After all the bombshells dropped last year, this season seemed kinda boring. Then it left quite a few plot threads still dangling, uncharacteristically for the show. The final episode, while quite good, seemed more like a season opener with how many new characters and conflicts it opened up. I think the series might be trying too hard to shoehorn in new types of drama, and they simply don’t hold up to previous seasons. But the performances are still top notch, and Maggie Smith continues to be the best part of the show.
All these ensamble-cast dramas know what they’re doing. Downton Abbey continued in the right direction, for the most part. Some characters found better niches for themselves, while others seemed to struggle to stay relevant after their limelight began to fade. Two extremely dramatic events dominated my memory of this season. One of them was handled absolutely perfectly, and its foreshadowing and repercussions played out well. The other was obviously forced and marred the end of a great season. I enjoyed the evolving depictions of social dilemmas, though I’m sure they’re a tad anachronistic. Shirley MacLaine was too one-note, but Scotland was fun.
Though I thought in some scenes in the middle it began to meander a bit from its focus, the characters are just so expertly written and acted that you can’t help but enjoy it, no matter where it takes you. The drama definitely ramped up for this season too, and the production values were also much higher, with several new great settings. I hope it’s not another 2 years until season 3.
An extremely addictive show with a huge cast of characters, most of which quickly get rounded out, but retain their archetypical roles. It amazed me how much story they could develop in each hour long episode, especially given how few actual locations were used. As odd as it seems, the pacing and structure are quite reminiscent of Game of Thrones, though with significantly fewer bloody murders.