Downton Abbey (s.06, 2015 + The Finale)

Sixth and final season of Downton Abbey exeeds the story until the end of 1925. Tom comes back after a brief break and stays for good. Mary tries to figure out her wishes and goals, and decide if a relationship with mr. Talbot is the way to go. Edith enters a relationship of her own, the one that would eventually lead her to being happily married. Lord Grantham’s ulcer goes into aggravation, but he gets well later. Lady Grantham replaces he mother-in-law as the key figure of the area, which Dowager Countess does not take well at first, but finds her piece with it eventually. Mr. Carson gets too old to perform his duties properly. Mr. Barrow almost kills himself, but everything ends well. The Bates family acquires a child. Daisy manages to help her father-in-law, gets smarter and prouder, and will probably be happy in her near future. Mr. Molesley becomes a teacher, and his attention towards ms. Baxter would probably bear some fruit.

Over the course of the season everything even remotely edgy and provocative was smoothed into uniformity of happy end. As there are a lot of various characters, it wasn’t easy to make everybody happy and make it look more or less plausible at the same time, yet mr. Fellowes managed to do just that. Whatever the differences are, the characters would always find enough strength and wisdom in themselves to overcome them; whatever the conflict is, there would always be a way to resolve it. By the end of the final episode everything gets pretty much settled in accordance with the prettiest and most comfortable scenario possible. And the writing is good enough to not turn this into melodrama – although, all the softness is still somewhat unnatural, it is framed with realistic enough circumstances, and it’s really well implemented, too.

There were very few severe situations: the accident at the racing event, the blood caughing, Mary’s telling Edith’s boyfriend about her child; of these the last one is especially memorable, because it is constructed out of human decisions entirely, while the first 2 have an element of chance as a very significant constituent. These cases really were powerful and exciting, but I wish there were more of them.

Even with consideration for the author’s choice to exaggerate people’s best character traits, Downton Abbey is an amazing phenomenon in the world of modern TV, was from the beginning and until the very last scene. A lot of people can learn how to make costume drama on the examples of this show. And I hope Julian Fellowes would not abandon his gift, and that we’ll see something else from him in the future.

Year: 2015
Created by: Julian Fellowes
Directed by: Minkie Spiro, Philip John, Michael Engler, David Evans
Written by: Julian Fellowes
Performed by: Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Raquel Cassidy, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Michael Fox, Joanne Froggatt, Matthew Goode, Harry Hadden-Paton, Lily James, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leech, Rose Leslie, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Matt Barber, Antonia Bernath, Samantha Bond, Patrick Brennan, Michael Cochrane, Paul Copley, Sebastian Dunn, Peter Egan, Victoria Emslie, Sue Johnston, Emma Lowndes, Brendan Patricks, Paul Putner, Douglas Reith, Jake Rowley, Andrew Scarborough, Phoebe Sparrow, Hayley Jayne Standing, Jeremy Swift, Richard Teverson, Harriet Walter, Howard Ward, Charlie Anson, John Voce, Devon Black, Rick Bacon, Philip Battley, Nichola Burley, Trevor Cooper, Rupert Frazer, Charlotte Hamblin, Christos Lawton, Adrian Lukis, Mark Morrell, Ronald Pickup, Martin Walsh, James Greene, Patricia Hodge
Time: 6 * 49m + 2 * 1h12m + (1h37m in Christmas special)
Entertaining quality: 5- out of 5
Art quality: 4+ out of 5
Links: (website) | (wiki)

(v. 4.9)
®shoomow, 2017

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