I have become an Upstairs, Downstairs junkie, a pitiful wreck of a human being, glued to the TV screen, slavering for my next fix, and meanwhile, horribly transfixed by impending doom: when I run out of episodes that will be ALL. There is NO MORE Upstairs, Downstairs in the universe. It's a finite thing, and soon, within the next two weeks, it will all be gone. The withdrawal is not going to be pretty.
It started innocently enough: my brother gave it to my mom for Christmas a year or so ago, I said, oh, I want to borrow those sometime, I remember watching it once or twice on PBS years ago and liking it. But I didn't realize what I was getting into. I didn't realize that having a TV/DVD in the living room was actually a gateway drug, that it would be like every filmstrip in the 70s warned me, one puff of "reefer" and I'd be doing heroin, jittery, thin, holloweyed (not, in fact, unlike my perfect mental image of myself, hmm) within a week. Somehow, I managed to smoke the demon weed to total excess as a teenager and remain safely unhooked on anything stronger, but that was just because Upstairs, Downstairs was waiting for me. I hadn't found my perfect drug yet. The addictive pathways in my brain, honed by years of fantasy novels and in fact recently whipped up and quivering by Katherine Kerr's Deverry books, were just waiting for an early 70s classy Brit soap.
Now, I can't look away. I'm watching like 3 episodes a night and I'm so scarily involved that when something worries me onscreen, like Sarah showing up and, god forbid, going into the drawing room, I get so upset I have to leave the room and talk to the dogs. The dogs, btw, don't like Upstairs, Downstairs, unless there's a dog barking in the background. Then they bark right back, which leads me to odd thoughts on mortality, since the dog they're barking at has no doubt been dead for at least 30 years. Oooh, freaky. Anyway. I lecture the characters, I bounce around and talk to them, I worry about them, I obsess over the whole damn thing. I just read half the website I linked to above (I did not read the spoilers, thank you) and discovered that Sarah and Thomas had a spinoff series! I must find it! Although I don't like Sarah and Thomas very much. Actually, that's the weird thing about the whole show: I don't like any of the characters.
I don't like any of them and I actively detest some of them: like Elizabeth. Unfortunately, I think the reason I hate Elizabeth is she reminds me so much of the young Felicity. She's spoiled and obnoxious and she takes herself way too seriously; she jumps into things without thinking them through and she pushes everyone else around. I think I was just like that. I think I might still be like that, actually. And she makes really bad judgements about men - ring any bells? The evil rich Armenian lover Julius reminds me terribly of a certain man in my past (except he wasn't rich, of course, they never are) - he says to Elizabeth: "I never lie about love. You amuse me, women do amuse me, but I never said I was in love with you." That's a horrible thing to say to anyone and he is a cad and a bounder and also, although it was somewhat differently expressed, it's what my ex sort of said to me. It doesn't do any good, of course, Elizabeth didn't believe Julius and I didn't believe mine either. Women don't ever believe men when they say they're going to be evil to them later. Grrrrrrr. . . as my friend J pointed out at the time, he got shithead points for honesty, but they were still shithead points.
Still, Elizabeth is horrible to her poor child and she left Rose in prison for 3 days! I am much too involved. I don't know what to do, except let it run its evil course. I have two seasons left to go: three and four, since I started with season five (my mother had a bit of a chronological/memory mixup and thought that was all there was, or all she had) and then moved on to season one. I watched the end of season two last night. Now, tempted though I am to go watch the beginning of season three, no. I am going to the gym and then I'm going to go watch my friend H play hockey. Probably. Possibly. Maybe. If I can stay away from the screen that long.