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Downton Abbey: A Drinking Game

February 19, 2012 by dafyd

Downton Abbey cast

Were there to be a drinking game to be played while watching Downton Abbey (the costume-y soap-y melodrama imported from ITV that finishes its American run on PBS tonight), it would surely be the most genteel, witty, beguiling drinking game ever conceived. To that end, I present the following:

Sip your drink when:

  • Daisy moans about poor dead William
  • Lady Edith complains about being the middle daughter (boring, not taken seriously, damned to be the maiden aunt)
  • The Dowager Duchess chomps her way through the scenery
  • Any character speaks in a way totally inappropriate for the period
  • Matthew and Lady Mary lock eyes over a game of cards / dinner / a concert / a grouse shoot
  • Mr Bates and Anna locks eyes over a game of cards / dinner / a concert / polishing shoes
  • Lord Grantham writes to his “man of business”
  • The entail is called into question

Take several sips of your drink when:

  • A well-known British character actor appears as the Crawley’s long-lost relative (I’m thinking Joanna Lumley, Nigel Havers, Bernard Cribbins)
  • Carson has health issues, brought on by overwork due to a chronic shortage of servants
  • Lady Sybil elopes with a servant
  • Sir Richard Carlisle taps a celebrity’s phone is booed offstage
  • Mrs Patmore accidentally poisons the family
  • Thomas shoots himself in the hand (literally or metaphorically)

Finish your drink when:

  • O’Brien’s cunning scheme fails
  • “Doctor” Clarkson’s medical diagnosis is called into question / proved incorrect / kills off a recurring character
  • Reference is made to Britain’s current (2012) coalition government

Finish your drink, everyone else’s drink, then run out to buy more drink when / if:

  • Mention is made of (or reference to) Lady Mary’s “Turkish diplomat”¬†troubles
  • Lady Cora does anything (other than falling ill) that directly impacts the story
  • We discover Carson’s first name
Enjoy. Best played with port or sherry.

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