February 2012 Issue

The New York Times runs about one article per week about the show, the most cringe-worthy being one on the rage for Downton-themed viewing parties among the Manhattan elite. (Small world, indeed. I went back to look at that article and noticed that the accompanying photo features John-John ex-squeeze Christina Haag, with whom I worked many years ago.) Now that the huffy Brits have put the kibosh on cheesy Downton swag, I’m sure there are already clandestine tiara-parties on the Upper East Side where far pricier baubles are traded like Tupperware in Des Moines. It’s nice to know the 1% haven’t lost their childlike taste for dress-up, isn’t it?

So, anyway, a biggie in the ms cognitive whammy department is emotional lability, which means that your emotional reactions to small things tend to be hugely out of proportion. Some people, for instance, foam at the mouth and throw things when it rains. I, on the other hand, weep at stupid things on TV. It’s totally involuntary, and the weird thing is that I often don’t feel especially sad, happy, melancholy or even mildly moved when it happens. But if there’s a kid giving his mom a handmade card in an insurance commercial, I start blubbering. It’s mortifying. And infuriating.

And it’s especially infuriating when I watch Downton Abbey, because the show is shamelessly wrenching your amygdala at every possible opportunity with soaring strings and portentous little speeches embedded in a plot so cornball and dialogue so stilted that the part of my brain that still has some standards is begging me to change the channel to My Name is Earl. But no, there I sit, sniveling over some improbable subplot involving implausible characters whose names I can’t remember from week to week. It makes me want to foam at the mouth and throw things.

Onward. In addition to the TWD Facebook page, we now have a TWD Google Plus page, which can be reached by clicking on that big red thing in the right column. Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what G+ is for. It seems to be a cross between Usenet and Twitter.

As always, we depend on the kindness of readers for our kibble, so please consider subscribing. Think of it as a tiara for your mind.

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6 comments on this post.
  1. Sam:

    Well, if it’s any consolation, your writing is as adroit and venerable as always!

  2. library mix:

    G+ , or Google+, is a mechanism on something called your Google “circles” page for grouping friends and colleagues with whom you share information. By the way, you are always fun to read even if you are going through tough problems.

  3. Denise D Simon:

    If it’s any consolation, menopause seems to be having much the same cognitive affect on me, only I cry at the Simpsons. You know, when at the end of the show, Homer finally does the right thing and all is forgiven. I lose it every time.

  4. admin:

    This is the 70th anniversary of Casablanca, but I’m afraid to watch it again (for the 1400th time) because I’d probably end up locked in the basement.

  5. Greenwick:

    I know Google Plus is some kind of social network. But for its purpose, the only sense I’ve been able to make of it is that G+ is for people who like G+. And the people who sign up for it are those that think G+ is nifty and useful. Apparently its appeal is meant to be self evident.

  6. Christine Moyer:

    May I say, most kindly, that this viewer of Downton Abbey doesn’t get it. Our family is crazy about other British drama, too. One series worth seeing is Monarch of the Glen — Julian Fellows stars in that. He is a brilliant writer/actor. He wrote Downton Abbey screen play, which you are watching on PBS. We love the characters, but think Elizabeth McGovern could be a little less condecending — She smiles too much! But we give this series a 4-star rating. We love British drama; can’t get enough. Who in the world can compare this kind of entertainment with all the other GARBAGE on our American TV cable. The only really funny show is the new show, The Middle. Have you seen it? But you know, different strokes ! We are all very different in our tastes for TV.

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