Is Happiness “Boring”?

If you watch Downton Abbey and have not seen the season 3 finale yet or if you plan on watching it anytime in the near future DO NOT CONTINUE READING THIS POST.

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Season 3 of Downton Abbey was by far my favorite season thus far.  Although with the untimely and seemingly unnecessary death of two major characters, Sybil and Matthew, I really was upset with the show and have no idea what they will do in season 4.  This is undoubtedly one of the reasons I love the show, you never know what to expect.

But after reading an interview with show creator Julian Fellows on the reason for killing the character of Matthew Crawley played by Dan Stevens I was shocked as to the reason why.  Both the actors whose characters were killed did not choose to renew their contracts with Downton Abbey so the writers and Fellows decided to kill them off particularly in the case of Matthew because “portraying a contended marriage between Matthew and Lady Mary would have been little interest for viewers”.  You can find the full interview with Fellows on this matter here.  But his interview leads me to believe that even if the actor had decided to stay on the show that we could’ve expected some kind of problems, possibly divorce, with the couple anyways.  Buy why?

Why is happiness, and in this case marital happiness, considered boring in our society today?  I get that the show is a drama and that Fellows said later that it is hard to “dramatise happiness” implying that it didn’t fit well with the overall type of show.  But come on, even in a show about drama there can be a little happiness.  We need that so we don’t get so down in the dumps.  Think of the Thénardiers in “Les Mís”.  They give us a much needed comic release in a very sad book/movie.

And this isn’t just the case in this PBS period drama.  Recently, on NBC’s final season of The Office, Pam and Jim have been having some potential marriage problems.  Now, I realize that this is real life and that couples have problems.  But I just felt that personally, in the shows last season, that we should keep to things that we know and love and give us all one last “hoorah!” as the show said goodbye.  Instead, Jim and Pam are having marital issues, Erin and Andy break up, Andy becomes a huge jerk and a disliked character and we’re seeing like nothing from characters like Stanley, Phyllis, Oscar and Toby.

Is happiness boring to society?  Why is that?

-Jacob

 

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