Michelle Dockery, Julian Ovenden
[WARNING: The following contains spoilers from the Season 4 finale of Downton Abbey. Read at your own risk.]
We are grateful to have Downton Abbey in our lives, but our devotion to the show is the very reason we're so irked at how it progressed this season.
Although we've come to terms with the loss of Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay), it doesn't seem like the writers quite know what to do in the wake of those deaths. So much of this season felt either forced or false or just failed miserably. Has Downton Abbey lost its charm?
Before launching into the season as a whole, let's go over the highlights of the finale, shall we?
Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech
Pull out your dancing shoes, because Downton Abbey will be entering the Jazz Age.
[Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the past three seasons of Downton Abbey. If you haven't caught up yet, read at your own risk!]
It's been months since fans reeled from that shocking Christmas episode that also rocked the Crawley family, and now they're moving into the 1920s with new babies, suitors and even a musician or two. The story picks up in February 1922, when Downton Abbey is still in deep mourning for the loss of heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) from an auto accident.
13 reasons we want to grow up to be Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess
"Both the audience and the characters have experienced some passage of time," executive producer Gareth Neame said at PBS' Television Critics Association fall preview on Tuesday.
If it weren't for Netflix's House of Cards making the drama races a bit more interesting, while opening the door to a brave new world of out-of-the-box content for future years' consideration, this year's list of Emmy contenders (see the major categories here) would be most notable for its numbing lack of imagination and...
[Spoiler alert! The following contains details from Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey. Read if you dare risk the wrath of the Dowager Countess.]
Downton Abbey's Thomas finally got his comeuppance, but was it enough? Or was it unfair treatment?
On Sunday's episode, the sneering servant was finally outmaneuvered by his fellow downstairs nemesis O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran) who convinced him that footman Jimmy (Ed Speleers) reciprocated his romantic feelings. Thomas (Rob James-Collier) made his move by kissing the unsuspecting sleeping Jimmy, who was shocked and disgusted by the unwanted advances.
"You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people." -- the wisdom of Mrs. Patmore
Not every servant on Downton Abbey can have the fairy tale romance of Bates and Anna (false murder rap and imprisonment aside), and a servant in the 1920s is further constrained by his/her status. For every Gwen (Rose Leslie) who opened up her romantic prospects by becoming a secretary, sadly there's a fallen Ethel (Amy Nuttall) who's forced into prostitution after having an affair with a military man. What's one of the serving class to do but flirt awkwardly with one of their own in hopes of safely pairing off?
Jessica Brown-Findlay, Allen Leech
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey. If you haven't watched it yet, read at your own risk.]
Although Downton Abbey's third season has already played in its entirety in the U.K., a majority of American fans of the series have kept scrupulously ignorant of what happens in order to enjoy watching the series unspoiled. And even for those who already knew what was coming, Sunday's episode was far more horrifying and heart-wrenching to watch than we could have imagined.
Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery
When Downton Abbey's third season premiered earlier this month, it netted 7.9 million viewers, up 96 percent from the Season 2 premiere and earning larger audiences that week than home-country hits such as The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser and New Girl. So what exactly is it about a British period drama that has Americans in a tizzy? TVGuide.com breaks down the six biggest reasons why...
Shirley Maclaine, Maggie Smith
Downton Abbey survived World War I. But can the country manor weather the latest skirmish, a below-stairs battle between those scheming servants O'Brien and Thomas?
That's just one of the many entertaining questions and diverting dilemmas presented by the long-awaited — and well worth the wait — third season of this Masterpiece Classic addiction, which returns like a delicious if bittersweet bonbon. (And how I hope you've kept the blinders on regarding the many spoilers issuing from across the pond during the recent U.K. telecast.)
"No family is ever what it seems from the outside," muses the formidable Dowager Countess (the peerless Maggie Smith) during one of the many crises that beset the Crawleys and their loyal servants over the next seven Sundays (PBS, check tvguide.com listings).
It's been so long since our last trip to Downtown Abbey that our fond memories of the Crawleys are fading into nothing but distant whispers (with British accents!). Was there an engagement of sorts? Who's knocked up? And whatever happened to Bates? If you, too, are suffering from Downton amnesia, let us refresh your memory -- and share some exciting scoop on Season 3, which kicks off Sunday at 9/8c on PBS.
On the West London set of Downton Abbey, where all of the "downstairs" scenes are shot, two footmen in formal attire are about to bring another lavish meal upstairs to the waiting lords and ladies. It's a familiar sight, but don't let it fool you: As Season 3 of the Emmy-winning drama begins, the Grantham family and their servants are entering a different world altogether — and it may be a difficult one for...