Every Sunday afternoon at 4pm, no matter what we are doing, it all comes to a grinding halt. We leave book tents on coffee tables, hibernate computers, leave dishes lining the counters and gather in our living room with miniature glasses of port.
For Downton Abbey, of course.
If you are a die hard fan wondering how in the world we are watching the new season when you have to wait a few more months, one word: Hola. Tada!
Long before we ever knew moving to London was on the horizon, British television shows have been a staple in our entertainment diet. If you’ve been following me for very long, you know I have a Pinterest Board entitled, I Live in England, in my Heart. My Twitter profile echoes the same sentiment.
And there is that little detail in my ancestry dating back one thousand years ago. When H discovered that I’m related to British nobility we visited the ancestral home, Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass. And what we discovered in history fuels expectancy.
Much of life is a surprising discovery of the ways in which God fashions our existence long before we were a thought on the horizon. Our passions and intuitive leanings often have more to do with destiny than we presume upon first glance.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret about streaming Downton Abbey. It can sometimes prove to be a little glitchy and we miss part of the conversations. Just in case you were jealous. And this.
I like watching the commercials just as much as the Granthams.
The commercials give me a taste of cultural differences and I like diversity, remember?
An advertisement for an “American refrigerator” is insightful. Because the refrigerator being marketed is similar to the biggest lemon in my kitchen. As I write this, a loud knock from the ice maker echoes throughout my house at random intervals. After being on a first name basis with the repairman, we are crossing our arms and refusing to fix it. We’ll be outta here shortly, I hope.
Though Downton Abbey is my favorite, there are several other British series that have equally captured my attention. And many can be found on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The Hour – set in Lime Grove Studio, this suspenseful series is based on the launch of a BBC current affairs show set in the 50’s. Hooked after the first two episodes, I binged the rest of the series over a few days when I was fighting depression about our long waiting period to London. It turns out, we’ll be living in the same neighborhood where Lime Grove was originally located. Amazing serendipity, yes?
Mr. Selfridge – Based in the 1910’s, this series revolves around the personal life of Harry Selfridge, colorful American tycoon and founder of Selfridge & Co., a chain of upscale department stores in London. The apparel, setting, and well-written stories are captivating. The flagship store on Oxford Street is still the second major retailer in the UK after Harrods.
Call the Midwife – picture young women in the 50’s riding bikes in nurses uniforms around East London to care for pregnant mothers while living in a convent and dating eligible bachelors when off duty. I love the inside conversations between them more than the excruciating scenes of giving birth. And the styles make me swoon. I think I was born in the wrong time period.
The Paradise – set in the Victorian era of glam lifestyles, this one is also about a decadent department store run by an overzealous, dashing entrepreneur, John Moray, who becomes captivated by a country girl hired to work on his large staff. Spoiler alert – they cancelled the show before filming the ending so no resolution people. I was terribly disappointed but still worth the watch.
Then there is Sherlock which H thinks is the best show ever written for television and Broadchurch, currently premiering as Gracepoint in the US with a different cast. Psst, the British one is better, just sayin’.
What have I left off the list? Share your favorite British shows in the comments so we can talk about how they make us happy. When you can’t BE in London, at least you can live vicariously through television. This is the gift of story, yes?
I won’t be sharing my posts on social networking channels daily because who wants to see that much of me, really? If you want to follow our adventure to London subscribe to the blog in the side bar and posts will slide quietly into you inbox. Start from the beginning of the series here.