Sibling Rivalry is key to Downton Abbey. I arrived late to the soapish series -but fell hard. I was glued each Sunday like my mother to As The World Turns in the 50’s. I am jonesing now that the second season ended.
The Emmy awarded show paints a theme exposing our fetish with the British aristocracy-. Class exists in America. We should not believe the British are alone The 1% vs. the 99% made clear in this US neo- depression, points out that we 99% would love to live like the upper class hedgefunders or scions of old wealth like the Bushes and Kennedy’s.
Yet the series has many other true thematic plot lines.
The second is sibling rivalry. Listal named Downton the number one show for sibling rivalry
The seething sibling rivalry between the elder two Grantham sisters, central to Downton Abbey’s plot arc, is played to the hilt through the acid lines and withering looks of sisters Edith and Mary.
The sibling rivalry between the sisters is merciless. The first season featured claws- out sniping between the two. Lady Edith, the middle child and less attractive daughter penned a letter to the Turkish Ambassador that his diplomat died in Mary’s bed. Mary retaliated lying to poor Edith’s only suitor, telling him she would not accept his proposal.
The third theme is the devotion of sisters. In spite of sibling rivalry, sisters are the tightest sibling group of all. When sister Sybil flees to marry the family chauffer Edith and Mary who have hemorrhaged each other’s love lives are true sisters and go together to find her. They bring her back to Downton to at least tell their parents her plans. Blood is thicker than water and sisters have the thickest blood and the most enduring sibling relationship.
I can’t wait till season three so read Brideshead Revisited