Our old friends, the Crawleys

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 2:00pm

Like a lot of other folks, I went to see the “Downton Abbey” movie recently.

The lights dimmed, the familiar music started and I smiled as soon as I caught my first glimpse of the Abbey.

After it was over, my friend and I commented that seeing the movie was like visiting with old friends. And we weren’t the only ones who felt that way. Snippets of other conversations echoed our remarks. We could hear the words “old friends” coming from those in front and behind us as we left the theater.  

It made me wonder what it is about these characters that made me so glad to see them again.

Julian Fellowes’ brilliant writing has a lot to do with it, of course. Wonderful acting helps as well. For six years, the Crawley household shared their lives – good and bad – with us. Which is what friends do.   

And then there’s the clothing and the scenery.

But, after giving it some thought, I realized that the lovely, quiet predictability of life at the manor was a return to a time when behavior mattered.

I was wistful watching members of the household supporting and relying on each other. It was a reminder of a different time with a code that says leaders are statesmen, privilege brings with it an obligation to care for others and bad times are shouldered with grace. And we are all in this together.

A visit to Downton gave me a comforting, two-hour respite from the current, snarling political chaos.   

So thank you, Crawleys and staff for the diversion. We will all get by with a little help from our friends.