Season 3 has begun but I have been wanting to write about this series since it 1st premiered. As a fan of British TV it is nice to have a show that many other Americans enjoy. Who would have thought that a series about an upper class family and the servants who work for them in the early 20th century would be so good and popular? Downton Abbey is well written, well directed and has some of the best acting on TV.
If you haven't seen it let me sum up the plot. Downton Abby is a large beautiful estate that has been in the Crawley family for generations. The family consists of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), his American wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), their three daughters Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and finally there is Robert's mother Violet, Countess of Grantham (The always wonderful Maggie Smith). Working for all of them is the downstairs staff made up of Mr. John Bates (Brendan Coyle) Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) Mrs. O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran), Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan), Anna (Joanne Froggatt) Daisy (Sophie McShera), Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol), Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) and Tom Branson (Allen Leech). Here is when the story really begins-With three daughters Mr. Crawley has no male aer to past Downton Abby on to when he no longer can take care of it enter their distant cousin Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) and his mother Isobel (Penelope Wilton). In order to keep Downton in the family Mary must marry Matthew but refuses...maybe?
Three seasons in and a lot has happened, to sum up and fast forward to where we are now-Spoiler Alert--Sybil is married and living is Ireland with the ex-chauffeur Tom and of course her father does not approve, Mr. Bates married Anna but is now in jail after being accused of murdering his wife, Thomas, the snake, has taken over duties with taking care of Mr. Crawley, Mary and Matthew after many non starts and other relationships have decided to get married and Cora's mother (Shirley MacClaine) has arrived from America to attend, and most important the family has lost all their money.
If all this sounds confusing trust me at times it can be but I just like to think of it as a elaborate and fun British soap opera. Like I said a lot has happened so if I forgot something or mis-said something please feel free to add it on and comment. I welcome any detail you can add.
I want to finish by saying that this family and their "staff" have been through war, illness, love found and lost, affairs, scandals, and anything else you can imagine. In the end all of the characters are the real heart of the series and that is what makes it worth tuning in for every week (even if the season is short and you never know when it will return)
One final note-Having to have someone help you get dress and change your clothes 4 times a day would really suck.