The Downton Patch

The Downton Patch January 28, 2014

Confession:  it turns out that I was more “addicted” to Downton Abbey than I thought.  It doesn’t help that my husband still wants to watch, and so in addition to leaving the show, I am also leaving our date nights!  Just like with smoking, drinking or any more sinister addiction, giving something up takes levels of self control, but you can change the situation to help yourself.

First, I told my husband very firmly that not only was I not going to watch, he could not watch it in the house.  I just know, after having watched just a portion of the first episode this season, that I am tempting to get drawn in, and that while he falls asleep DURING Downthon, I stay up to finish it and then don’t sleep after watching so much emotion play out on the screen.

It has been my biggest fear, throughout my marriage, that my husband would die young.  I have this fear more than a fear of a sick child or a fear of dying myself, it haunts me.  I think about it in mass and cry on a regular basis when his favorite hymns are played.  I try hard not to let this fear creep in to the real happiness of my marriage and family life.  Therefore, just ten minutes of watching Mary unable to find any warmth in life without Matthew was too much for me.

But, but, but…I still want to know what happens.  So, I have found a way to keep up with the goings on without the emotional roller coaster:  My friend Melissa’s Downton Abbey Recaps.  Like a nicotine patch, this is getting me just enough of a fix to be able to resist letting the Downton drama take over my Sunday nights, and by extension the rest of my week.  It is helping significantly that Lissa does not like much of what she is seeing on what she calls Melrose Abbey this season — nothing like a little moral high ground to help with breaking the addiction.

The third part of my recovery plan has been a healthy substitution.  On those nights when my husband is home, we have been catching up on NBC’s Parenthood, which has its own ups and downs but for the most part I really enjoy.  Warning, it is set in the present day, with present day problems, and the characters do not share my values.  Still, they are loving and humble, and it is actually helping me to think a lot about what it will be like to parent teens.  You can stream Parenthood on  For my period drama fix, I have started watching Larkrise to Candleford.  So far, I think it is too sappy to get my husband on board, but it is nice for the long nights when he is not home, and I am hoping that they are not going to kill off any main characters.  If it gets awful later on, please jump in and spoil it for me before I get too attached!



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  • Elizabeth Foss

    We’re midway through season 2. I admit to crying last night (Season 2 Episode 7), but no one died. My husband has watched the first episode with the girls and he said he liked it. I think he was just being a good sport. I’m reserving it for those nights when he’s out of town…

  • FYW

    I have not enjoyed this season at all, but sadly am still watching! The first 2 episodes got me so angry, I didn’t even want to continue watching, yet here I stay. I think I continue to watch in part because we watched the previous seasons over the course of only a few weeks or a month on Amazon Prime just last summer, so it feels soon to be ditching it altogether. The other part is because I keep hoping it will get back to its old self. I don’t know why I root for shows to do that–I have trouble letting go of even the worst shows if I am more than a season in. I am impressed that you were able to (almost completely) kick the habit!

    I love Parenthood. The problems are real, even if I wouldn’t deal with them in the same manner most of the time. My husband hates it though. He calls it the depressing Modern Family. Don’t know anything about Larkrise to Candleford so can’t help on that front!

  • Kat0427

    Your commitment to not watching Downton is impressive 🙂 Way to stick to a resolution!

  • My new indulgence this year is The Blacklist. It is way too violent for my taste, but I LOVE James Spader. I think he is hilarious. The show is rather dramatic as well. But, it’s worth it for my Spader fix. I’m proud of you for ditching Downton. I’ve watched some this year, and in years past, and I think it has become more dramatic. Sad they could not keep the same feel as the early years.

  • CatherineS

    I started watching this season, with some hesitation, and then after episode 2, I had had it! They are just never going to let anyone be happy on that show. We’re watching Parenthood instead too.

  • Gg

    Lark rise to candle ford is lovely. I watched ALL of it last year, while nursing a newborn. I don’t recall any big shockers. And my husband enjoyed it too! (But he is a softie in that way).