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Downton Abbey January 9, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Fiction, Humor, People.

Snoopy5Downton Abbey kicked off Season 3 (in the U.S.) on Sunday.

I missed it.

After waiting six months (since applauding the last episode of Season 2 on DVD), I didn’t think to tune in until the wedding party started to walk down the aisle.


I’d missed the first hour of the 2-hour season première.

Using our handy on-screen guide (to 7139 programs I don’t want to watch), I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled to find the ONE program I did want to watch.

There!  A repeat airing at . . . 2 o’clock in the morning?

Scrolling . . . scrolling . . . scrolling . . .

Huzzah!  A repeat airing at . . . 4 o’clock in the morning?

Scrolling . . . scrolling . . . scrolling . . .

Found it!  A broadcast at 1-3 pm Wednesday afternoon.  (Today.)


We have a prior commitment at just that hour.

Donald-DirectorAfter my fingers went numb from scrolling, I gave up.

I exited the handy on-screen guide (to 7139 programs I don’t want to want), pried loose the remote from cramped fingers, and sat at my writing desk to watch the ONE program I did want to watch.

On my much smaller computer screen.

Downton Abbey did not disappoint  . . . despite its shrunken Lilliputian state.

The war is over.  Beloved characters enter the Roaring 20’s amid change and crumbling class distinctions to face challenges, resolve dilemmas, and seek rewards.  We step into scenes and experience the spectrum of human emotion, conflict, and motivation.

No cardboard cut-outs here.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. ryoko861 - January 9, 2013

What is the hubbabaloo about with this program? Is it one of these shows that’s really addicting?

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

It’s the best period drama I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch, Irene. Stellar cast, characters, dialogue, setting, costumes, etc.

Every episode has pulled me into the scenes unfolding.

2. Don - January 9, 2013

It’s just a wonderful, wonderful series. I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

Definitely a Masterpiece Classic! 😀

3. seeker - January 9, 2013

I’m intrigued. Care to show the link so that we experience this spectrum of human emotions?

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

If you’re intrigued, your best bet is to start with Season One ~ available on Netflix and elsewhere.

4. Tori Nelson - January 9, 2013

I have got to watch this show. I’ve been reading and hearing about it everywhere!

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

Everyone is talking about it for good reason . . . it’s good. 😀

5. Three Well Beings - January 9, 2013

Oh I feel your frustration, Nancy! I’m so hooked on this show. Our PBS station is airing it again next Sunday right before the second episode, so if you want to watch it on “the big screen” you could have a delightful feeding frenzy next Sunday! I’m quite sure this isn’t just local programming. I loved the “American-British” dueling between Shirley Mclaine and Maggie Smith. It should be a very spirited season! 🙂

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

thanks, Debra. I’ll check to see if Sunday involves a replay of the first before the airing of the second. Lots of “dueling” going on in the season premiere ~ Maggie vs. Shirley, Branson vs. the English Aristocracy, Mary vs. Matthew, etc.

6. vivinfrance - January 9, 2013

I’d argue about the best period drama (the original Forsyte Saga, in 1967 when everything stopped all over England, and even choir practice had to be postponed) but Downton runs it pretty close.

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

This is the best period drama I’ve seen . . . I’ve never seen the Forsythe Saga. Sounds like a real “life stopper.” 😀

7. Andra Watkins - January 9, 2013

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never seen it, Nancy. We don’t have a tv, and I need to stream it on my computer or something. I know I would love it.

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

When I got Disc One Season One, I just wanted to satisfy my curiosity. Instead, my curiosity insisted on knowing “the rest of the story.” It’s a grand dance . . . above and below stairs.

8. cecilia - January 9, 2013

I never watch TV, and my computer as we know is the slowest in the history of mankind, I am in love with period dramas though and this one has such a good reputation.. ah well.. c

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

We rented the first two seasons from Netflix . . . and loved every episode. But I’m too impatient to wait for Season 3 to be released on DVD.

cecilia - January 9, 2013

ah, netflix, thank you! c

9. ericjbaker - January 9, 2013

You wonderful folks have not heard of DVR? I’m actually relieved to know I’m not the least technologically advanced human on the planet.

I’m steering all the people who make fun of my backward ways to this post!

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

Yes . . . send them over here to make fun of us! Actually, we used to record shows all the time . . . but (at the moment) we have nothing on which to record them.

It’s rarely an issue since I only want to watch 1 show in 7,139.

ericjbaker - January 9, 2013

If you want to laugh at me, here’s a bit of trivia: I’ve never sent a text message. Ever.

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

Haha! I’ve sent less than 10 text messages in my life . . . decided they were more trouble than their worth . . . and blocked my phone from receiving any more. 😀

10. Tom (Aquatom1968) - January 9, 2013

I’ve never seen a single episode, Nancy, but it sounds excellent by all accounts. Perhaps one day I’ll sit and watch an episode or two…

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

Good luck stopping at just an episode or two . . . the story draws most viewers into the fold at first glance.

11. kateshrewsday - January 9, 2013

Glad you finally got to see it, Nancy 😀

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

We saw a few highlights on PBS a month ago . . . just enough to whet our appetites. 😀

12. pattyabr - January 9, 2013

I got started just last month watching season 1 on Netflix and I saw the last two episodes of season 2 on PBS in Decenber in preparation for season 3
My friend and daughter watched it with me in our PJ’s on Sunday and I watched it again last night. I have them all set for taping

So excited for this season but I missed WWI episodes

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

They are such a delight to watch . . . crisp dialogue, the story never stalls, and the characters stay “in character.”

Now that I know it’s airing on Sunday nights, I’ll catch the episodes as they air. Maybe I’ll even wear my pj’s. 😉

13. aawwa - January 9, 2013

Very witty as always! As an aside, I got onto to Ancestry.com over the Christmas period and discovered that my 3xGreat grandfather (Moses Lucas) came from Downton in Wiltshire UK 🙂

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

What a FUN discovery, Lorraine.

Highclere Castle (photo above), the main filming location for Downtown Abbey, is in Hampshire, England, about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Newbury ~ not sure how close it is to Downton in Wiltshire.

14. sweetdaysundertheoaks - January 9, 2013

Nancy you make me feel like I am missing something! I haven’t watched it!!

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

It’s probably the best thing I watched in 2012 . . . and it’s likely to top the list in 2013 as well.

Netflix has Season 1 & 2 available now and Season 3 will be available at the end of January. I’ve just added it to my queue.

15. barb19 - January 9, 2013

I can’t wait for Season 3 to start in Oz, I think it’s next month.

nrhatch - January 9, 2013

It’s funny how it’s debut is staggered across the globe . . . even in the digital age of instantaneous transmissions.

Ah, well, it gives us something to look forward to, eh? 😀

16. jannatwrites - January 10, 2013

I’ve never seen this show, but I can relate to the frustration of trying catch it on TV. It’s even more fun now that we don’t have cable (or the onscreen TV Guide that came with it.) And of course, we don’t have a DVR or anything like that. We do have a VCR, though 🙂

I’m glad you got to see your show, even if it was in miniature.

nrhatch - January 10, 2013

As it turns out (thanks for the heads up, Debra!), PBS plans to re-broadcast Episode 1 from 7-9 before airing Episode 2 at 9 pm . . . I guess someone figured I wouldn’t be the only one to miss it. 😉

When we moved here 4 years ago, we donated our VCR (and all of our VHS tapes). We haven’t replaced the VCR with a DVR. Since missing a show is rarely an issue with us, we won’t buy a DVR until our DVD player conks out.

Recording shows to watch later can be as great a TIME SUCK as surfing the web or . . . *gasp!* . . . blogging. :mrgreen:

17. sufilight - January 10, 2013

My goodness, looks like I am missing a good program. Will check it out!

nrhatch - January 10, 2013

If you like period dramas, or “all things British,” Downton Abbey is definitely a series to check out.

The cast of characters is varied . . . and the characters cast never step out of character. Maggie Smith is a treat to watch.

18. Booksphotographsandartwork - January 11, 2013

I watched that the other night and it was fantastic! No pee breaks though 😦

nrhatch - January 11, 2013

I plan to enjoy a mini-marathon this Sunday . . . Episode 1 (7-9 pm) and Episode 2 (9-10 pm). I am sure I will have to take a bathroom break at some point during that 3 hour span. 😉

Booksphotographsandartwork - January 12, 2013

I kept on telling the dogs to wait just a few more minutes. And me.

nrhatch - January 12, 2013

Poor pups . . . having to cross their paws. 😀

19. dearrosie - January 13, 2013

Dare I admit that I’ve been watching Masterpiece Theater on PBS every Sunday night since the late 1970’s?
Downton Abbey is great. I love Maggie Smith and her meeting with Shirley MacLaine was so hilarious I nearly wet my pants.

Perhaps you can explain why, when they say “valet” they pronounce the “T”. Isnt it supposed to be a silent “t”?

nrhatch - January 13, 2013

I expect it’s a pronunciation variation between British English and American English . . . rather like tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto.

I won’t miss Shirley Maclaine’s character when she returns to America. She’s snarky. 🙄

dearrosie - January 13, 2013

Didn’t you love their first meeting. Shirley says something about the passing years and Maggie Smith says “Oh not me. I dont go in the sun!”

nrhatch - January 13, 2013

I adore Maggie Smith’s character on the show . . . that line especially. I’m excited about my mini-marathon tonight.

20. bluebee - January 13, 2013

I’m so looking forward to downloading the next season and watching it all in one decadent go!

nrhatch - January 13, 2013

That will take a pile of popcorn! 😀

21. colonialist - January 16, 2013

Julian Fellows certainly has the knack of spinning a good story. His books are impressive, too. I recently read Past Imperfect, which is a fascinating comparison of two vastly different eras.

nrhatch - January 16, 2013

Thanks for the recommendation, Col. I honed in on his name during Sunday’s mini-marathon and thought I should discover what else he’s written.

colonialist - January 16, 2013

Did you happen to see him as Kilwillie in Monarch of the Glen?

nrhatch - January 16, 2013

I did not. Something else to investigate.

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