By Patricia Treble - Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 0 Comments
Maybe, but there’s still plenty that the third season has to offer (here’s looking at you, Mrs. Patmore)
For those who haven’t been counting down the days, the gossipy, aristocratic soap opera Downton Abbey starts its third season on Jan. 6, 2013 on PBS’s Masterpiece. The American series has stripped all the commercials out of the original ITV installment, and is presenting it in seven very long episodes. I’ve seen the first six and while I wouldn’t dream of giving away major plot points, there are a few things I need to mention.
Firstly—and sadly—this isn’t a great season. The plots are increasingly unbelievable (the very accepting 21st century reactions to two sex scandals involving below stairs staff seem totally out of time and place); new characters pop up and then vanish, while others are just plain annoying (the new blond footman especially) and standbys like the dowager Lady Grantham (Maggie Smith) get wheeled out the minute a story line needs bumping up. It’s as if creator Julian Fellowes frittered away his writing schedule on other things, then, panicked, threw everything against a wall to see what would stick. The actors do their best, but it’s a bit of a slog, albeit one with fabulous sets and wondrous costumes. And there’s one point in particular that had me realize that yes, even Downton can jump the shark. Sniff.
Here are five things to look out for: