No, actually, this is not a spoiler alert. You can go anywhere on the Internet and find out what happens this season. This is my opinion piece; a review of Season Three and why I didn’t like it.
I just finished the last episode, watched the last gruesome death, and subjected myself for the last time to the tireless efforts of Julian Fellowes to shock me into a day-of-the-dead trance of obsessing for the start of next season’s carnage. Sorry Julian, I’m done. You’ve replaced engaging characters, witty repartee, and a pretty good script with the same bloody crap you can find on virtually any other television station. Just change the costumes, the furniture, the cars, and bring in a few guns to hasten the carnage.
I knew contracts were up and people would move on. But why kill them off? Why not leave Sybil in Ireland until her daughter was grown, and then get some “fresh ink” and bring her back?
Hell, 100,000 people die on this earth every single day, so why not on Downton Abbey. But this obsession with watching it all happen, bringing the act of dying into such a close-up you can fairly smell it, and seeing how things NEVER work out no matter how hard we (they) try to make a good and happy life, no longer strikes me as entertainment. If I wanted to watch sadness, loss and grief, blood and death, I would tune in an hour earlier and watch “Call the Midwife.” But I don’t. I chose Downton because they’re rich; they’re privileged; and they don’t do laundry. They spend most of their lives eating spectacularly prepared meals, reading books on the lawn in uncharacteristically lovely English weather, having someone else brush their clothes, comb their hair, and set about making their days perfect, even when things are falling apart. I want to watch people whose lives work out. I want happy endings.
I won’t be tricked into buying next season’s Downton Abbey just so I can watch this tripe two weeks in advance. The writing, save the Dowager Countess’s zingers, has failed to excite me. The characters, coming and going so quickly, are not memorable. The story is falling apart and the good people of the Abbey are gone. What is left are vacuous, self-involved, and supremely boring aristocrats who look too real to be interesting.
It’s become preachy and political. The bad guys live and the good guys die. And please don’t tell me “this is life,” because I already know that. And that’s my point. Why spend another moment being reminded how horrible and cruel life can be. I want escapism, and Downton no longer provides. I guess it’s back to Merchant and Ivory films.