Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - ,, No comments

Downton Abbey Season 4 Review

I'm a little behind the curve when it comes to Downton Abbey reviews. The last episode in the United States was broadcast two Sundays ago.

The fact that Season 4 wasn't my favorite hasn't stopped me from watching the "Christmas Episode" over and over again for the last two weeks. I can't figure out whether it's because of the new locale or the special guest stars or the wrapping up of several threads that makes me appreciate it the most.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I came a little late to the Downton Abbey party. It wasn't really until Season 2. They were running some episodes on PBS from Season 1, and I think I caught the last part of the last episode. It left enough of a cliffhanger that I decided to check it out next week. With Season 2, I really fell in love.

I had to check out season 1, so I would understand the relationship between the characters, especially the sisters of Mary and Edith.

I have loved to see the scenery from this stately home. I've loved seeing the fashion how it's changed over the years, and I mostly love watching the development of the characters.

 This season it just seems like they ran out of gas. They started repeating plotlines, and the characters seem to be stuck. Naturally, we want some things to remain the same about our favorite characters, even the ones we love to hate, but we don't want them to remain static. Life is about change.

They did try one different story line. Naturally, I hated it. The beloved long-suffering character, Anna, was violently raped. I found that particularly upsetting, but that's more of a personal preference thing. I find it hard to watch violence against women. However the way the producers justified it was that they wanted to explore a woman having to go through that experience. Unfortunately, they didn't do that. It became about how it emotionally affected her husband and making sure he didn't do something foolish in response.

The last couple of weeks were less objectionable, and of course, we continue to have the house and the fashion to look at, even if it was a bit boring and repetitive story line wise.

Now, we're on to the US season finale and why I keep watching it. They do have a lot of characters close together in a town house. And you know what they say, familiarity breeds contempt, and there's quite a bit of contempt, especially between Violet and Cora's mother, Martha. Where there's contempt sparks fly!

Of course, the show is Downton Abbey and therefore the house actually has the starring role in the series. So, I guess I consider the London house as Downton South. There's a whole new house to explore. There are all the parties. There are, what I consider, the really inaccurate characterizations of Americans namely Cora's mother and brother. However the actors are really fabulous, and they seem to be able to make the most of their limited scripting.

As a bonus, Daisy gets to have a little romance. I'd really have to say though the the main draw is seen the "coming out" custom of the young ladies. They have been talking about this since the beginning of the series in one form or another. I've been curious. Then there's also seen the staff in a new locale. For the final scene, they even get to go to the sea even though Mrs. Hughes had to do some heavy duty manipulation of Carson to bring it about.

Julian Fellowes, the writer/creator of Downton Abbey really hasn't written a television show before, as far as I know. He has primarily worked in film. He hasn't had to creatively come up with this volume of material.

Maybe this season was a learning curve. I've heard some talk how Julian is working on a US version Downton Abbey, so maybe his focus is divided. Bottom line is that a 5th season has been approved. They're working on it now. If they haven't started filming it yet, they will soon.

Perhaps, the 5th season will be better. Maybe they will finally allow Edith to have more than one night of passion with a man she loves.

Maybe, they will let Thomas be a little less of an ass. In any case we still get to see the house and what the ladies are wearing. I'm not ready to give up on it yet. I can always keep the sound down if I have to.


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