I have a new TV obsession to replace my former dependence on shows like Mad Men and The Wire — it’s Downton Abbey. If you’re not already familiar with the popular British import, its formula is roughly one part period piece to one part soap opera, and it’s addictive. It’s kind of like a juicy serialized Gosford Park, in that the lives of the wealthy are frequently contrasted by the lives of their servants downstairs, and Maggie Smith cracks wise. Anyway, I’m not alone in my obsession with all things Downton, according to the The New York Times. They’re reporting that many people are holding themed viewing parties to watch the show with friends.
I love that other folks are so into the show that they’re creating party menus with classics from across the pond, like steak and Guinness pie and sticky toffee pudding. It’s tempting to hold a viewing party myself this weekend, with our own brand of themed decor and recipes like Mince Pies, Raspberry Sherry Trifle and Blueberry Scones. Of course, the Dowager Countess would ask “What is a weekend?”, but my new answer would be, “Two days off from work to throw Downton Abbey viewing parties.”