How To Pick Your Major While Watching Downton Abbey

Thou shalt not covet, but I am even going to miss the Ralph Lauren advertisements that precede each episode.  Last night I didn’t dream of Manderley, but I sure dreamt of Downton Abbey, and boy I am going to miss it.


Although tonight is the big end of season finale, no need to dispense with the utility of tonight’s episode.  I’ll cut right to the chase–certain lines might have a certain resonance with you, and then maybe you should major in whatever is getting you all worked up. Or, if you attended college and have already graduated, you can stop taking those quizzes that keep going around the internet that tell you what you should have majored in, as if that will help now.  I say do a do-over and choose your major based on a soap opera, which actually makes more sense that how I chose mine.  I am pretty sure during my junior year at Baylor, someone told me I needed to pick a major, and I had taken the most classes in history, and well, then the rest was History and that is what is on my degree.  We didn’t have a lot of career counseling.

Mrs. Hughes:  “We’re all tired, but not as tired as we are going to be.”  Clearly a knowledge of the law of diminishing returns.  #economics

Lady Grantham actually says: “Kerfuffle.” #linguistics

Shirley MacLaine:  she makes everything better.  “I didn’t think I had to make an appointment.” And, “We came three and a half thousand miles so we could change the subject.”

Aggressive, then passive aggressive, then channeling a past life just like, uh, Shirley MacLaine! #psychology uh, no, #theater

Daisy: “Do you always try to change people’s lives after you have known them for half an hour?” #academicadvising

“Must you always act as the sister of Marie Antoinette?” #history

Being presented at court:  way better than prom! #leisurestudies

Apprehended love letters!  “You can’t steal something that has already been stolen!” These girls are regular Nancy Drews! #prelaw

Lady Mary:  “I’ll do it.  I don’t mind lying.”  Except when she wants to tell the truth and ruin Bates’s life. #psychology

“I know you are a Lord, but what kind of Lord are you?” #history

“I own a yacht, and I like pretty girls.” #leisurestudies

“I’m a realist/monarchist.” #politicalscience

Bates apprehends the letter!  Figures out thieves take their sensitive stolen goods with them!  #psychology

Lady Mary burns evidence that might harm Bates!  #prelaw

Levinson falls for an English debutante!  #internationalrelations

A Prince shows up at ball!  What are the odds?  #statistics

Violet telling, Tom, a former chauffeur, that she knows that “he knows how to steer.”  #sociology

“Lord Ascot, I am modern.”  #feministstudies 

Lady Mary:  “I feel so cruel dangling you and two other guys on a string.”  Uh, that is not a major, that is the weekend.

Lady Mary:  “Why didn’t you tell me about your superrich cousin and all the money you will inherit?”  #economics

Violet:  “Is that American for ‘hello’?” #folklore

Card sharks and living room revenge….delicious!!  #gametheory

Barrow:  still a complete and total jerk.  #schoolofhardknocks

Carson wants everyone to have a fun and educational museum day.  Yay.  But, takes everyone to the sea. #maritime studies

Edith figures out how to get her child out of Switzerland and back into England. #socialwork

I loved how I was hanging off of a cliff for so many of the story lines, sort of how I felt when I was choosing a major:  I didn’t really know how it would turn out…..or what I should do….but then you choose, or, like Edith, change your mind.  And, like Downton Abbey, it isn’t boring…..and you can think about it a long time, until next season.

It will be a great adventure.

2 responses to “How To Pick Your Major While Watching Downton Abbey”

  1. In The Perks of Being a Wallflower the main character is the only one in a classroom that knows Charles Dickens invented the “cliffhanger” in his serials. Downton Abbey has certainly mastered this trick. Lady Edith should have figured out what she wanted to do before hurting the poor Schroeders. Mary seems to become even more egotistical in holding so many people’s lives balanced on her powerful palms. Expression of Bates towards Mary when she bated him about doings in London: Baleful! Good thing the writers lightened his nastiness with legerdemain for prince and country. Was it his loyalty to her family that caused Mary to feel morally right in lying to protect him? Even though I swore I wouldn’t watch after Matthew was killed off (after all they went through to get together), I still found I was glued to the t.v. set every Sunday night as I am sure I will be when it returns for a new season. Doni, you hit the nail on the head in noting how so many topics/subjects/interests are hit upon in each episode. The dialogue was so snappy, it had me laughing out loud repeatedly. Whether it be the humor, intrigue, soap quality, or the rich political/economic history imparted, Downton matches Pride and Prejudice in my view, in its universal appeal, which should withstand at least a century or two. Thanks Doni, for the humor in your own writing. So interesting to see Downton repartee broken down so cleverly and with such wit.

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