"But you watch Coronation Street!" was my brother's indignant riposte, when I dared to criticise Downton Abbey (he's a DA fan, of course).
Well, for us, there's no comparison. The clunking prose, the anachronisms, the slow-moving plot (is there one?), the wooden acting...I think Downton is terrible. Lady Mary looks as though she's been impaled (vertically - I'm trying to be delicate here) by a broom handle, and apart from Maggie Smith, everyone sounds as though they're reading through their lines for the first time. And oh, those lines...
"She is bruised and broken. We must wrap her up and protect her" (his lordship, about the bereaved Lady Mary, who incidentally looks as though she's never experienced an emotion in her life, let alone grief).
"I love you with every fibre of my being" (his lordship again - he seems to be cursed with the worse lines - quite out of the blue, to one of the maids. Last series).
Whereas Coronation Street is, I think, marvellous. Okay, so some of the plots are a bit off the wall - it's hard to keep going week after week with credible plots - but some of the acting is wonderful. The present story of Hayley's terminal cancer has brought out some of the best scenes (between her and husband Roy) I've ever seen on television.
And before anyone attacks me, yes, we do watch DA. We find it vastly entertaining, for all the wrong reasons. We don't care what happens to anyone, but are constantly astonished that so much money has been thrown at the production of something so soulless. For us, the Emperor that is Downton is stark naked.
But we're in a tiny minority, so feel free to ignore us.