Last night money reared its vulgar head among the gentle aristocrats of Downton Abbey’s third season. It almost wrecked the marriage of Mathew and Lady Mary when he refused to use his inherited windfall to save Downton Abbey, suddenly on the brink of bankruptcy. Cora’s wealthy American mother, Martha, arriving for Mary’s and Mathew’s wedding, also refused to help. Daisy downstairs hasn't received her promotion from kitchen maid to kitchen assistant. The place is understaffed. The formidable Lord Crawley of Downton Abbey is brought down to tears. No one has the faintest idea how to survive without valets, ladies’ maids, footmen, butlers, cooks, chauffeurs. Who knows what pitfalls remain as the Crawlely’s are brought kicking and screaming into the real world? And who cares?
I do! And according to the New York Times I am not alone. More than 120 million viewers in
Sweden, Russia, South Korea,
the Middle East and dozens of other locales
are also addicted.
We wait to see what happens to Mr. Bates in prison for murdering his wife; Mrs. Hughes’ cancer; Tom’s dirty tricks; Martha’s American maid’s kisses. But unlike in real life, the plotting is too deliciously predictable to have to really worry about the Crawleys’ fate. All we have to do is relax in vicarious luxury and watch.