Life's Little Pleasures ...
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Masterpiece Monday: Downton Abbey Season 4 Premiere!

Da season 4

Well, it's finally here, my friends! We made it! Downton is back!

So what did you think?

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Well, I thought it was wonderful, though I must confess, I fell asleep during the last 20 minutes so I'm a bit short on all the facts. I thought it was only a one-hour show last night, so it was a bit of a struggle to stay up for two! I'll need to catch those last 20 minutes online sometime today, but here are some of my thoughts on last night's show. Warning: They're fairly jumbled (as it's just 5 a.m. and I've only had 1/2 a cup of coffee) and perhaps a bit random - so please excuse any typos and rambly run-on sentences!

The new opening to the show caught me off guard - I wanted familiarity! But I think the darkness fit the mood of the new season - things are different now, everyone is in mourning. And I thought it a clever way to deal with O'Brien's leaving ... I thought it interesting how quickly the news spread among the staff and the family. 

(Jumping ahead here, but I think Cora's new maid - Edna, I think? - is the new O'Brien in more ways than position. She cozied right up to Thomas like two snakes in a den. Trouble with a capital T and I sincerely hope she stays away from Tom. But I don't trust her for a moment.)

Was it me or did some of the characters appear quite aged? Cora, Isobel and Mrs. Hughes especially.

Mary - it was so hard in the beginning to watch her scenes. Of course I felt sympathy for her because of her tremendous loss, but the way she neglected George was eating at me! (I almost woke Little Bear just so I could hold him and love him all up!) Also, she was so cold and much like the Mary of old I was afraid this was the direction she was heading, so it was wonderful to see her "wake up" by the end of the episode. I missed those last scenes, but I'm hoping there was one of her bonding with George.

(All that said, I know ladies didn't interact with their babies as we do nowadays, but still. My heart was aching for poor "orphan" George!)

And how neat that they went with the name George when this is the name of the new Royal Prince! (And a fond family name for me as well.)

I loved observing all the scenery - the town, the countryside, the house. The beginning of the show set in stark winter was perfect. Dour and dark. When the cart of spring flowers arrived I knew we'd turned a corner. (Also when Mary came to that luncheon wearing a purple dress - no more mourning.)

Robert seems pretty much the same, but I was curious about his intentions with keeping Mary out of "the circle of life." I know he wanted to protect her in her grief, but was he also serving himself selfishly? He seemed fairly amenable to the change once Matthew's letter was exposed - but that jab at Mary pointing out her ignorance on farm matters was cruel. Robert has never been my favorite character ever since that near-affair debacle. I'm curious to see where things go with him this season, as Mary and Branson team up and carry on with Matthew's vision.

Cora can be so gullible - heeding O'Brien's or Thomas's insinuations - but I'm glad she caught the nanny and threw her out. Wasn't that scene in the nursery awful? Gah, it made my stomach turn the way she hissed at Sybil's little girl. I guess we owe Thomas for the reveal, but I think that was just coincidence. I think he didn't like how she held herself apart/above from the rest of the staff. (Though he could be accused of the same ...)

Not a fan of Jimmy's though I do think he's perhaps starting to feel something for Ivy. Alfred though, ugh. He's aware of Daisy's feelings and just rubs it in. He needs to move on - Ivy's just not that into him! Same goes for Daisy. I wish someone new would show up and whisk her off her feet. She deserves some happiness!

Edith - I've never really warmed up to Edith but I'm really not pleased with her this season. I'm all for her gaining confidence and finding love, but for goodness sakes - this affair with a married man leaves such a bad taste in my mouth. And he just seems like such a letch! Or maybe I'm reading this whole storyline wrong - are we supposed to be cheering them along? I want to like her, honestly, but she keeps making all these poor choices ...

Branson - love him, still. He's such a sweet man and so good to this family. I look forward to watching his storyline unfold.

The Mr. Griggs storyline was a bit confusing - maybe I just need those final 20 minutes to clear it all up. What his history with Carson was all about. I was glad to see Isobel take such comfort in being herself again - reaching out to help where she could.

Alongside the "waking up" theme, there also seemed to be a thread of kindness and helping others in this episode. When Anna offered money to poor Mr. Moseley - I just loved her character all the more. And Mr. Bates showing up to get that signature - such a sweet, funny scene. 

Lady Violet remains true to form - witty and grand and such a protector, so generous in her own way. Loved the scene with Mary. Love all her lines. Love how she tried to help the bumblng Mr. Moseley!

Rose is a bit of a wild card, isn't she? I thought at first perhaps she'd been tamed but after the "night out" at the dance, perhaps not. Can't wait to see what kind of mischief she gets up to ... though I felt badly for that young man who came to see her. I think it was perhaps a little mean not to be honest, to dress up as a maid to carry on the charade. But maybe that was just my tiredness talking last night - I think that was meant to be sweet.

Final thought (for now) - did Mrs. Patmore break that mixer on purpose? ;) 

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Ok, my friends, that is the best I can do for right now ... but I am so looking forward to reading your thoughts! Please share your opinion on last night's show if you have a chance in the comments below ... and I will jump into the conversation as I can throughout the day.

All in all, I think the season's off to a great start! And boy does it feel good to have Downton actively part of our world once again!

Have a great day, everyone ... see you here again very soon!

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