It’s that time of year. The time when everyone starts asking me questions.

“Don’t tell me any spoilers, but is this season worth watching?”

“Where’s your chart for this year?”

“Please tell me no one’s going to die.”

It’s because I have had a known and public love affair with Downton Abbey. So much so that I’ve watched it before the US for the last couple of years by hacking into British television.

I’ve made this chart, and this one, oh – and this one.

Downton Abbey MBTI Personality TypesDownton Abbey RiskDownton-Abbey-Explained






(Click to go to their respective posts and see them big enough to actually read.)

I’ve entered into the life of the Crawley’s with the best of them, cheering and mourning and floating on a cloud of British Bliss for days after that one episode.

But no longer.

Downton and I are done. Perhaps we’re just on a break, but in my mind, we’re done – and I’m already cheating on them.

But more about that later.

Why, after such a committed relationship, did I feel the need to call it quits?

In a word, Foreboding.

The first two seasons, although they had their strife and frights, were delightful. The relationships weaving together of the servants and the household, the ups and downs in Mary and Matthew’s relationship, my complete adoration of Mr. Carson…

It was simply perfect. And the last episode of season two will always be a highlight in television history.

But in seasons three and four, the writers showed us that they didn’t mind killing and raping all of our favorite characters.

I know, one person demanded to leave the show and they had to kill him off. But the others weren’t necessaries. And they didn’t have to kill in such cliché and ridiculous ways.

(Really?! Closing his eyes while driving immediately after seeing his firstborn son? REALLY?! Why couldn’t he have gotten Scarlet Fever or something less predictable.)

Season three was pure awful. I suffered through season four, sitting on the edge of my seat to see what love they would tear away from me next. It was nearly bearable, and not at all pleasant – we even skipped a couple of episodes after The Thing With Anna. The innocence and magic of the show had been irreparably shattered.

Then Season Five started, and with it, more foreboding and dread.

They hinted that certain bad things would happen, and in general, I simply didn’t trust the show.

How could I? They had hurt me too many times.

And so, after only two episodes of Season Five (which we watched last fall), Chris and I agreed to call it off with Downton.

It wasn’t fun anymore. It was stressful – so stressful that even the Dowager Countess’ delightful quotes couldn’t take the edge off. Downton Abbey had become something that could only be watched while inhaling mass amounts of chocolate.

Because here’s the thing, oh Writers of the Show people want happy. People need happy.

We all have enough real life problems of our own that when we watch television, we need it to be more happy than not – or at least I do.

I totally censor my own blog to provide this essential need of humans. I don’t tell you about all the times my Dysautonomia gets miserable and I don’t feel like writing ever again and I’m just exhausted from the daily battle of everything I have to do to be able to function. I know you care about me and want to know what’s going on, but you don’t want to live in the mire with me or anyone else – you have your own mire to deal with.

So I’ve moved on.

After marathoning Veronica Mars this summer (and then watching the movie and then reading the book and dreaming about being Veronica Mars), I began satiating my drama needs with Once Upon a Time. It was a bit cheesy right at first, but once we got a few episodes in, the delightful and quite endless twists and surprises have gotten us fully addicted.

And I fell in love with Rumpelstiltskin. When else in life could I say that happened to me?


Yes, it has tension and unresolved issues and drama, but it’s never overwhelming, it’s never dreary, and the hope of a happy ending is always bright and strong.

Yes, they say that traveling across realms is impossible then they DO IT EVERY SINGLE EPISODE, but the show is well worth the extra suspension of disbelief needed – even though I have an endless mental list of all of the continuity problems.

We’re currently in the second half of season three and still confounded at how very many surprises the show can throw at us. So perhaps my next round of graphics will be about Once Upon a Time – once we get completely caught up.

How about you? What shows are a part of your life right now? And have you broken up with Downton yet?

29 thoughts on “Why I Ended My Relationship With Downton Abbey.

  1. While I am not ready to break up with Downton, I also have that same sense of foreboding. They keep showing the snippet where the Earl is yelling at someone to leave and never come back!! Who is he yelling at? Tom, Edith? Who made him so mad? If it wasn’t the teacher or the footman from the first episode, it MUST have been something horrible to make him so irate. We probably won’t know until the last episode!! I am recording them on my dvr and will watch when I can get my mind right to do so. While I won’t exactly call it loyalty, it’s more like a spiraling wreck that I just have to watch until the end. I agree that we just need some happiness. I like happy-go-lucky Brits!

  2. Still watching season 4, but the Anna thing really shocked me as well. We’re also really hooked on Orphan Black right now (we just finished season 2 a few days ago and I can’t WAIT for season 3 with the big big big cliffhanger at the end of the last season – that’s why I prefer watching finished shows). I can’t talk about series without mentioning Doctor Who (I know you don’t like this one) and Sherlock (why on earth are there only 3 episodes per season?). Next I’ll watch “Call the midwife” or “The Bletchley Circle”, they’re supposed to be brilliant!

    1. We love Sherlock! We’ve tried Doctor Who – Chris liked it better than me and would love to watch it all the way through. I need to buckle and and go with him on it after Once Upon a Time – after all, he has been quite gracious with that marathon (although he’s enjoyed it quite a bit.)

    2. Call the Midwife is quite possibly one of the best shows i have EVER watched on Television. As good as the first few seasons of Downton but without all of the shocking tragedy. Although there is both joy and pain in the course of the show, overall it is just plain masterful! You adore every character and they have balanced the drama perfectly. It’s superb!

  3. While I agree wholeheartedly I can’t call it quits. I’m too invested at this point! We just watched season 5 Christmas special last night.

  4. Oh, & a show worth watching if you haven’t already… Sherlock!!! Omgoodness it’s so. good. The next season doesn’t air until 2016 :'( we watched all the seasons in like a month.

  5. We broke up with Downton after Season 3. I loved the first two seasons, but 3 left me wanting in a big way. After that, I decided to just wait and see what everyone’s reaction was to season 4 before watching it myself. I didn’t hear nearly enough to make me want to endure the stress, so I went from being on a break to permanently being done with it. Big thumbs up to all that you said in your post. I agree.

    Currently, we’ve been plowing through all of Big Bang Theory in order. Light, happy laughs before bed. We love Sherlock and cannot wait for the next time it airs. We like Dr. Who like the commenter above, but haven’t watched in awhile. We watched the first two seasons of Once Upon a Time when it was originally aired but lost interest in Season 2. We like Castle and Shield…which I realize is adding to my list of proofs that I’m a bit geeky as I read this list. I also watch whatever comes on Masterpiece Theater for the most part…except Downton. Again like the commenter above, I’ve got all the Call the Midwife eps recorded and am planning to watch those fairly soon. OH, I also watch Parenthood. I’m so over it too, but I need closure. I’m SO GLAD this is the last season. It is too stressful.

    1. We marathoned Big Bang Theory last year! It was a lot of fun. Oddly enough, though, it now seems silly. I don’t know if the writing isn’t as good or what…but we’re not really keeping up with the latest season as quickly.

  6. I skipped Season 4 entirely but I at least watched the first episode of Season 5. I’m withholding judgment until I see the second episode. By then, I should know if they’re going to break my heart again…

  7. I broke up with Downton after the third season. My favorite characters were gone, and I couldn’t take the soap opera “what-bad-thing-will-happen-next” of it all. And from what I’ve heard, I made the right decision. I’m with you–I want happiness. I don’t need it to be all happy, all the time, but when the sad drama outweighs the happy or just normal drama, then, to me, it’s not worth the emotional toll.
    I think that’s my biggest pet peeve with TV today. They’re always trying to top the last episode (I believe Scandal is the most guilty of this). Whatever happened to just having great stories involving well-fleshed out characters? If you have to constantly add crazy drama to the story, then it’s not a great story.
    I think OUAT would be a great limited-run series. They know from the beginning that they have X number of seasons, so they know how many stories to tell. But I won’t say any more until you’ve caught up!

    1. We watched the next to last episode of season 3 last night, then onto season 4. I get what you’re saying – I think they drug the Peter Pan thing out WAY too far. I don’t want to ever seen anyone trudging endlessly through a jungle again!! But we’ve really enjoyed Zelena.

      1. I’m just the opposite with OUAT. The Zelena storyline turned me off of it and I loved it before then. If The Librarians ends up on Netflix I highly recommend that show. The first season is only 10 episodes so easy to marathon.

  8. I’ve broken up with a few shows over the years. My husband got really into “Revolution” when it started, but a few episodes in I was done. I spent every episode waiting for who was going to die next. And they had no shame about who they were going to kill. We broke up with “Castle” because it was just getting too dark and intense. And a little redundant. I’ve been curious about what’s happened since then, though, so I might give it another try. I used to be really into “Bones” but same thing, it just got too dark. I’ve got one foot out the door with “Scandal” because it’s kind of getting ridiculous. I’ll wait and see what happens with the rest of the season.

    A new show I like and really hope they don’t screw up is “Mysteries of Laura”. I find it hilarious.

  9. yep, we called it quits after the incident with Anna. I was done. But I think we were already losing interest, and there were SOOOOO many characters to keep up with (thus, your chart) that it was challenging to watch. We’re waiting on the new Sherlock!!

  10. I’m still watching Downton but totally get why you aren’t! We just finished up Lost 2 weeks ago and haven’t found a new show to binge so we are rewatching The Office yet again…

    1. LOST…why must you bring up that torture!!! Such potential! So many possibilities! I even listened to the podcast done by the producers every week…waiting, calculating, trying to figure out all of the mystery that is The Island…Then the last season happened and i wanted to vomit! STUPIDEST ENDING OF ANY SHOW EVER!!!!!! It’s painful just thinking about it. ugh!

  11. Last Sunday night, I PVR’d the first episode of season 5 of Downtown Abbey thinking I would record them all and then binge watch the entire season. That did not happen, although I did hold off until Tuesday night to watch it.

    Now that Homeland is done for the season and The Walking Dead does not start again until February; Downton is my “Sunday night show.”

    I did have to break up with “Resurrection,” & “Believe.” I usually give shows five episodes before I make a decision, and once I’m gone.. I’m gone.

  12. I agree that Downton has been a downer lately but I can’t bring myself I break up yet. I’m willing to go through a lot just to hear those lovely, crisp British accents and see all of the lovely costumes and scenery. And the second episode story about getting a “wireless” to hear the Kimg had me giggling.
    But I have to say you really are missing out with Dr. Who! My son got into it and finally got me watching. It took a couple of episodes but now I’m hooked! I watch an episode almost every day. Give it a try again, you won’t be sorry.

  13. I LOVE OUAT! The current season has been crazy and amazing, and somewhat heartbreaking for my favorite Disney characters (I won’t tell you which, I hate spoilers), but the very end of the fall finale is giving me doubts. Things could be getting far-fetched, which seems a silly thing to say about the show… but I feel like I’m not going to like what’s coming next. I’ll have to wait and see.
    As far as other shows, I have a long lasting love affair with Doctor Who. David Tennant specifically. He was my favorite, Rose was my favorite, and so many emotions! Every time the doctor changes faces, you might think “Well he just can’t be as good as the last one,” but then they prove you wrong! You should definitely watch it, and you have until August before the next one starts I believe.
    If you like the scary thing, American Horror Story is a great series. Each season is a separate story line, so you don’t have to watch Season 1 then 2, you can skip to your favorite storyline!

  14. Husband and I love Person of Interest. We have watched it since the beginning. Super acting and writing!! My favorite of all, right now, is Longmire. Best show out there, imho. Modern western, with an awesome cast and writing. It is based on a series of books by Craig Johnson. I have read them all, and had a problem living real life, because I could not put them down. The show is a great adaptation of the books.

  15. I just can’t watch anything regularly anymore., but did a 2-3 year stint with Downton, Once Upon a ‘Time and recxently tried to get into The Librarians. It’s just too much work for me to remember to watch. But we LOVE watching The Middle! I can watch a rerun episode 3 or 4 times and still die laughing. I heartily recommend it, especially for those with teenagers. I feel like the writers are spying on us for their material.

  16. Oh, you haven’t gotten to season four of “Once Upon a Time” yet. It’s probably in your best interest that I warn you they just wrapped up a half-season story arc involving “Frozen”.

  17. I personally take credit for your new OUAT love. I adore Rumple. Mercy. You know he’s in the Full Monty? The fact that I’m a happily married Christian woman is the only reason it’s not in my queue. I’m still trudging through Downtown. It’s like watching a car wreck, but I keep hoping it gets better. I stopped OUAT after Season 3. We watched 3 seasons in about a month, and I needed my life back.

  18. I share your feelings about both shows. I haven’t completely quit Downton, but it’s certainly not relaxing. And I just started Once Upon A Time. Good stuff!

  19. You just said what I tell people all the time–I want to watch happy things! There is too much misery in the real world, I don’t need to spend my “fun” time watching other people’s misery, too. I never did watch Downton Abbey, and now I’m glad I didn’t. It sounds like they eventually started doing what “Game of Thrones” did from the start (I read most of the first book and hated it), which was kill off the characters they just made you love. In GOT book, after they killed off the third character I really liked, I shut the book and refused to read another page. Don’t kill off my favorite characters. I started watching Once Upon a Time this year, and got the first two seasons on DVD for Christmas, so I’m catching up now. I really enjoy it, and while I’ve noticed some continuity issues as well, they don’t bother me and I just ignore them. Thanks for sharing this post.

  20. If anyone breaks up with a series they were either watching too many already and could not dedicate the time it takes to wait every week for the day it will air and then a whole year for the following season, or simply because you were not a fan in the first place.

  21. I’ve never understood the Downton craze. There was no innocence for me right from the start. I’ve heard Once Upon A Time is good. I’ll have to check it out. T and I prefer medical/mystery/detective type shows and even Sci-fy so we don’t usually foray into Drama. White Collar is our favorite. Love that show.

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