Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Downton Abbey Drama

by Maggie Sefton


I've been watching the PBS series, Downton Abbey, ever since the first season debuted three years ago in January 2011.  The multiple storylines captivated me from the start, and the wonderful actors that brought each character to life were marvelous.  I have been a regular viewer of the wonderful PBS series, Masterpiece Theatre, for decades.  Really.  :)  So, of course, I quickly tuned in to the first episode of Downton Abbey, and am I glad I did.

The creator, Julian Fellowes,  and the  screenwriters/script writers have never disappointed the audience with boring and predictable storytelling.  Far from it.  Each of the main and supporting characters has his or her distinctive  character arc and storyline.  And the creator and creative writers have never shied away from traumatic and tragic events.  Consequently, at the end of last year's third season, I---like the rest of the Downton Abbey audience---watched in horror as a beloved character was senselessly killed in a car accident.  I'm sure my reaction mirrored millions of viewers all over:  "Ohhhh noooooooo! Not . . . "

Since that was the Season Three ending episode, the audience eagerly awaited the start of Season Four last week.   We were not disappointed.   New complex storylines emerged, offering all sorts of complications.  And our favorite characters were there. . .at least most of them.  So. . . .I was definitely not prepared for the shocking and disturbing plot turn that occurred at the end of last Sunday's episode.  Shocking is putting it mildly.  And, disturbing is not an exaggeration.  Those dramatic scenes kept playing through my mind and kept me from falling asleep easily Sunday.  Talk about dramatic storytelling.   Every viewer will be glued to their screens next week to see what happens in the next episode.  I'm starting to worry already.

Of course, I'm a novelist and a storyteller, so perhaps my reaction to that traumatic "plot event" is unusual.  So, I'm curious, Cozy Chicks Blog readers and fans-----what were your reactions to that Downton Abbey episode?   Tell us, please.  
     

20 comments:

Nancy Malven said...

I thought it was masterfully done. They didn't actually subject us to watching the whole attack as they would here in the US. I appreciated the subtlety. I imagine it will cause major problems for Bates and Anna. Back in those days the woman was usually blamed and since Anna was friendly to that guy I can see Bates blaming her - especially given his history. Can't wait for next week!

Shelley Giusti said...

I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey and love the story lines and the cast, well most of them, some I would love to slap but still very good casting. I was extremely shocked by the plot twist last week and will be eagerly waiting to see what happens this week. I too had the events play in my dreams that night. It is one of my favorite shows and have watched it from the start. Have Laughed and cried more with this show than any other.

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

I am very worried about Anna and Bates. I just hope it will go well for Anna. These two have had a lot to go through already. I love all the people but Thomas. I do realize that he is needed there to stir up trouble,but still I don't like him. LOL .

Lynn T. said...

It made me almost feel like not watching the show anymore. It seemed too much for a very likeable character who has had a difficult time in the past and has finally found happiness. I thought about it too as I went to sleep that evening. It will probably change personalities and relationships now. I saw the actress who plays Anna on a morning show with the cast before the season started. She said something like it will be a difficult season for Anna and Bates. I think we all wanted the best for them. I know Anna is one of my favorite characters.

Aurian said...

I have not watched this series, perhaps I will glom it all someday ... I am glad you all love it so much.

Mary Steinbrink said...

I have been a fan or Downton almost since the begining and was shocked Sunday night. I had heard about the parental warning, but had no idea what it was for. I am eager, but nervous for next week. I so hoped for a happy time for Anna and Bates. I was much more shocked and upset than I was during last season's finale. I think the cat was out of the bag on that for a while. I will keep watching, but I hope it that there will not often be violence at the Abbey.

mary kennedy said...

Maggie, I shared your shock! I never expected this turn of events and the episode seemed to end abruptly. (or maybe it just seemed that way because I was desperately eager to hear the outcome.) Next week will be interesting, that's for sure.

Teachgiftedkids said...

After the first episode last week, I made the comment to myself that Anna and Bates were such a loving couple. It was almost a premonition then that something bad was going to happen. Yes, I was shocked, but this is a drama, right? Anna is so worried that if she tells Bates what happened, he will go after the servant, Mr. Green, and kill him. Therefore, Bates would end up in prison again. But, also in that era women were often blamed for actions such as these. If Anna admits what happened, her life could be over. This is what makes great writing and drama. Remember, we have to think of what time period this is - forget about what our situations are today.

SueAnn said...

It left a very sour taste in my mouth...I know that this happened then, but, a LOT of things happened then..that are not in the show..I think...this is over the top..for the purpose of the show's intentions..from the beginning.

Maggie Sefton said...

Nancy---I agree this event can lead to problems between Bates & Anna. But I'm also afraid of what Bates will do when he learns Anna was attacked.

Maggie Sefton said...

Disturbing, wasn't it? No wonder our sleep was disturbed.

Maggie Sefton said...

Diane---I know what you mean. Thomas id sneaky.

Maggie Sefton said...

I know. Their love story has been the most poignant of all.

Maggie Sefton said...

It is outstanding, Aurian. Really.

Maggie Sefton said...

Mary----I'm with you. I really hope there's no more traumatic scenes like that.

Maggie Sefton said...

Mary----I'm worried about what will be going on with Anna.

Maggie Sefton said...

That's what worries me. i spent over a decade of my life writing historicals, and i know the social constraints and pitfalls of those earlier eras. it can be treacherous.

Maggie Sefton said...

It's definitely what we call a plot pivot point. It will be fascinating to watch what happens. They've opened Pandora's box, now the writers have to deal with the consequences.

Carolyn said...

On an up note...is the Dowager a hoot or what? The comic relief was much needed in this episode. I was so shocked at the brutality and then Anna had to tell him goodnight. At least Mrs.Hughes knows, so maybe she will intercede at an appropriate point. But, I agree if Bates finds out everyone will have to get out their "Free Bates" t-shirts again.
I know I am in the minority on this, but I am beginning to see Thomas as somewhat likeable. He is so egocentric and arrogant, but I think he went through a lot last season and has somewhat changed.

Adrienne said...

Just a thank you to all who commented on last week's episode.I really thought I was alone in my reactions and now feel like part of a larger community. Of course I have to watch to see what happens to Anna and Bates but I hope this doesn't become an afternoon soap opera. I count on intelligent plots and fine acting. I hope I'm surprised by how well the future episodes deal with this horrid event. Thanks, Maggie, for inviting us to comment!