I’ve been wondering what all of this Downton Abbey hype was all about. Seems like lately many friends on facebook, male and female, have been hooked on this show set in England in the time period during or after WWI. So, being on vacation this week, I found the DVDs and just decided to pick random episodes and watch them, so I could be “educated”. Here are my thoughts.
1. The architecture and clothing is tremendous. They have done an excellent job – as many Masterpiece Theatre productions to.
2. There are many stellar actors and actresses, so they have cast the roles well. The acting and the writing is decent and at some points, exceptional.
3. There is a theme of improving one’s standing in society – especially for the service staff. I love this idea. I love how you can do some thing more than your ancestors have done before – and that no one can stop you but yourself . Isn’t this what America was based on?
4. That’s where my postives end.
The storylines that I have seen on the episodes I have watched are these: backstabbing, gossip, revenge, adultery, fornication, lying, elitism, favoritism, family strife, ego, etc. These are not beneficial. They aren’t beneficial to our viewing as believers.
So, I’m not saying, don’t watch this show. I’m more concerned with the viewing with a biblical worldview. If the only reasons you are watching this show is because of the costumes and architecture – there are other shows you can be watching. You don’t have to also watch two adults making love in their bed and then one dying, or sisters backstabbing each other and conniving to win the affections of men they don’t even care about.
I have to admit I grew up on a lot of television and movies. I still watch a lot of movies. But I am very thankful for marrying someone who doesn’t even watch television, we don’t have cable. It takes the pressure and desire away to watch shows: even like Mentalist, CSI, NCIS, etc. Shows that I’ve loved. But, they aren’t necessarily good for my spiritual well-being.
Watch with caution if you decide to watch at all.
I want to thank you for watching Downton Abbey before reviewing it! I find it rather frustrating when people pass judgment on something without watching or reading it (though there are several things that do not have to be watched/read to be evaluated). It can often make us as believers look ridiculous when we evaluate things on partial knowledge. That said, Downton Abbey, as all other shows/movies/books/entertainment choices, must be viewed with discretion and careful evaluation of the worldviews and themes presented. Are the vices portrayed as good or evil? Do people suffer consequences for their actions? Is there redemption to be found? It is important for us to think through these questions in every medium we encounter as we engage the world around us.