Everyone loves Downton Abbey.Â Don’t they?Â By the recent acclaim, the awards, the way each episode has become a national institution, there can be no doubt that the TV series about rich folk struggling to make ends meet in a rather large pad in the country is one of the most popular programs currently running on TV.
Take our house for instance.Â Myself, husband and daughter (no son, not much drags him away from the XBox on a Sunday evening!) settle down in the lounge just before 9pm, we’ve made our mugs of tea, grabbed a fun size bag of Maltesers (on a diet, 5 1/2 syns a pack!) and we’re ready. We are there, all tooled up, me with my iPhone watching for updates on Twitter, my daughter tuned into the Tumblr fandoms on her mobile, husband taking charge of the remote.Â TV programs are such an immersive experience these days, they’ve all got their own hashtags so viewers can share comments, Twitter live updates and Q&As with cast members, there’s no escape.
Now, I enjoy Downton as much as the next person, but I do feel it’s rather contrived and predictable at times.Â Take the first episode of series 4 (or season 4Â if you happen to be reading this in the US!).Â They like to drop a few obvious lines in there, so it can neatly lead into an important part of the plot. It goes something like this “poor Matthew didn’t leave a will”….”he was young, he didn’t think he was going to die”…….”that’s not like him, he’s usually so meticulous”.
Grab that remote and pause!!
Usually so meticulous??!!Â Come on, if that isn’t a lead in to the point where an unknown will is uncovered just before the bailiffs are about to repossess one of Granny’s enormous hats!
And so it came to pass, and no hanging about either, at the end-of-episode trailer for the next installment, there it was, the mysterious piece of paper dropping out of a book.Â TheÂ day is saved, along with the dire possibility of the Granthams having to work for a living…….again!
It is fun though, the classic one liners from Granny are superb, and let’s face it, the predictability is definitely part of its charm
But I do have a theory, another predictable storyline, and a bit of a plot spoiler, so if you don’t want to know, look away now……
I reckon the ex-chauffeur Tom Branson and Lady Mary will get closer, with their shared grief for their lost partners, and a shared love of their children, who play with each other all the time.Â They will fall in love and elope to Ireland, where they will set up a school for poor orphan children in Tipperary. You heard it here first!
Cue closing credits…..