I blame this squarely on the vagaries of Swedish television programming practices. The first two seasons originally aired here in 2011 (early spring and late fall, respectively) but on a night and time when I was rarely in front of the TV. And because SVT1 doesn’t believe in starting shows at a consistent time, recording anything on a regular schedule is a guaranteed exercise in frustration. (Before you ask, there is no TiVo in Sweden.)
But when the show became a huge hit with Swedes, SVT1 decided to re-run the first two seasons in a “marathon” format last fall to get folks primed for the premier of Season 3 at the beginning of November. I not only got caught up really quickly, I managed to get Dr. Darling hooked in the process.
But what I didn’t realize until today … when my Facebook feed exploded with people talking about the “new” season … was that I am now actually AHEAD of my friends in the U.S. I’ve already seen ALL of Season 3, including the so-called “Christmas” special. I wanted desperately to join in the FB conversations, but was afraid that I might accidentally drop a spoiler somewhere … which was an odd position to be in after being “out of the loop” for so long.
So rather than risk giving anything away, I decided to blog about it, as well as share the parody that was created for the UK’s Red Nose Day (a major fundraising event for Comic Relief) in 2011. It features Jennifer Saunders as the Dowager Countess, Joanna Lumley as the Scottish housekeeper and Sex and the City’s Kim Catrall doing a very serviceable impression of Elizabeth McGovern‘s Lady Grantham. You don’t even have to have seen the show to enjoy the videos below, but if you’ve seen the show you will LOVE it.