Downton Abbey’s latest season recently premiered in the UK and it’s quite disappointing that US viewers would have to wait until the next year to see it. Interestingly, I was surprised to read that the ratings took a significant dip by the premiere of the second episode. This isn’t pleasant news for any loyal fan of the show, but I do understand that sometimes it’s better to end a show on a good note than let it blow itself up in the face.
I was worried that the departure of Dan Stevens would be a huge blow to the show. Now, I feel like it wouldn’t have made a difference if he stayed on or not. Here are my thoughts on Downton Abbey and its future.
I did write a long article that Dan Stevens departure messed up the plot because it forced the writers to kill his character in an untimely fashion. However, I actually like that he’s gone now and it’s very good for Lady Mary overall. We mostly saw her as a part of this couple and not as an individual person. I love how we got to see her assert her independence and leadership in Downton during the last season. Heck, she continues to be such a strong character two episodes in the new season. She doesn’t abruptly change into a feminist or anything, but you gradually see her realize that things are changing as years pass.
I am worried though that the novelty of the show will eventually run dry. Downton Abbey was special because of how it portrayed the upstairs and downstairs dynamic during its prime. Sometimes I feel like we are just seeing the same old thing as time goes on. However, I think that it would really shake things up if they ended the show in their sixth season. I envision big changes wherein the Crawley family would have to move out of their home and move somewhere quite smaller (perhaps even America!?). Like Mad Men, you can’t stretch the timeline of the show too much without losing the magic it had to begin with.
Additionally, we could see the downstairs folk move on with their lives. Some might be able to find joy in life outside of serving others, while others still remain clinging on to the past. The show does hint that this is where things are heading, but I want it to go at a much faster pace and really affect the characters.
This would be a welcome change to the plot. I feel like the whole rape and murder plot has been stretched for too long. I’d like to see more of Thomas Barrow than his usual conniving. I like the depth I saw in the past, but it seems like he is just back to his old ways.
I hope that this won’t be the last season of Downton Abbey because I do want the team to have time to at least wrap things up. Additionally, fear not Downton Abbey fans because I think Fellowes does have a prequel in store for us after this show is over. It is reportedly going to be focused on Robert and Cora’s courtship. Now, that’s something I’d like to see even if it is the end for the Crawley family we know now.