I watched the first episode of Downton Abbey last night and here’s the thing: I don’t think I’ve ever liked a television show more after one episode than I like Downton Abbey right now. Not The Wire, not Deadwood, not Arrested Development, not Lost, not Mad Men. Well, maybe Mad Men.
I love me some upstairs, downstairs.* It’s that simple. I think perhaps I was a valet in a past life. Rules of the Game, Gosford Park, The Magician, all among my favorites. I’m sure there are others too. But it’s early and I don’t wish to get encyclopedic about it. At any rate, one episode in I’m ready to call it, Downton Abbey portrays the upstairs, downstairs dynamic in a more interesting fashion than anything I’ve seen. Which is not to say that I find it more interesting as a whole than Rules of the Game, Gosford Park or The Magician. Oh no, far from it. I’m only one episode in for heaven’s sake.
*Oddly, I’ve never seen a second of the BBC show Upstairs, Downstairs.