Monday, February 20, 2012

Do We Need a Support Group?

It's over!  And wasn't it wonderful.  But first, be advised, spoilers to follow if you haven't seen the finale of "Downton Abbey" yet.   

 The last episode finally brought Cousin Matthew and Lady Mary together in a magical snowy scene outside Downton Abbey as he got down on his knee and asked her to marry him.

What will we do without our Sunday nights at "Downton Abbey."  I know many people who will miss it, including myself.  I will miss those dinners around the dining room table with the family dressed in formal attire, the men in white tie and the women in gowns.  Can you imagine getting dressed up like that every night for dinner in your own home?

I will miss the exquisite library with its leather bound books where so many great scenes happened, including the exchange of Christmas presents in the season finale.  This was the room where Lord Grantham was endlessly working at his desk or reading the paper and Mr. Carson or Mrs. Hughes were forever popping in to inform his lordship of some new crisis among the staff or on the estate.  

I will miss Lady Mary and her complicated personality.  She had that icy aristocratic demeanor in the beginning of the show (and maybe it never completely left her), but as the series went along the depths of her character were revealed and we ended up understanding her better and liking her more. 

And oh, the anguish and frustration of the star-crossed romance between Cousin Matthew and Lady Mary.  It's resolution was a glorious moment.

I will  miss the servants such as Thomas and Mr. Bates and their complicated relationships with the Crawleys.  Thomas, who was found to be a thief, is later forgiven after being wounded in the war and is welcomed back to the house.  Lord Grantham and the family seem to feel a responsibility towards him and the other servants.  We feel that the Crawleys will take care of the them forever.     

I will miss Maggie Smith more than anybody else, because her memorable lines and verbal zingers were delicious and nobody could have played the Dowager Lady Grantham with greater confidence, humor and talent.  She is one of England's greatest treasures. 

I will miss the beautiful English countryside and the sumptuous costumes.  Did anyone notice Lady Mary's lovely green hat in the shooting party scene?  

I will miss the family dynamics of the show.  There are, after all, two "families" that live at Downtown Abbey.  Lord and Lady Grantham are the parent figures that preside upstairs and Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes are the "parents" downstairs.  It was fascinating to watch all the interactions within both families.

I will miss the two villains, Thomas and O'Brien.  They were so good at being evil.  Though O'Brien's feelings of guilt eventually lead to some kindness and empathy in season two.  And even Thomas had some sympathetic moments.

And oh, Mr. Bates, your silent suffering, dignity and selflessness will be missed.

 I will miss the coming together of the Crawleys and the servants to support Mr. Bates.

And I will miss the Crawley sisters with all their hopes, dreams and jealousies. 

Here is how one group is dealing with the loss of "Downton Abbey."

A friend snapped this photo of a flyer at a library in Vermont.  A "Downton Abbey" support group will meet in the "cozy" reading room of a Vermont library.  How fun!  Costumes are optional.  This could be the answer for all of us who loved the show.  There is really nothing like a costume drama for escapist entertainment.  Hopefully the wait won't be too long until season three.  In the meantime, I need to find a good old-fashioned, sprawling English novel to read.  Or maybe a marathon viewing of the excellent costume dramas by Merchant/ Ivory.    
Can't wait for season three!  

All photos of "Downton Abbey" via here


  1. "Together we can make it until the next season." Hilarious!!

  2. Yes, yes It was wonderful! The snowy romantic scene was worth the wait. I shall miss them all………..
    Have a great week.

    The French Hutch

  3. Too funny! What hopeless romantics we are.


  4. Sunday,

    I will miss it for all of the reasons you mentioned, as well as the fact that it is really the only quality programing on TV in a serial form, aside from the other shows on PBS. The show was a great way to end a peaceful weekend and a wonderful way to start the week.

    I do need a support group because I do not know what I will do for Sunday night entertainment and I still have yet to find the start date for Season 3.

    Have a great week!!!

  5. Oh, dear, I most certainly need a support group, Sunday. If I lived near that library, I would be at that gathering, instead, I'll try to catch rebroadcasts and sulk for awhile, sighing.

    I just knew you would have a wonderful post. Have you seen the paper dolls you can print?

  6. I missed the last two episodes, and at this very moment we're trying to find some crazy thing on "Hulu" TV where we can watch the missed shows. Does anyone know how and where to watch the missed shows?

  7. Sigh...I'm so sad that Season 2 is over. A support group would help so many of us! Now I'm looking forward to the new season of Mad Men in late March.
    Kathy, you can watch both episodes 6 & 7 directly on

  8. I can't tell you how perfectly timed this post is for all of us who are suffering from the close of the season. It was "delicious" as you say. My daughter and I watched it last night and we were completely absorbed from start to finish. My husband and son know to NOT disturb is with trivial questions during this time. We keep the door open and I do believe they are following along right in the next room. We are working our way through Dickens' "David Copperfield. How rich it would be to film this series on the same level as D.A.

  9. I'm thinking of doing a series on my blog "for the recently Downton-deprived." It would seem there are a lot of us suffering at the moment!

    Obviously, I love history and old stuff, but I can't imagine the work that went into getting dressed (several times) every day. I have a uniform: flats, skinny jeans, scoopneck tee or tank, cardigan, scarf. I'm too addicted to comfort to be an Edwardian lady!

  10. Thanks Anboyln, but I don't want to watch them on my computer screen, so I ordered (overnight) the whole Season 2 from Amazon. A true addict.

  11. Agreed, the finale was wonderful! (Dare I say, the best episode of Season 2?). One of my personal highlights was seeing all of the mismatched dance partners at the servents' ball. Thomas and Lady Violet! Matthew and Mrs. Patmore! I could rewatch that over and over. I'm looking forward to next season, both for the plot and the style developments. I've already noticed some hemlines creeping up to shorter lengths on Mary's dresses.

  12. In case you missed this bit of spice:

  13. To the person above that missed the last two episodes: aren't they still available on PBS. org - or have they removed them? I, too, need a support group. I read that the screenwriter Julian Fellowes said that his favorite time period was the 50 or so years at the beginning of the last century. I am equally addicted! I can't believe we'll have to wait so long for the third season. Sigh!

    Have you all seen this?

    Doesn't even begin to mine the highlights.

  14. I had to laugh when I saw the snapshot of the support group flyer because I took the same photo the other day! I love your blog and your postings are a breath of fresh air. Thank you for the luscious photos, excellent literary recommendations and uplifting text.

  15. My local library in Durham, Connecticut, is offering a support group for addicts, but my aim is to kick the habit by myself, one day at a time. Besides, we all need to rest up for the appearance of Shirley MacLaine in the next season...

  16. LOVED the finale, but have missed so many episodes that I'm now watching it from Season 1 episode 1 on Netflix. How fun learning about Carson's flamboyant past, and watching cousin Matthew's gradual acceptance of his new role! Thanks for bringing Downton Abbey to my attention! -Gaili