Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Downton Abbey Reflection - #SOL March 8

It's March and time for the Slice of Life Challenge! Thanks so much to the entire crew at Two Writing Teachers for organizing and hosting this massive event! You are all rock stars!

I'm excited to be part of the Challenge again this year. As I continue to tap into "joy" as the motivation for my writing, I am also tracking the territories about which I tend to write (and sometimes intertwine). Current writing territories are teaching, family, friends, travel, working with a personal trainer, the quirks of being me. Today my territory is again about the quirks of being me as well as friendship.

First of all, let me assure you, if you read the blog post title, and have DVRed the last episode of Downton Abbey to savor at a later point, not to worry. You will find NO spoilers in this post.

Sunday was the last night for this series. When it first began, I had heard whispers of how great the show was, but there was no buy-in from me until Season 3. The pivotal moment for my attitude about this series happened on a girls’ weekend at a lake house on Lake Erie.

It was a bitter cold weekend; when we first got there, the lake was frozen solid. Waves that had been in motion were now statues. The group had planned to play games, eat, drink, talk, take walks, and enjoy our time together. But one of the friends had decided to bring along Seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey, telling the rest of us we really needed to watch these DVDS; we would love them.

What followed was a total binge watching of Downton Abbey. We still took walks, ate, drank, and talked, but the end goal each day was then to sit down in front of the tv and watch as many episodes as possible.

From the moment I heard the introductory music for Downton Abbey’s opening credits with the dog and the castle, I was hooked. There was something about the sound of the piano and violins that beckoned me. And the characters! I became heavily invested in all of the characters by the end of the first episode, getting furious with some and absolutely loving others.

For someone who has been known to skip to the end of an absolute thriller of a book to find out what happens, it was sheer torture to watch one episode at a time, and that probably explains the binge watching we did. No sooner had one episode ended, we all clamored for the next one. We needed to know what happened next after the cliffhanger at the end of each episode. We were heavily invested in what life had in store for each of the character's plot lines.

But the thing I remember the most from that weekend was the fellowship of friends who had traveled a small distance to enjoy time together.

Even Sunday, several years after the viewing of my first episode of Downton Abbey, the music began, and I was transported not just to England, but also to Lake Erie. I remembered the group of us, drinks and snacks close by, snuggled around in afghans, a 270 degree view of the frozen waves of Lake Erie, and binge watching one DVD at a time as we raced through the episodes.

I was sorry that Sunday was the last episode, but the series has left with me so many happy memories, especially knowing that the friends from that weekend were most likely watching the ending of the series with me, even if not in the same room and the same lake house this time.


  1. I have happy memories, too - but your introduction to the series in the company of your friends was very special, Karen.

  2. Spoiler alert! It was the perfect ending to the perfect show. Happy endings all around! Loved it.

  3. Karen, I love the way you and your friends bonded over the series. I did watch the ending episode and realized that I need to go back and binge watch the seasons I missed.

  4. I was also introduced to the series with friends on a weekend. We were supposed to be skiing but one person was hurt. Instead we binged on Downton Abbey! We still gather and watch several episodes together each season. I did see the finale this morning after reading Tara's post, but we are gathering to watch it together next week! It is sad that it is ending, but I too thought it was a perfect ending.

  5. Waited until yesterday to watch and I have to say I was very eager to turn on the show as soon as I got home! Crazy how a TV show can do that to us.

  6. Karen- yes, I'm in Kentucky, quite the Southern state with Dollar Generals :)

  7. I probably shouldn't admit that I have not watched this show, ever. I didn't know it was such a big deal, I guess, until last weekend. Maybe I will have to do some binge watching.