Monday, May 7, 2012

In Which We Very Nearly Ruined A Perfectly Good Mr. Bates




We finished Season 1 of Downton Abbey a few weeks ago then began a frantic search for Season 2. Netflix? Nope. PBS online? Yeah, but it'll cost you.

We nagged friends and scoured those shady internet sites under the cloak of night.

Finally, we tried the library. Geesh.

2 days later, we topped the wait list. I made a bowl of guacamole and we hunkered down.

Then we watched the first episode.

You might say we were underwhelmed. Confused? Sure. We kept pausing to ask questions that we couldn't possibly begin to answer. I'm sorry to report that it was scattered and just plain strange.

I tweeted this: "Downton, Season 2, Episode 1. Verdict: Not impressed. (hate me)"

I kept thinking about the story, the writers. How did this happen? How could something so good go so terribly wrong? How does a novice writer such as myself inherently know that you can't just drop your audience into chaos and expect them to stay around, but the Downton writers clearly didn't? Why would they just phone-in the follow-up to a legend?

We almost hung it all up. I was grumpy for a straight 36 hours.

But people implored us to stick with it. "It gets better, I promise!" "The season finale makes it all worth it!"

So we did, and yes, it did. It got better. We started to fill in the gaps and of course, there's that cuddle-bug of a butler, Mr. Carson. I die.

Matthew started looking cuter. I sensed trouble brewing between His Lordship and Her Ladyship. Cousin Violet is still the role of the century, nailing every. single. scene.

Last night we finished episode three. There was just one more on the disc.

Cory: There's just one more. We have to watch.
Me: It's almost midnight....
Cory:  But it's the season finale. We have to know how it ends!
Me: No way. It can't be the season finale.
Cory: Uh, yeah. I think we only have one more.
Me: (voice getting shrill) What kind of jacked up show only has 4 episodes for the season? There's gotta be another disc.
Cory: (jumps off the couch faster than lightening, opens dvd case, loses all his color)
Me: What's wrong?
Cory: This says disc 2.
Me: NO.
Cory: Yeah, we skipped disc 1.
Me: How? How did this happen?
Cory: Well, I saw that it said disc 2, but I thought they just considered Season 1 "disc 1".
Me: Please stop. Please stop. You knew it said "disc 2" and you didn't bother to flip back and see if there was a disc 1? That's not a normal way to think. I don't even know you.
Cory: Yep. That's exactly what happened.

Ya'll, we started with episode 4, but thought we were watching episode 1. We skipped the entire stinking first disc.

Cory queued up disc 1 (the real disc 1) and within five minutes was saying, "Oh, now that makes more sense..."

This is our life, people. I couldn't make this stuff up.