It hasn’t even been 24 hours and I’m already going through withdrawal over our British friends who occupy Downton Abbey. I will be marking my calendar until it returns for more drama and excitement in Season 3. It’s been confirmed that Shirley MacLaine is in the lineup that also features prominent actors including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Elizabeth McGovern.
Season 2 was solid, minus last week’s episode where poor, sweet, innocent Lavinia came down with Spanish flu and died. As well, a series of strange occurrences made me question why so much was happening all at once. I was concerned that Downton Abbey had “jumped the shark.” Much to my pleasant surprise, last night’s episode made up for the previous week’s bombardment where much unraveling happened at rapid speed; luckily, we were privileged to experience the quality Downton Abbey we’d grown accustomed to viewing week after week.
It’s difficult not to appreciate the writing in this PBS Masterpiece series. Julian Fellowes, who brought us the film “Gosford Park,” created Downton Abbey, which takes place in pre-World War I time and ends in 1920 (Season 2). The show focuses on Lord Grantham, his family, his staff of servants, and the house in which they all dwell, sometimes harmoniously and sometimes, well, not so harmoniously.
Loose ends were tied up quite nicely last evening when we finally had the opportunity to partake of Matthew’s and Mary’s happiness when Matthew proposed to her outside the estate, the snow falling all around them, after Mary finally let go of Sir Richard. Mr. Bates will not be executed, but instead faces life in jail for the alleged murder of his evil wife, while Anna will continue to fight for his freedom. Sybil and Branson have married and are expecting, and Lady Edith made a move on her former beau. And little Daisy and Mrs. Patmore bonded when Daisy got the nerve to speak up for herself and her work.
I must say, I am quite content with Season 2’s finale.
But now I’m going to go through withdrawal. When you look around at what’s on television, Downton Abbey stands out as a true quality production. From the sets to the scenery to the acting, Downton Abbey satisfies my need for British period pieces. I yearn to be swept into a series and not ever want to leave that place, that time, or those characters. Pass me a cigarette; I am quite satisfied.
So to Julian Fellowes and the entire cast of Downton Abbey, I anxiously await your return, if only to hear Maggie Smith deliver her one-liners with the grace and expertise of only the finest of actors.