You'd think I'd dropped a deuce in the middle of the dining room table, such was the shock when I took a bite out of Lord Grantham's Ultimate Angus. It never occurred to me that an accident on a country road could so stir the wrath of Facebook followers. If you were a fan of DA, surely you knew, or should have known, that the actor playing Matthew wasn't renewing his contract. What did you expect? Divine intervention, with a 10 percent agency fee? It's a soap opera, after all; characters come and go all the time. From "Who shot JR?" to Sybil's death in childbirth, the soaps have always killed off their own.
But this was no surprise. The final episode of DA's Season Three aired on Christmas Day in the UK. Half a dozen posts revealing the story line had already appeared on American websites, including this one, in which producer Gareth Neame sounds like Yoda reading Tarot cards.
So what's next? One intelligent comment in the shitstorm that followed my Facebook post: "Like Fox News, Downton Abbey leaves the viewer culturally and intellectually diminished" because the trappings of post-Edwardian England were about surface, not substance.
I would watch DA's starched and folded humans go about their business as if I were the family's cute but uncomprehending dog, directed by Disney: head cocked, ears perked up, muzzle raised. "Aroo!" I'd howl at the sceen if something was amusing. "Awwrrrrr," if sad.
Made the show much more fun. To paraphrase the punchline of a very funny story, "Luncheon was my idea."