Monday, 23 September 2013
Return of Downton
Lovely to have Downton back. But couldn't they have found more for everyone to do? Mary is mourning and milking it a bit. A food mixer has arrived in the kitchen. Penelope Wilton has taken in a music hall comedian (what?!). A butler rattles a tea tray at the wrong moment. Nanny gets sacked. Maggie Smith has become nice. And 'Why have you given up on sheep?'
It seems to me that they've forgotten what was good about the programme was the melodrama and the slightly dark humour. Remember the affair of the dead Turk in Lady Mary's bed? O'Brien leaving the cake of soap under the claw-footed bath? There was an air of ludicrousness about the whole thing... and a feeling of it being a bit tongue in cheek.
I wonder if there's a danger of them all taking it all too seriously, now that it's a worldwide hit? Luckily, Maggie Smith is on hand with her wry glances and cocked eyebrows and single lines delivered with delicious aplomb.
I wish it had a touch more 'Cold Comfort Farm' about it. I wish they had united at least two of the limp narrative strands dangling in last night's show and revealed Nanny doing something unspeakable with the new food mixer.
And I really hope the writer(s) aren't starting to take seriously things like our unstinting adoration and huge viewing figures and to believe that they're actually any good...