (really, Edith?!). But she basically forces him into loving her again and then is left at the alter. In front of the entire village. But never fear, she falls in love again at the end of the third season.. with a married man whose wife is locked up in the looney bin and not mentally competent enough to divorce him. Oh, Edith.
5. Mary & Matthew — Swoon. They’re the couple you’re rooting for. She’s the witty, eldest daughter and he is the heir to the whole estate, not to mention that he looks fabulous in his red WW1 uniform. They overcome a secret Turkish lover, other fiances, and Matthew even being paralyzed from the waist down. I basically jumped off of the couch and danced around when he perfectly proposed in the snow. The third season is filled with perfect moments of their love and affection. It all builds up to Mary becoming pregnant with her first child. Now get ready to ride the Top Thrill dragster: (former highest roller coaster in the world, all the way up and all the way down within 9 seconds). She goes into labor and Matthew tells her how unbelievably happy she has made him, and everything else amazing. I’m giddy because of perfection. And then Matthew gets in the car to hurry home really quickly… AND HE FREAKING DIES.
These are the examples of love Downton has given us. I understand that actors want to leave the show… but come on people. I feel like it’s dangerous for my heart to be exposed to, and not just because of the immense cynicism. So luckily, they’ve given me time to recuperate, and maybe get a boyfriend, before season 4 airs in the US in January of 2014. Until then, all I can say is, BYE.