Downton Abbey Love Affair?

Downton Abbey Love Affair?

The Brits love of anything remotely period has always been made very obvious, mainly by the hundreds of Jane Austen remakes every single year. I do not know how many times I have seen Emma redone and each time they try and make it more modern-and yet keep the same corsets and periodic language!

I must admit I am a fan of a good Jane Austen, but this is where all you book readers out there will frown. I am a book reader…. I love a good book…. but I HATE reading Jane Austen. I LOVE the films. Granted I saw the films well before attempting to read the books and I fell in love…with Mansfield Park (lets not be mistaken there is only one version that is good enough to be repeated again and again-the 1999 edition starring Frances O’Connor and a very young and gorgeous Jonny Lee Miller). 

So when I found out that a new series was going to be hitting the BBC screens on a Saturday Night that was periodic and featured drama and romance, you can only imagine how excited I was.

My Saturday night was complete with trashy tv, it began with X Factor (possibly the most annoying TV programme in the world and finished with a good dose of Downton Drama). It sounded idyllic so why was I disappointed?

Was it the cold and unloveable nature of Lady Mary…possibly.

Was it the fact that the younger sister (much more attractive and terribly likeable) should have been playing the lead instead of Michelle Dockery….maybe.

Or was it the over acting by Maggie Smith…perhaps.

It could have been the satellite dishes on the supposedly period cottages in the village?

Downton Abbey is one of the worst tv programmes for churning out fast series and not checking the continuity.

It’s perfectly alright as a TV programme, neither bad nor amazing.

Hugh Bonneville is perfect as the Head of the House.

Dan Stevens was dreamy as the English Gentleman (before he went to Hollywood and lost all that weight).

However it was missing the Gosford Park-esque sexual tension that all these period dramas HAVE to have.

I did not find myself screaming at the TV for Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley to kiss or at least talk. In fact I was desperate for that sparking sexual tension in any of the characters. The closest we got was the relationship between Lady Sybil and the driver, but even then the relationship was so quickly resolved in marriage that we did not get to see them fall in love.

This TV programme is perfect for people who love English Drama, but if you are looking for the kind of romance that Jane Austen was so famous for then this is not the programme for you.

Unfortunately like all TV series as soon as cast members get offered leading roles in Hollywood they leave and that inevitably ends up with the death of a character: Dan Stevens, Jessica Brown Findlay. At least in films the characters have some chance of living Happily Ever After.

Do I think it is worth watching?

Yes of course, but like all TV series as soon as you get past the first season it tends to go down hill. You can never beat an amazing first season. Downton was a good first season-not amazing-but very good.

Maybe it is because I am English. I have been bought up in a world where these Period Dramas are made every year and you were never left wanting for more. In that respect I can see why America would lap up Downton, but for English people it is just another series that has had one more season than the rest of the dramas that have gone before it.

How long before America make their own version of Downton Abbey? I mean look at The Office!


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