Marriage on ‘Downton Abbey’ Isn’t Boring—It’s Realistic
Feb 7 2013, 9:05 AM ET
Grand romantic yearnings have given way to something more satisfying and intimate.
This is the stuff real marriages are made of. If happy families are all alike, as Tolstoy somewhat disingenuously tells us, it’s not because nothing interesting goes on behind closed doors. It’s because good marriages are dynamic. Each one is filled with tiny challenges and mood shifts, and couples are always making micro-adjustments….
….That’s why the current season of Downton Abbey is arguably the most interesting of all. We’re no longer wondering whether Matthew and Mary will ever walk down the aisle. … But we’ve seen the young Crawleys learn how to maintain respect, and even passion, as they bicker over money…..
…It’s those private, believable moments that keep the show from going the way of The Office, where Jim and Pam’s happiness left a void that couldn’t be filled by any number of goofy romantic subplots involving Andy Bernard. There’s plenty of uncertainty ahead for Downton Abbey, both as a television program and as a fictional estate. But by letting his characters grow into real relationships, creator Julian Fellowes has made a promising investment in its survival.
I came across this article and actually found her points on our beloved characters on Downton quite compelling. Her references also to Anna Karenina and the subplot of Kitty and Levin also throws light, like M/M, on the undercurrents of happy families and the subtleties of marriage behind closed doors.
There has been many different views on how JF has written particularly married!Mary, and I am not negating how anyone feels about specific characters. But this article reminded me that the early years of marriage can be quite blissful and as a whole people can be very happy, as well as maintaining essentially who as individuals they are. What we see on screen is many instances of private M/M and Matthew’s Mary, and how they have finally come to be in that place,(lustful, bantery and content) with added dynamics of family obstacles thrown in for drama, as life really does do.
Essentially I’m expressing that i loved married!Mary/Matthew and their subtle nuances and I am heartbroken that we will never see more, as that would have been an epic and provocative love story.
What I like though is that Downton and in direct relation JF and his writing, has created conversations, as we all have different places that we come from in how we relate to fictional characters we see. We all look through different eyes to that played out before us, and we interpret accordingly. None of it is right or wrong, but we are all united by the fact that they evoke in us feelings.
Obviously knowing what happens by the end of Series 3, we will not see either newly married couple grow and stretch, but at least we have been left understanding what their relationships were like behind closed doors, even if briefly.