Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Sudddenly Unsettling Downton Abbey: They are Leaving me, They are Leaving me

I did not expect for it to happen this way, even though rumors had it, well, more than rumors, that this was to be the final season

So many wonderful characters.  Lord Robert Crawly, Earl of Grantham, above, center, is the essence of dignity, grace and compassion in an ever changing society.   

I could swear that I spotted Isobel Crawly, above, far left (far right on the larger image at the top) on Amtrak's Coast Starlight a few years ago.  I politely asked her.  In quick reply she shrugged as if to say, no, it's not me.  Had I only come dressed as a footman.  She might have deigned. 

It is almost painful watching the show, knowing that in a couple of months, they will all be gone.

They charmed their way into my life and to that of millions of Americans. When I came upon an episode in season three or four, I was so enthralled, I rented all of the videos up to that point.

And now all of the house servants are afraid they may be let go, some already out trying to find new jobs.  Shame on the producers for allowing this fate to befall my Downton Abbey friends!

The butler, Mr. Carson, has been my favorite character. So staunch and stern, proudly anchored to the discipline of his position.  He is seen here with lovely Lady Mary Crawly, whose one great love died in the war.  I fear she may end up alone.  

In so many ways, Masterpiece Theatre has finally hooked me. Another new series of superb scripting and acting is Home Fires.

What is it about Downton?   The characters.  The iron clad community where each person has a well defined job to do, a space to inhabit.  And there is the searing realism in human relationships crossing forbidden social barriers.

I want them to stay!

 People rave about Maggie Smith, she is a hoot.

I love the plump little cook, Mrs. Patmore, left.  How I wish she cooked for me -- that is, where I a Lord in such an elaborate set up.

Why was that picture posted?  On my side of the pond, they're not married yet!

Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, above, engaged to be married, are facing a precarious first night together, for Mrs. Hughes fears that, in the natural, she may not stir natural desires in her husband.  He has told her he will love here whatever may confront him (no, not in those words), I have an idea how this is all going to end up.  Difficult but doable.  Not telling.

Even though he can be ruthlessly conniving, I still feel sorry for Thomas Barrow,  a homosexual having to repress himself in order to save his job and his status in society. I'm surprised they did not make more of his story.  Once, out of in indiscretion based on a genuine misunderstanding, he came close to losing his job, saved the last minute by Lord Crawling.   Barrow is now trying to find a new employer, fearing that the Lord, facing up to the obsolescence of the Abbey's operation, will be forced to eliminate most of the staff. 

It has all been so wonderful. I don't want them to go!  They can't go!  But, now it feels almost  like they are folding up the furniture, circling each other in depressing disarray, having to hope for an income and a place to live in a strange new society. 

If there is a recurring theme  in Downton Abbey, to me it is the pride of a job, however great or small, well done.  I could almost cry thinking about may what become of them all. 

Maybe one day they will return.

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