|WHEREFORE ART THOU SMELLING SALTS?|
While the rest of the world is tucking in with their tea and the season premiere of Downton Abbey, I am at my computer writing this post. Maybe I'm trying to distract myself, occupy my fingers with a keyboard instead of a remote control with which they would surely galavant into dangerous territory. No, I don't mean an accidental binge on reality television. I mean Downton Abbey. A Downton Abbey without golden-hearted Sybil and sans Cousin Matthew. In short: a Downton Abbey with a heaping side of 'no thank you.'
I mean no disrespect to the show and the characters whose lives have been spared (except you, O'Brien (and you, Thomas (and you, Bates (and you, blonde girl whose name I've forgotten but whose kissing-a-widowed-Branson offenses I shall not overlook (and you, Edith (and you, OH GOSH)))))). I'm a tremendous fan of the show. At least... I was. But since several people have asked me today if I'd be watching, I'd like to call your attention to my reaction to last season's finale: "BUT MARY DOESN'T KNOW. SHE'S JUST COOING OVER HER DREAM-TEAM BABY AND COUSIN MATTHEW IS DEAD IN A DITCH AFTER EVERYTHING AND I AM SO! EFFING! LIVID! I CANNOT! I CANNOT! I HATE YOU, JULIAN FELLOWES! IHATEYOUIHATEYOUIHATEYOUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (brass knuckles +56)." It is quite possible that I am still suffering from this rage blackout. I grant you, I have a stronger reaction to most when it comes to fictional characters. I have a long line of roommates who have run down the stairs in a frenzy thinking I was being attacked by a burglar when really I was just screeching like a banshee over some character death.
I also have a history of continuing on with a show after an unpardonable kill-off only to wish I had stopped when a beloved character's heart did too. It's a tricky business when you're cursed in that your favorite characters tend to be the ones doomed to die... I'm looking at you Robin Hood, Merlin, Skins, and yes even right down to you-who-I-didn't-even-like-so-much Camelot. But the biggest offender is Downton Abbey. As I've said before, Sybil was assault enough, but Matthew was just emotional terrorism. And I just can't. I can't see this world without him as anything but a train wreck. Is that lack of imagination or just common sense? I like to pretend season three of Robin Hood never happened. I like to think it all ended just moments before *spoiler alert* Maid Marian took a sword through the heart. I like to live in a world where it's just me and the first two seasons, galavanting around Sherwood Forest, and marinating in Richard Armitage's love potion of a voice. The show without Maid Marian was crippled beyond repair. And the thought of Downton Abbey, once a titan of a show for me, limping along without Cousin Matthew is almost worse than that unprecedented 56th tally mark for brass knuckles in the last episode. I don't want to look at it. I want to look away, preferably in the direction of Hook on Once Upon A Time. Which is funny. Because I hate that show more than I love that show. But I'm still watching. And I love Downton Abbey. But I can't keep watching. Just leave me here at my computer with my tea and Cousin Matthew. Because I'm just going to pretend that last bit never happened. Childish? Maybe. So I'll just quote the flawless Kate Winslet in Finding Neverland to give my argument a bit more oomph and say, "I need to go on pretending."
Will I miss Violet's saucy quotes? Undoubtedly. Am I torn because as a self-professed number one fan of Branson I feel slightly hypocritical for not following his story? Of course. But that doesn't necessarily mean I want to see what happens next. Matthew was not my favorite character, I'll admit. He was, in my mind, however, central to the plot of the entire series from day one. And no matter how much I'm tempted to carry on with my weekly tally of smelling salts vs. brass knuckles, no matter how much I want to be Violet in real life, and no matter how much my heart is aching for the sight of Branson in suspenders... Downton without Cousin Matthew? Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn! Slaaaaaash I can't afford the counseling.
Are you watching Downton Abbey this season? I'd love to hear your thoughts and FEELINGS!