Michelle Obama got Downton Abbey season 3 DVDs before it’s out here: unfair?

The full third season of Downtown Abbey just finished airing in England last week. It won’t be out in the US until January 6 of 2013, which seems hugely unfair to those of us in the states who are fans. Why do the British people get to enjoy that amazing show before we do?

It turns out that first lady Michelle Obama is also a fan of the show and feels the same way as the rest of us. She reportedly requested the DVDs from television station ITV, which of course sent them to her. I love that Michelle and Barack Obama watch such good TV shows! I don’t begrudge them advance copies of shows we haven’t had here yet. I would do the same thing in their position.

She might be busy as the First Lady of America but it appears that Michelle Obama still has time to tune into hit ITV period drama, Downton Abbey.

In fact, Michelle is such a fan of the show that she reportedly begged the bosses of the show to send over the DVDs of series three, which has already aired in the UK but is due to broadcast in the US early next year.

An insider told The Sun: “We know it’s very popular in America as it’s so quintessentially British. We’d heard the Obamas liked to watch it but we were very surprised when someone from the First Lady’s office got in touch asking for the series.

“They were very polite and we were more than happy to sort out some DVDs for them to send over. Obviously we hope they keep the spoilers to themselves as our US fans may not know about… well, you know what!”

[From Entertainment Wise]

The DVDs for season three are available for pre-order on PBS.org, but they’re not shipping until January 29th! So you can catch the end before it airs on PBS, but you’ll still have to wait until next year. If Michelle got the DVDs from the UK they’re probably in European format and won’t play on most US DVD players. I’m sure Michelle could get her hands on a multiformat DVD player though.

True Story: Kaiser and I are both Downton Abbey fans after she graciously sent me the DVDs for season one and two, which I returned eventually. I figured out how to watch Downton season three sort-of legally online with commercials and was able to watch the full season. (Google it here.) Now I feel somewhat guilty about it, but obviously that didn’t stop me from watching it!

I won’t reveal any spoilers for season three at all, except to say that it was good and it’s worth watching! There were things that annoyed me as in any season, but overall it was worth it, and worth the guilt. The first lady probably feels the same way.

Michelle is shown at campaign rallies on 11-1, 10-22 and 8-22. Credit: WENN.com

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62 Responses to “Michelle Obama got Downton Abbey season 3 DVDs before it’s out here: unfair?”

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  1. backwards says:

    I live in Australia and I just got my pre-ordered S3 DVD in the mail yesterday.

    It will probably be broadcast here mid 2013. Not waiting that long!

  2. mln76 says:

    I am soooo jealous I love this show.

  3. Amelia says:

    Well, if we have to wait for Homeland, then you have to wait for Downton!
    I think that’s a pretty fair swap :)

  4. Polkasox says:

    Matthew Crawley is dreamy… That accent – *sigh*

  5. Cody says:

    I guess it is one of the perks for being the Flotus.

  6. Duchess says:

    Who are you people waiting for it to be shown on PBS? Haven’t you heard of the Internet??

  7. GoodCapon says:

    That 4th photo with Cora and her daughters look photoshopped.

    But but but… they won’t air Downton until next year when the season is already done and dusted? Tough luck!

    I’ve already watched it and it was great. It’s a huge improvement from Season 2.

  8. Ana says:

    Just use a UK vpn or proxy in order to watch all of season three on ITV Player. It’s really simple, xroxy.com or http://ukproxyserver.co.uk/.

  9. PinkG says:

    Ugh. That purple dress. Just awful.

  10. Seagulls says:

    If I can watch it legally online, with (British, i’m assuming) commercials and I am absolutely going to do that! Waiting until January is painful. Well, as much as waiting for a TV show to come out is, so “inconvenient” is perhaps more accurate.

    Is it better than Season 2? That had a few episodes that were just stinkers…

  11. lucy2 says:

    I’m looking forward to it, I’ll just watch it when it airs, I have so much other stuff backlogged on the DVR.

  12. judyjudy says:

    I think the flotus needs to host a viewing party at her house.

  13. Tami says:

    If you “like” the Downton Abbey series 3 page on Facebook, you can have access to links to Google Docs which contain each episode, commercial free. They posted links after each episode, beginning in September, so you have to scroll down quite a bit, but it is SO worth it to be able to see Cousin Matthew now and not in January.

  14. jennypenny says:

    Yes same here, we have to wait forever for shows to come here from US – and games too, so fair do’s really! But yep surely you can access it online I don’t know if blinx tv is still going but I used to use that for US shows that aired way before heading here.

  15. annaloo. says:

    Getting Downton Abbey Season 3 early like the FLOTUS? LEGIT Celebrity Perk, and I am jealous.

    Getting to skip an hour + long wait in line like Usher? ABSOLUTELY NOT and I wish more people had shamed him for it.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      Usher is frequently a p-ss, I think it’s been established. If only someone could’ve said, ‘Back of the line, pinhead’ and made it stick, what a show that would’ve been. Quit blaming Canada for Bieber if you’re so inclined to assign blame, go after the real progenitor of the ProActiv Contralto.

  16. Lucky Charm says:

    Lucky her! (Maybe that’s why @ 20 states have requested to secede since Obama’s reelection, they were just jealous of Michelle getting season 3 while they have to wait!)

    • Sara says:

      FYI 20 states haven’t, just whack people in 20 states have. I can start a similar petition to have PBS stop showing Downton because it’s turned into such crap.

      • spinner says:

        I just read this on an alternative news site:

        Petition for Texas to secede from US reaches threshold for White House response 35,000 signatures on petition to secede from the union.

        Looks like these people are serious. I also read that Louisiana has almost reached threshold. At this point, I’m not sure what to think of it.

      • videli says:

        And I read on a ‘mainstream media’ outlet that the petition has 50,000 signatures. I feel almost compelled to start a petition in support of the Texans who want to secede (Sorry Austin).

      • Tiffany says:

        At the end of the day, 35,000 or 50,000 signatures isn’t that many compared to the 350 million that live in our country.

        Yes, lets let Texas and Louisiana become their own countries. They take more in federal tax dollars than they pay in anyway. Let them have their own military, deal with hurricanes, fires, and droughts all on their own. Let them handle the postal service on their own. Let them handle services like social security and medicare all on their own. My guess is they would come crawling back because there are somethings that you can do as a group much better than you can do on your own.

  17. Jennifer says:

    She is a member of the elite! Her family gets everything first — wait your turn there may be enough to go around!

  18. Nymeria says:

    Not surprised she’s getting a pass on this.

  19. Anna says:

    You can order it from Amazon UK and ship it to the US. It won’t be the right format for your DVD player, but you can play it on a laptop, or look for unlock codes for your DVD player.


  20. juicyjackie says:

    Lol, well we have to wait ages for True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Dexter, Greys etc etc at least you guys can turn on the internet without seeing loads of spoilers… its a killer when new seasons starts in the US and we are usually a month behind at best, usually many months. The UK networks simply wont pay what the US networks want to get it to us the same time as you guys. I do think this contributes to people streaming / downloading illegally outside the US.

    Its a shame as most people I know would pay their cable company more if they had a guarantee that the shows we want to see air quicker, than breaking the law. In this day and age this is a $£$£ issue not a technical issue, hope all networks on both sides of the pond eventually sort themselves out, you know, for us little people who don’t matter :-)

    • Celebitchy says:

      Sorry that you have to wait for shows! I shouldn’t complain so much about the great British shows we’re missing.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Canada: where you have to wait for all of the British stuff, some American stuff (we get new episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force years after their original air date, for example) and Hulu haunts us at every corner. HULUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        It’s nice that are more and more places where you can watch stuff online, even though a whole lot of stuff is still impossible to find if you’re not in one of those two areas. If it were up to TV, no one in Canada would watch anything but Corner Gas and new version Degrassi re-runs.

  21. Ann says:

    You just have to subscribe to Tunnel Bear and download the software. Then you access the internet as if you’re in England (VPN client). Although iTV has already taken a few of the earliest episodes from Series3 down.

  22. T.C. says:

    If I were FLOTUS I would do the same. Better than illegal downloads.

  23. Truthful says:

    yeah, I could not wait and my bestie found a place where I could watch NOW.

    I was moping and complaining to anyone and everyone that would listen.

    love the show!!!

    I’ve also gotten hooked on a british show called “Paradise”


  24. Sara says:

    ConsIdering season 3 was crap I’m not that jealous.

  25. apsutter says:

    I wonder if they watch Mad Men and Breaking Bad too. I really need to start watching Homeland.

  26. Janet says:

    Wish I could get advance DVDs for “Scandal”. I am totally hooked on that show.

  27. Noel says:

    I am as liberal as one can be and I like Obama, but I really dislike Michelle Obama. She comes off as being so full of herself and materialistic. I do not think she should get free things at all or special perks like this.

  28. Lia says:

    I live in Israel and last week I’ve watched all of season 3 (in 2 days marathon) on the internet. So good and so devastated its over.

    BTW (and off topic): I just bumped into STACY KEIBLER (!) last night at a fancy restaurant in Tel Aviv. She had dinner with a local (colleague) journalist. She’s in Israel by herself, on a private visit, for a week. No sign of George Clooney, of course. FYI :)

  29. Kim says:

    I can’t believe anyone believes anything from that rag Sun tabloid. If you check their archives 95% of the stuff they write is. BS.They make Star Magazine look like WSJ in terms of accuracy. This story is BS.

  30. Ellelake says:

    Downloaded Season 3 and watched it already, twice.

  31. phsdsd says:

    You can watch Season 3 using European links. Everything but Christmas episode has been posted

  32. Thiajoka says:

    I’ve already watched, too. On Twitter, Simon Pegg gave away the season surprise and I was determined to watch after that happened.

  33. LucyOriginal says:

    Shame on you, first lady! hehehe
    You can all tell I am jealous, but it is not fair either. If she wasn’t the first lady she would have to wait like the rest (or majority) of us.

    Is streaming like hulu, sidereel or free tv considered legal?

  34. daphne says:

    I’m happy for flotus! She and her hubbie deserve the best. Meanwhile, I for one don’t mind waiting for January; it keeps the winter from being completely dreary (what a downton-esque word!). ;)

  35. Mary says:

    I adored season 3, much better than season 2. One episode is shocking. Enjoy it guys