Downton Abbey’s 5th season covers most of 1924, and concentrates mostly on the Bates family’s road of sorrows (new round of mr. Green’s death investigation), Edith’s anguish about her daughter, Daisy learning, ms. Baxter growing into the team, lady Mary is fooling around, Tom ending his relationship with ms. Bunting (after which he just gets fatter while preparing to leave), mr. Barrow once again shows both sides of his personality, and so on, and so on, – there’s plenty of different stories of all sizes, and in totality they are pretty good.
That is, of course, if we don’t count the level of sentimentality, which may be higher than necessary. It wasn’t quite like season 3 (that was a downright deviation into melodrama), but the numerous engagements (all happy), all-absorbing understanding and tolerance demonstrated by every significant character, are compensated with antisemitism of minor characters and their grievances not to the fullest extent, so the balance is a bit shifted. In other words, the show a little too nice. Not a critical drawback.
In every other respect, it’s all good. The actors are all up for the task, all doing great. The stories are pretty interesting, as well as the development of the concept in general. Of course, the technical implementation is flawless.
Yet, it feels like the show is getting old. Like it would be a good idea to wrap it up after one more season. But I know that the next season is its last, and intentionally so, so the sensation is most likely deceiving. In any case, if take into account only the quality, there is no reason at all to end anything. All in all, a great show, was from the beginning, and continues to be so in season 5.
Created by: Julian Fellowes
Directed by: Catherine Morshead, Minkie Spiro, Philip John, Michael Engler
Written by: Julian Fellowes
Performed by: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Raquel Cassidy, Tom Cullen, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Michael Fox, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, Lily James, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Julian Ovenden, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Ed Speleers, Penelope Wilton, Matt Barber, Samantha Bond, Patrick Brennan, Paul Copley, Jonathan Coy, Penny Downie, Sebastian Dunn, Peter Egan, James Faulkner, Richard E. Grant, Louis Hilyer, Sue Johnston, Daisy Lewis, Emma Lowndes, Douglas Reith, Christopher Rozycki, Andrew Scarborough, Helen Sheals, Rade Sherbedgia, Catherine Steadman, Jeremy Swift, Harriet Walter, Howard Ward, Charlie Anson, Sarah Crowden, Phoebe Nicholls, Dean Ashton, Devon Black, Louise Calf, Anna Chancellor, Ed Cooper Clarke, Jon Glover, Darren Machin, Naomi Radcliffe, Alun Armstrong, Jane Lapotaire, Alice Patten
Time: 6 * 49m + 2 * 1h9m + (1h37m in Christmas special)
Entertaining quality: 5- out of 5
Art quality: 5- out of 5
Links: (website) | (wiki)