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Our "Downton Abbey" family ritual: Thanks for the memories, PBS

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(Read caption) Downton Abbey's third season starts Sunday: A family is addicted to it and it's all good.

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Conversation over the leftover roast dinner the other night suddenly got very spicy when I mentioned  we’re going to have our Sunday evenings cut out for us now because “Downton is back.”

“Oh YEAH-uh!” said my 15-year-old daughter in a near milk-spew, as excited as if it were a new KPatz Twilight movie. She’s no PBS nerd, but she’s as addicted to the Edwardian soap as her mom and dad.

Why do we love it?

As much as I’ve enforced the “no TV” rule throughout Ellen’s childhood, I have to admit: I love the feeling of the Sunday-night ritual of getting Mom, Dad, Kid and Dog together on the couch, staring into the flat screen and sharing the tangle of angsts, glories, irritations, and loves of Downton for 60 minutes – as well as our own irritations when that 60 minutes is up. It’s like having our own cozy little tea time – only we’re dressed in pajamas and Queenie tends to bark when we get too unruly about the latest injustice to passive-aggressive Bates.


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