My Case for Why You Should Watch Downton Abbey

I am a television enthusiast. The format has always been big in our family life. I remember watching (but not understanding) the finale of M*A*S*H. Jeopardy! used to come on during the dinner hour, and we’d test our knowledge between bites. I enjoyed Cheers and Northern Exposure with my parents while the adult meanings of each completely sailed over my head. My brother works in TV. It’s a thing.

After I graduated from college, I had time to get into TV again. I bought my first TiVo at 23 ((I’ve owned four.)) , and I’ve not looked back. I never watched LOST, but that’s only because I was too busy catching up on Gilmore Girls re-runs to make time for this new show. ((By the time I got caught up on Lorelai and Rory, J.J. Abrams was in his third season of torturing people without remorse. I guess I could go back and watch, but with how poorly the finale was regarded…)) I didn’t watch The Sopranos because I was too cheap to pay for HBO, but I picked up The Wire when Sean and Kat gave me a gift card that covered the first season’s price. I quickly bought the other fivefour seasons.

It’s not that I’ve always watched good TV. I also watched all the Law & Order series, which I found did not hold up well upon a second viewing. ((This did not, however, stop me from developing a checklist of episodes and ticking them off as I saw the re-runs.)) I also followed several seasons of Big Brother until I got tired of the self-loathing. The Amazing Race isn’t good television, but I have watched every season since Season 4. ((Ignoring the shitty family season, which I stopped watching as soon as they passed Huntsville.)) I also watch terrible shows like Archer and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and I stuck with Rescue Me through its dreadfulness and have maintained interest in How I Met Your Mother despite all its dithering. Suffice it to say that I don’t claim to have The Greatest Taste in TV, Ever.

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