Spoiler Alert

Downton AbbeyPhoto Credit

In my quest to identify this year, I’ve come to a conclusion in one area of my life I wasn’t really looking to.

Sometimes I care too much about fitting in. Still. At 31 years old when I thought I was free of a lot of that adolescent mindset, I found it was very much a dominant part of my thoughts the past couple of weeks.

The catalyst for my discovery is a little show you may have heard of called Downton Abbey.

I first heard of it on Twitter over a year ago and shortly thereafter discovered that the first season was on Netflix, so I watched the first few episodes. I found them entertaining, enjoyed the depth of the plot and characters, cringed at the moral issues, and appreciated the obvious effort that has gone into making it a realistic and thought-provoking historical show.

But then life got busy and I quickly learned that season one was the only one I’d have access to for quite some time, so I let it go. This is a decision that I had to make about many shows when we let go of DVR because we cancelled our cable. I moved past the drama and characters, and glossed over the ever-growing number of Facebook statuses that chirped about Downton on my news feed.

But then 80% of my Sunday news feeds each week included Downton Abbey references.

“That’s nice” I thought for a while. “A break from sports posts.”

Then online conversations about this show were going on all week long. Meanwhile, I wasn’t a part of any of them, and like any mature adult, I tried figuring out how I could get into the show, too.

At this point, I want to make sure that everyone understands I am not in any way condemning the growing population of the world who is watching this show. Not one of my online or real life friends has done anything wrong by talking about Downton or their love for it. I believe it’s a good thing to find a common interest such as a TV show to build camaraderie.

No, I’m the one at fault in this situation. I didn’t see what I was doing at first when I actually spent thirty minutes one night searching online for ways to catch up on the show without having to buy it. I didn’t think I was crazy when I considered purchasing an Amazon Prime account so I could watch the rest of the episodes. Granted, I’ve already been considering it for other reasons, but as of right now I can’t justify it as a great enough benefit for our family.

The whole time I plotted, I felt an uncomfortable twinge deep within me. I didn’t know why, but I knew enough from past mistakes to take a few days to pray about it. I felt silly asking God whether or not He was okay with me getting an Amazon Prime account, but I did it – all while listing all of the other possible benefits to make me feel better.

And along came yesterday – season 3 finale day. I knew it because I read it at least five times on Facebook. I prayed again for God to make it clear what I should do about Amazon Prime. (This sounds pathetic, I know, but I’m just being real here.)

Then along came the spoilers.

One right after the other. Who died?!? What!?!

In the 2 minutes it took for me to read who died and how, I went from having that annoyed feeling one gets when she reads the spoiler without getting the warning that it is coming to the sick realization that the main motivation behind wanting to watch this show was so I could fit in with the rest of the world. And I’m not okay with that.

The sick twinge I’ve felt for quite some time now regarding this show was annoying. I didn’t understand it at all, but now I do. God was speaking to me, letting me know that while some things are not wrong to participate in, not everything is necessary. Sound familiar?

“Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’–but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23

So now I can save some money and many hours of time because why would I want to watch a love story unfold when I already know it will end tragically in the season 3 finale? I never have liked sad endings anyway.

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3 thoughts on “Spoiler Alert

  1. Andrea

    I’m with you! I missed the first two seasons, and I can’t seem to get into the third. And my motivation was the same – because I don’t want to be left out. Thanks for giving voice to that motivation!

  2. Diana

    This is exactly how I felt about “Lost.” Everyone else was talking about it, and I’d never seen a single episode. I thought about watching it, even thought it’s nothing like the shows I actually like, then that just made me feel shallow.
    Of course, I’m a big “Downton Abbey” fan, but that makes a lot more sense for me than “Lost.” 😉 And don’t worry, you’re not the only one who doesn’t watch it, even if it feels like it. 😉

  3. Courtney

    I’ve come to realize there are countless shows like this – some folks must spend hours watching TV each night to keep up! I’m simply not that interested. I did, however, get sucked into the Downton frenzy this season. I understand what you are saying, and have made the same decision you came to with other shows, but this one ended up being a positive bonding experience for me. My mother is a loyal fan, and when I was visiting her one weekend, I got to watch an episode with her. She enjoyed filling me in on much of the backstory and it was fun for us to have that shared experience. A few weeks later, I discovered that my mother-in-law is also a huge fan. I don’t think we’ve ever had such an in-depth conversation about anything before. It was fun. She owns the first two season’s DVDs, and she gave them to me to watch. So, part of the reason I’m a fan is because of the joint experience of it all. But it’s important to remember that not everyone in the world is watching (far, far from it!), and we best not act like the characters are more important than real people and real relationships. Thank you for your wise words on this, Kelly!


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