Now in season 3, "Downton Abbey" has become our Sunday evening family ritual, like "Murder She Wrote" before it, or "Bonanza" before that. It makes the electronic hearth safe again -- and it satisfies a kid as much as "Glee."
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.