No peace until I get to finish my TV show

When it comes to television shows and other forms of entertainment, the Internet can be a good thing and a bad thing.

Have you heard of the TV show “Downton Abbey?”

If you haven’t you’re in the minority.

This show, now in its third season in the U.S., is set in Britain and airs in England far ahead of its airing in the U.S. on public television.

“Downton Abbey” is set in the fictional estate of Downton Abbey and depicts the lives of an aristocratic family and its servants.

I have seen the show mentioned on awards programs, through stories on the Internet and even in videos.

Then last Friday, I had two separate conversations with two friends about the show. One said she was addicted and that I should really watch it. The other told me she had tried to watch it but realized with the accents and intense plot that it wasn’t a show you could watch while cleaning the house or caring for a rambunctious 16-month-old.

So Saturday night, I picked up my iPad, logged into my Netflix account and started watching the first episode.

The show starts with the family and its servants learning that the two closest heirs to Lord Grantham’s estate and Downton Abbey died in the sinking of the Titanic the night before.
As a Titanic buff, I was instantly hooked, and within a few minutes found myself rooting for Mr. Bates, the new valet with the bum leg, and Daisy, the lowly kitchen maid.

In this age of modern technology, I, of course, felt the need to post on Facebook that I was “Watching my first episode of Downton Abbey and it’s great!!!”

Soon there were eight people who liked my status and another three who had made comments about their own addictions with this soap opera of sorts.

My favorite comment was from the friend who only a day earlier had recommended that I watch the show. She wrote: “I love the series but WARNING: it’s like potato chips — you won’t be able to stop with one!”

And it’s true.

That night I ended up watching the first two episodes that kept me awake until nearly 2 a.m.
The next day I dreamed of returning to my iPad in my comfy chair and delving into the world of unlucky-in-love Lady Mary and my dear friend Mr. Bates.

However, I had to wait all day while doing other things in the real world before I finally returned to my iPad and Downton that night.

I was about halfway through the episode when my sweet husband decided that he wanted to watch a different TV show with me, and I had to give up on “Downton Abbey” four minutes before the end — two minutes when you don’t count the credits.

Now it’s Tuesday and, as I sit here, all I really want to do is log into my Netflix account and return to those last few minutes which I still have yet to watch.

While I wait for my next fix, I have been plagued with spoilers on the Internet since I happen to be two seasons behind the rest of the American fans out there.

As I performed my regular morning surf of the Internet, I logged onto only to find photos and stories about “Downton Abbey” and one very telling photo that gave away a major story line.

This gave me an internal argument about the issue of modern media and its impact on my ability to watch television.

I love Netflix and the Internet in that I can watch old seasons of shows and get caught up with the new seasons in a way I never would have been able to in the past.

The problem is, I am so totally surrounded by pop culture that my favorite television show, movie or book can offer a spoiler with just the innocent click of a mouse.

So I’m hoping that this weekend I can snuggle down into my chair and have a “Downton Abbey” marathon. Maybe I’ll catch up a bit on the series so next time I find a story, photo or video on the Internet, it won’t spoil my fun.

And from a distance I heard my husband ask, “Are we out of toilet paper?”

“I’ll be right back.”

Shay Burk

Veteran Tribune reporter Shay Burk writes whatever is swirling around her mind each week. Read her columns on Tuesdays for her humorous thoughts on everyday life.

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