Ten Things I’ve Learned From Downton Abbey Most Of Which I’m Sure Are Historically Accurate
I don’t normally watch TV. I prefer sleeping. But, every now and then, I come across a show that grips me for some reason or other, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Downton Abbey, seen in the United States, via PBS. (On another note, good for PBS. They have a hit show. And that makes me happy).
Of course, I find very little to dislike with any show BBC originates, especially in Downton Abbey, not to be confused with Downtown Abbey which is not even a real place; everything about the show works, and I don’t know why – even the opening theme music creates appropriate anxiety.
Or maybe I just think that highly of myself.
Sadly, now we have to wait until next year to see the next season of Downton Abbey, but in the meantime, we can take a few moments to discuss what we’ve been taught from this British export of high drama.
Below are the lessons I’ve learned from watching.
Read carefully. There’ll be a test later.
Ten Things I’ve Learned From Watching Downton Abbey Most Of Which I’m Sure Are Historically Accurate
1. There is no such thing as a middle class. There are only super wealthy people and then some others who look like people but are really servants.
2. Each meal must have at least eighteen different bottles of wine to accompany it. You will not ever drink more than a sip each, as a member of the elite, but you should nonetheless decant every bottle because servants like to decant bottles of wine in their spare time.
3. In a house with over 100 rooms, you will still never need to use more than the following four: a bedroom, a parlor/dining room, a library, and a kitchen, but, if you’re one of the wealthy, you will never need to go into the kitchen unless you need to scold someone, namely servants.
4. If you have to be anyone, be the Countess.
5. To say the butler did it is mostly erroneous. There seem to be only footmen, ladies’ maids, valets, a housekeeper, a cook, and Daisy. There is also a shifty Irish chauffeur whose only mission is to deflower the weakest daughter, like most Irishmen.
6. There is no point in ever owning a dog.
8. The second most disgraceful thing that could ever happen to you, if you’re nobility, is that a maid should ever, ever be seen serving a meal in the parlor/dining room, even if it’s only because there’s “a war on.” She should, if anything, be left with kindling and starting a fire in every one of the other 96 rooms. The first most disgraceful thing is a tie between the alleged ease with which one would marry a first cousin and borrowing a footmen from a lesser house because he’ll drink the wine and get drunk.
9. Always make sure when you’re dealing on the black market in various hard-to-come-by-because-there’s-a-war-on comestibles in some inane attempt to swindle the upper classes out of their inherited fortunes, that you’re actually getting sugar and flour, not sawdust.
10. Trust no one named Thomas. Or Edyth, for that matter. And also don’t hire a single mother as a servant, just to be safe. Because, you know, there’s a war on.
10a. As a lord, lady, earl, and whatnot, you will spend 80% of your time on this earth being dressed and undressed by servants. The remaining 20% will be spent telling people what not to do, or that one afternoon you spent in court on behalf of Bates.