The joy in being wrong is being able to roll around in one’s wrongness. One of my great fits of lifelong wrong has been a personal moratorium on watching weepy, English dramas. If you’re familiar with the endless white noise that is my blog writing, then you’ve probably come across the consistently drummed on theme about not watching weepers from across the pond. There was a time when Lori and I were dating that I patiently partook of Hugh Grant films, noting all the while how Hugh Grant-y he was. “Stop smiling!” I’d scream, if only inside my own noggin. “Your toothy grin is going to burn up my retinas!” During certain Clive Owen movies, I pondered what kind of Play-Doh he was made of, or if ever might consider starring in a syphilitic zombie-buddy picture with Colin Firth. Kiera Knightly movies were at least sort of fun to watch. I’d imagine her as a cute, talking, celery stick.
The education of your bassackwards blogger began with what might be the most astoundingly miserable British drama of them all, Downton Abbey. When my wife Lori brought up the idea of watching first season episodes of the show, I wasn’t sure what she meant. “Downtown Abby? What kind of smut are you into these days? Please feel free to go to Magic Mike, while you’re at it.” Now, as we burn through catching up with season 2, I’m hooked. Downton is not your ordinary Kleenex fest. The show depicts the lives of wealthy, landed nobles during the early part of the twentieth century. What could be just a costume program that shuttles between the separate, class defined lives of a family and it’s household staff, turns into a completely interwoven narrative by virtue of exploring how these lives are symbiotically tied to one another. Death, conniving, clandestine affairs gone horribly wrong. Most of all, Downton Abbey depicts the nature of humanity and the shared struggles of a group of human beings yoked together in strained coexistence. That, and Maggie Smith is in it. I’m hoping Professor McGonnagal produces a wand and Avada Kadavras some of the nastier household staff. Either way, I’m a weeper for life.