Monday, January 6, 2014

Downton Abbey, Season 4 - a rant

Last night I sat down with my mother to watch the 2 hour season premier of Downton Abbey on PBS, something that we have been waiting for since watching the end of season 3 last year.  My mom follows these things (she reads a British paper) so we already knew that people were leaving the show and some of the things that were changing, though I won't let her tell me anything big because I want to be surprised.  Because of all the things she knew already, mom wasn't sure if she actually wanted to watch, then left halfway through because, in her opinion, it was just too "soap-oper-y" anymore.  I stayed til the end and I'm glad that I did.

If you love this show as I do, but didn't watch the first one of season 4, you might want to stop now cause I don't want to ruin anything for you - but I gotta talk about it and none of my friends here like British TV, which sucks.

It started out with everyone finding out that Mrs O'Brien was leaving.  I knew already that the actress was moving on to "bigger and better things," but seeing her character leave was a mixed thing for me - I hated her for the first two seasons (I mean HATED), but I started to like her a bit in the third season. 

At the same time, we see Lady Mary still distraught 6 months later about the death of Matthew (another actor that left for "bigger and better things" - but is still waiting around for that big thing, which makes me chuckle).  Her attitude, towards her sister (Lady Edith) and towards Mr Carson, really left me disappointed - it seems she returned to being the nasty piece of work she was at the beginning, at least for a time on the show.

Tom Robert are still arguing about the property and how it should be utilized - Robert seems very happy that it's all back in his hands since Matthew has died and Matthew's son and heir is only 6 months old.  Tom (and it seems everyone else) want Mary to be involved, to take Matthew's place.  When a letter is found in a book from Matthew's office that leaves everything to Mary, Robert is noticeably upset, trying to convince her that she doesn't want to do it and everyone else that it's probably not legal.  I've had my issues with him off and on, but this show, well, he really pissed me off with his horrible behavior.  Ugh.

With Mrs O'Brien gone, Thomas Marrow (who I also had begun to like during the 3rd season) decided to team up with the new lady's maid (the same person who got fired at the end of season 3 for putting the moves on Tom Branson, the deceased Lady Sybil's husband - no one wanted to tell Cora so she hired her, which makes me sick) to make everyone's life miserable.  And it seems they're going after two of my five favorite characters - John and Anna Bates.   Not cool and I hope the two of them get caught - and that this time something actually happens to them because that nonsense is ridiculous.

Lady Edith is still seeing Michael Gregson, the man who is married to a lady who is in a psychiatric ward - and he has found a way to get divorced, by being a German citizen.  I was curious how this would work out and am even more intrigued now, especially since he asked her to go there with him and she said she'd basically follow him anywhere.

Mrs Patmore (the cook in the kitchen who is so awesome - and, funny enough, doesn't know how to cook in real life) is given a mixer to help things along in her kitchen - and she hates that fact, then ends up breaking it.  (I felt so sorry for her because she was really upset about it in the first place and then even more upset - and embarrassed - when it accidentally breaks while she's using it.)  Mrs Patmore is one of my five favorite characters.

Mrs Hughes takes some things on herself to fix a situation between Mr Carson and an old "friend" of his who he doesn't want to have anything to do with (long story about love and loss), even convinces Matthew's mother (who is completely devastated at the loss of her son and feels like she's nothing, with no reason to live) to help out, which gives her a new something to live for.  (She was so happy and helpful, reminded me of all that she did during the war to help out the injured soldiers.)  Mrs Hughes is also one of my five favorite characters.

The Lady Dowager (God I love Maggie Smith) - last, but SO FAR from least - is absolutely amazing and her usual self, pulling Mary's head out of her bottom and convincing her that she can and will move on.  I hope that she NEVER changes because she is awesome :)

There are new characters and old ones, plus some old characters that have come back for bigger parts.  I can't wait to see what else happens on this show and am excited for next Sunday's.  

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