The title has two meanings. It can stand for either my love affair with Downton Abbey or the number of love affairs in the show. The acting, the story, the costumes, the set–everything about this show is superb. It even brought my dad, the man who thinks the British (and Scottish, Welsh and Irish) should come with subtitles, to the couch every Sunday. He now calls our old, half-blind dog the dowager. It’s actually a very good description. She’ll sit haughtily on her cushion as you call her name over and over and over again, and Lily just looks at you, like “I am far more superior to you, I will come when I want to.”
In honor of tonight’s episode, here are some of my favorite quotes from episode one.
The Dowager Countess finds out that Matthew and Mary are coming home on the same day unbeknownst to either party. When she finds out Mary is driving, she says, “Good. I hate Greek drama, where everything happens off stage.”
The Dowager Countess and the Countess discussing Lavinia, Matthew’s new fiance, after Lavinia’s introduction to the family at a large party:
“I’m afraid meeting us all together must be very intimidating” Countess
“I do hope so.” Dowager Countess
Hughes found out some very juicy, and troubling bit of gossip about Bates when she listened through the grate. She’s not normally a snoopy person, but Bates’s guest made her suspicious. When she talks to the butler, Carson, about this, he says “Now if I were a gentleman, I wouldn’t want to know.” “But you’re not,” Hughes replies. “Fortunately,” responds Carson.
Edith does her part for the war effort by driving the tractor for a local farmer who lost his help and cannot drive. The Dowager Countess does not approve. “Edith! You are a lady. Not Toad of Toad Hall.” (this one just might be my favorite for its reference to one of my most favorite books, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
As you can tell, I just love the Dowager. Dame Maggie Smith, you can do no wrong.