Good Monday morning, my friends!
Well, at long last another season of Downton is upon us ... so what did you think?!
I thought it was a fantastic premiere! There was the familiarity we longed for with enough "newness" to make things quite exciting. And wasn't it just wonderful to be back in the world of "Downton" again? Even the very opening strains of music and those first images of the house itself and its servants moving about inside had me grinning from ear to ear.
Ok, so here are a few brief thoughts because I'm getting a slower start than I'd like this morning. *yawn* We didn't realize it was a two-hour showing last night! Eleven is waaay after my bedtime these days!
Of course I'm glad we stayed up, because every minute was a delight ...
First of all, wasn't the wedding beautiful? Well, it looked beautiful anyway - I would have liked to have seen more of the ceremony itself. (Those tender "I do" moments, you know?) I thought Mary looked lovely ~ I was not crazy about the bodice of the dress, though I know it was perfect for that time. I particularly loved her hair and the tiara.
Speaking of Lady Mary, I thought she seemed to be reverting a bit to the "Mary" she was in the beginning of season one ... a bit cooler, and haughtier perhaps. I really hope that's not a trend ...
And though I can understand Matthew's conflict over the Swire inheritance, I think he's wrong about what he calls his "infidelity" to Lavinia. He tried very hard to do right by her, but as the saying goes, "the heart wants what it wants." The flu killed Lavinia, not a broken heart ... but Matthew can't get past his guilt (compounded by the fact he could never love Lavinia enough). Of course her passing not long after he kissed Mary probably sealed the guilt for him. I think he had just come to terms with the fact he was not over Mary when the flu claimed his betrothed. I have a feeling that the money will continue to drive a wedge between the newly married couple.
I can't imagine the family will actually lose Downton Abbey, but the previews for next week hint at a new "Downton Place?" I wonder just how much will be shaken up over the course of the season?
I was very glad to see Branson soften a bit by the end of the show and I absolutely love that he and Matthew have formed a friendship. And I am pretty certain I remember Sybil is pregnant but other than her touching her belly a few times there was no mention.
And Edith looks poised to finally secure some happiness for herself. I am glad that she seems authentic in her love for Sir Anthony. She has been somewhat unlikeable since the beginning of the series (to me anyway) but I think she has softened quite a bit.
Now, looking "downstairs" we have all kinds of things going on ...
Poor Mrs. Hughes ... I feel so sorry for what she's going through. I'm so glad she has Mrs. Patmore as a support. (I'm remembering when Mrs. P had to go through the blindness ordeal.) Of course I'm hoping her prognosis will be good since from the previews it looks as though she does in fact have cancer. And although I would rather she not be ill, I do think the look at how the disease was treated back then - diagnosed, understood, etc. - will be interesting to watch.
Thomas is a pill as usual - no softening there at all! And I like O'Brien's nephew, Alfred - he reminds me a little of the late William. Not sure how I feel about the American maid - she seems kind of coarse and vain. (A bit of a stereotype, perhaps?) She won't be around much longer though, and I am curious to see how/if a relationship develops between Alfred and Daisy who couldn't seem to keep her eyes off of him.
And Anna - God bless her - she's so loyal to her Mr. Bates and earnest in her search for the truth. I hope she is successful soon - I think the key lies with that Mrs. Barrett who lived so close to Vera and with whom the former Mrs. Bates also shared correspondence. As for Mr. Bates, I'm very leery of his new cellmate! I see trouble coming from him, mark my words.
Ok, back to the Granthams - and extended family. :) I thought Cora's mother was a hoot, if a bit over the top. Maybe it's the American in me, but I thought they made her a little more crass than was necessary, lol. She certainly saved the day with that "indoor picnic" idea, though! Too bad she won't be staying around longer - her "interchanges" with Lady Violet were priceless!
And as usual, Lady Violet had all my favorite lines. "She's like a homing pigeon. Always going for the underbelly." LOL! Dame Maggie Smith is a national treasure, that's for sure. Just before we tuned into Once Upon a Time at 8 p.m., we were watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two. The scenes where Professor McGonigle takes charge of Hogwarts and instructs the castle to defend itself (and them all) just gives me goosebumps! And Maggie Smith is just such an amazing actress that I forget entirely that this is the same person who portrays Lady Violet!
So I'm curious to see what plot lines develop and themes unfold as the season progresses. I'm guessing the fate of the family fortune will be a big deal, as will be the fate of Mr. Bates. Then of course there's Matthew and Mary's marriage and Mrs. Hughes' health. And generally speaking, I think the "traditon vs. modernizing" argument will come into play more and more ...
I love most of the tradition surrounding Downton Abbey but I do dislike the strict and often demeaning class system. It's easy to see why the wealthy would want to hold on to the old ways while the middle and lower classes would be all for equalizing. Those old ways, even when they're not all that fair, can be a comfort. Look at how Carson holds on to tradition just as steadfastly as Lord Grantham.
Well my friends, that's all I have time for right now. I'm sorry I didn't much touch upon Once Upon a Time ... I'm a little Downton-obsessed this morning! We enjoyed OUaT too - and just briefly, I was glad that Archie was alive and actually felt bad for Regina (in the present, not the past). OUaT certainly has a lot of storylines going on ... it will be neat to see how they all play out over the rest of the season.
Have a great Monday, everyone ... thanks for stopping by and I will see you here again very soon!