Grand disappointment

Alright, you Downton Abbey fans…you might want to stop reading right now.  I’m not going to provide “spoilers,” but I am going to talk about my grand disappointment in the conclusion of season 3 of the show.

I’ll wait while the die hard fans close their browsers…

Jim and I don’t have cable now, and never have; we get our television from rabbit ears and an older t.v.  So we are big watchers and supporters of WGBH, since the best free t.v. comes from ‘GBH – and if we’re not paying for cable, then I’m very happy to donate money to ‘GBH.  My most recent donation yielded the complete three disc set of season 3 of Downton Abbey, meaning that I’ve been able to view the episodes at my leisure, and ahead of the general public in the U.S.

Last night I watched all of disc three (Jim had a gig).  Three hours of Downton, Downton, and more Downton.  And, frankly, I’m angry, annoyed, and disappointed.  I’m not disappointed in what happened at the end of the season, since anyone familiar with entertainment gossip should have been able to figure that out on their own, but rather I’m disappointed in how it happened.  There are creative and interesting ways to bring a plot to a certain resolution, and then there ways that are predictable and maudlin and absolute cop-outs.  Season 3 of Downton ends in just about the worst plot cop-out I have ever seen.

Without giving too much away (although a quick Google search for any character’s name will provide all plot spoilers, since season 3 has already aired in England), I will tell you this:  the whole final three hours of the show are filled with ridiculous dialogue between two of the main characters that is the most obvious foreshadowing I have ever witnessed.  Blech.  And I was able to predict the exact plot trajectory with total accuracy a good two hours before it occurred on screen.  As the final scene unfolded, I thought to myself, “They’re really going to do it that way?  Seriously?  How totally stupid and predictable.  Yup, ok, here it comes – they seriously did that, didn’t they.  How absolutely disappointing.”  And [spoiler here], though I should have been sad and weepy at that last scene, my eyes were completely dry.  Not a drop of mascara ran.  Not a speck of tissue needed.

And I don’t think I’ll bother watching season 4 when it comes out.

7 thoughts on “Grand disappointment”

  1. WGBH issues the whole season even before it airs the whole season 3? Wow.
    Downton Abbey is decent entertainment (except for Season Three). It’s obviously a dumbed-down “Upstairs Downstairs.” Somebody told the writer to create another Upstairs Downstairs but with network television formulas.
    If the current season wasn’t nice to look at, it would be completely boring.
    It’s long been looking like Sybil’s baby will go to Mary and Matthew, who suspect they have fertility issues. (And her siblings didn’t cry for her?) The easy bailout of the Abbey was a little too easy. As was Lavinia’s convenient departure in the last season.
    However, this show parked me in front of the TV so I was there when “Beauty Is Embarrassing,” the film about Wayne White, was on. That was fun and good TV.

  2. Carol, you’re right – its main attraction is that it’s good to look at. Awesome house, gorgeous clothes, decent looking people (for the most part…).

    Jean – I’ll try to catch The Mentalist next week. I forgot this week!

  3. Hmmm…. ‘Looks like the plot direction I predicted isn’t happening. I’m curious to see this copout conclusion you report!

    Last night’s episode was a bit staccato, with some pat denouements and thread tie-ups.

    Some characters are losing their traction—such as Matthew, now the most boring character on the show.

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