Did the SAG Awards Spoil 'Downton Abbey' for US Viewers?
Most of us who watch British dramas in the US have accepted that unless we tread carefully online, our shows are likely to be spoiled for us. Some people resort to internet swashbuckling as a way around this but I have been told quite sternly by most professional media organizations that this is Very Bad. Different shows have different “danger levels” for being spoiled, but something like Downton Abbey has been relatively safe the last few years. After the initial release here in the States the excitement has died down a bit (along with the most likable characters) and the target audience is PBS viewers who tend not to be the most technologically savvy out there. Viking River Cruises is a major sponsor of the show, and I’m pretty sure they don’t let anyone under the age of 60 on those boats. So I am not typically on the lookout for Downton spoilers, and actually almost missed the one that aired on the SAG Awards last night.
I can’t find the clip online, but it was the extended Crawley family all sitting at the dinner table when Isobel announces that she and Lord Merton have decided to wed. It could easily be mistaken for an old clip, as there’s nothing Downton loves more than giving people the same plotlines season after season (as the falsely accused Bateses can attest) but given the characters in the scene I’m pretty sure it was season 6.
There’s not a show on television that defines “low stakes” more than Downton Abbey. The two most shocking turns were telegraphed months ahead when it became public news that certain members of the main cast were leaving the show. The series was never going to end with the Crawleys selling their house (the one thing that could have been surprising, and somewhat realistic) so it’s just a matter of piecing together which absurdly happy ending everyone gets. Still, interesting to see a US-based industry event carelessly reveal information that could not legally be seen in the US yet. As best I can tell, it’s still at least two episodes away.