This evening I’m going to hold an open house to celebrate the season premiere of “Downton Abbey,” a period drama on PBS that has become “appointment TV” at our house (along with “Chopped”). This season they are adding Shirley MacLaine as Lord Crawley’s American mother-in-law. While I doubt her performance will hold a candle to that of the indominatable Maggie Smith, I’m tuning in eager to catch up on the stories that began to unfold in the previous season. Will Matthew and Mary indeed find wedded bliss at last? Will Bates be spared a lifetime incarcerated for a murder he did not commit? Will the Dowager Countess at last slap her nemesis, Mrs. Crawley? Will Miss Daisy at last get a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and attain the elevated rank of assistant cook (from scullery maid)?
Downton Abbey fascinates me on several levels, not only because of the rich set and lovely period costumes, but because the relationships between the characters span the wide range of authentic human connections, with all their nobility and humanity — strengths and weaknesses alike. Time and again, love is depicted not as a flash of passion, but the slow and steady burn that emanates from sincere friendship. After all, the race for heaven is a marathon, not a sprint.
Here’s the trailer:
Today’s Love in Action: Make yourself a cup of tea and join me — if only in spirit — for the season premiere on PBS at 9:00 EST.