Thursday, January 8, 2015

What I’m Watching: Downton Abbey (Season Premiere)

Downton Abbey: Season 5, Episode 1 (B+)

This show is back for a fifth outing, and, as usual, it feels like nothing’s changed yet so much is different. The political landscape of England is clearly changing, as Carson earns a chairmanship over his lordship Robert much to the horror of both men, and the independent nature of the Crawley daughters doesn’t seem so crazy anymore. I enjoy the fact that Tony and Mary are talking so openly about marriage and everyone is encouraging them since it feels like they’ve been courting and not courting forever. Bates acting as Tony’s valet is a bit too close for comfort, and Thomas is doing his very best to play the shadowy villain lurking in the background waiting to pounce on Bates’ secret. I do like that Baxter came forward and told Cora of her criminal past before Thomas could throw her under the bus, and he earned himself yet another reprieve by coming to the rescue when Edith’s bedroom went up in flames. James and his elite seductress were hardly subtle, and the look of disdain on Robert’s face when he caught them was priceless. He’s really not fond of too many people, particularly Tom’s new friend who Rose foolishly invited to the party. I love Mrs. Hughes’ encouragement of Daisy’s intellectual and mathematical interests, and it’s good to see her take charge of her life for once. I’m eager to see where this season takes us, as I’m sure it will be another enthralling and fantastically dated period adventure filled with plenty of intrigue and drama.

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