Series Review: Downton Abbey Season 6 (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

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Rating: 9/10

It is a very well-known fact that I own the title to the biggest Downton Abbey fan that has ever lived. I adore everything about the show – how very British everything is, a look back into a lost era and the class systems. That and the excellent costume design, dramatic sequences and veiled sarcasm that only the British can manage? The show was designed for me. Downton Abbey came around at a time where I was desperately tired of the vulgarity of shows like Game of Thrones – yes, shoot me, I know there is an enormous fan base, but is anyone else tired of it? It has no class and it has no style and senseless violence.

Anyway, now that I’m done sounding like a pompous little prick, let me tell you what I loved about Season 6 of Downton Abbey. Clue: Nearly everything.

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What I liked:

Anna and Bates. These two have had so many plights throughout the show that I’d been thoroughly exasperated at the end of Season 5. Like can they just stop being accused of killing people or stealing or whatever?! Sheesh. The season ended so sweet for them that this I was willing to cry of happiness for them. I was.

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Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. Everyone knew they should marry because Mrs. Hughes is the only one on earth that can sass Mr. Carson right back. I loved this entire story arc and they managed to pull it off in such a way that it wasn’t fake or annoying and just seemed so lovely that two people could find love nearing the end of their lives.

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Edith and her Bertie. Oh, Edith. How you’ve grown on me. Arguably the most beleaguered character ever, frequently by her own design, but Edith Crawley somewhere grew a backbone and received a purpose in life. I loved her Bertie too – here was a man tailor made for her, kind, caring, and could properly assess the complexity of her relationship with her surviving sister. Their wedding is the most romantic thing I’ve seen since Mary and Matthew’s wedding SOB SOB SOB.

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Mary’s incredibly attractive new counterpart, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode). Where has this man been all my life?! Mary made me so angry. I’ve always been a Mary fan but when she nearly messed up Edith’s life (AGAIN), I was legitimately pissed at her. In my mind the best version of Mary will always be the woman she was when she was married to Matthew, but I found that Henry Talbot had all the wonderful characteristics of my beloved Matthew and could influence her as well. And I reiterate – Matthew Goode is so beautiful.

The darling boy they cast as Matthew Crawley’s son – it ripped out my still bleeding heart but that child could really be the child of Dan Stevens.

Tom returning – let’s face it, everyone loves Tom the most.

How perfectly happy everything ended. Some people will roll their eyes at how tidily every arc was wrapped up and how everyone got their happiness.

I’m mentioning Edith’s wedding again. The happiness. The romance. How deserving she was of her big moment.

The new puppy – awwwwww

What I didn’t like:

Spratt and Denker. I don’t know why these two got so much time in the show. Their quarrels were annoying and silly and it really grated on me.

Daisy. The character has always been a hit and miss for me but she truly grated on my nerves in the final season. She comes across as an ungrateful and immature child, and I just wanted to smack the petulance out of her.

That big fright with Lord Crawley’s health scare. DON’T DO THAT TO ME AGAIN, DOWNTON.

Well, there you have it. My favorite show has come to an end. I will always rewatch this show and even though I am sad that it has ended, I applaud Julian Fellows for stopping while they were ahead. Gosh Downton, I’m going to miss you.

 

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Series Review: Downton Abbey Season 5

Picture Shows:  The TARDIS BBC ONE: Sunday December 25th, 2005  The legendary Time Lord, Doctor Who returns to planet earth for Christmas. Along with established sidekick Rose (Billie Piper), the re-generated Doctor (David Tenant) is once again faced with a battle against evil in a bid to protect planet earth from destruction.  From flame-throwing Santas to the evil alien Sycorax, Rose and The Doctor find themselves in one of the hardest battles their friendship has had to endure... Warning: Use of this copyright image is subject to Terms of Use of BBC Digital Picture Service.  In particular, this image may only be used during the publicity period for the purpose of publicising 'Doctor Who' and provided the BBC is credited. Any use of this image on the internet or for any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising or other commercial uses, requires the prior written approval of the BBC.

Rating: 8/10

I can’t believe that I‘ve watched everything there is to watch of this show right now. When is the next season coming? Next year? Can 2016 arrive now? Sherlock AND more Downton in one year? Yes, please.

This season is better than the fourth. Everyone has dealt with Matthew Crawley’s death and almost forgiven Dan Stevens for his choice to depart from the show (It is hard to hate him after seeing The Guest and knowing that he will be the Beast in the new Disney movie – also in 2016!). Even Rose managed to not annoy me so much – although her relationship with Atticus Finch and the time frame that Downton is now entering does not even hide what the writers are planning for season six. I liked her relationship with Atticus – she is a much more manageable person with him. I still hate her mother and like her father and find their divorce in the time this show plays off very interesting.

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I thought Mary’s relationship with Tony Gillingham had great potential then just fell flat. I’m not saying she should have chosen him – I said back in my review of season four that he is not her intellectual equal, but the way the story worked out felt rushed and not properly developed. Her meeting that handsome man at the end of the Season tells me that she will have yet another suitor in Season 6. How gorgeous is Matthew Goode?! I hope he becomes a series regular in Season six!

Downton Abbey S5 The fifth series, set in 1924, sees the return of our much loved characters in the sumptuous setting of Downton Abbey. As they face new challenges, the Crawley family and the servants who work for them remain inseparably interlinked. LAURA CARMICHAEL as Lady Edith Crawley.  Photographer: Nick Briggs

Edith is still in her perpetual bubble of misery and still annoying AF. Sorry, this girl just constantly chooses to make herself unhappy. She chooses to compare herself with Mary endlessly. I do hope that she and the man who she also met in the last episode can be happy, but we will see if Edith allows herself to be happy. The fire in her room was quite dramatic and Barrow’s heroic rescue of Edith was a great moment in the show, and then they just left it and a great story stayed underutilized.

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Can we just talk about the shocking death of Isis? (No, sadly not the terrorist organisation). Who kills the dog?!?!?! I loved that beautiful animal and really felt so sorry for Lord Grantham about it.

Tom planning to leave – NO. Come back, darling. I love you and little Sybbie too much. Come back now.

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As for downstairs, I really enjoyed the latest romance. The Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes story has been developing for quite some time now, and it was so lovely to see a strong direction with their love story. Bates and Anna kept on being Bates and Anna – drama drama drama. Barrow still keeps on being Barrow – the second you have some sympathy for him he does something and you are just certain that you will never like him. The Spratt and Barrow bitch fest was really annoying – what is the point of either of them getting such sudden limelight?

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Some of the smaller story angles managed to stay surprisingly interesting. I usually hate when writers of the story deviate too far from the story surrounding the central characters, but Charles Blake setting up the reunion of Tony Gillingham and his fiance had some entertaining moments (and I do think that Charles had his own ulterior motives there). I didn’t really get the point of the Dowager Countess and Prince Kuragin. It is definitely the most unique attempt at romance this show attempted yet. I love Maggie Smith’s role in here and she is such a fantastic asset, but come on: We really don’t HAVE to give every female in this show a marriage proposal, do we?

I really enjoyed this season and am so happy they returned to the original glory of the show. I can’t wait to see season six and I really hope that the show ends on a high note, although I am sobbing with angst that this show is ending!

Top Ten Television Crushes

Have I done one of these already? If so, I don’t care because I am doing another one! My list has certainly evolved the past few months with some pretty awesome and fine gentlemen working their way in! As I’m writing this the post is threatening to turn into a novel, so sorry for the long one!!

Special mentions:

Luke Danes – Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls

Jon Snow – Kit Harrington, Game of Thrones

Jax Teller – Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy

Chuck Bass – Gossip Girl

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10. 

Jess Mariano – Milo Ventimiglia, Gilmore Girls

Character rating: 8/10

Smoky factor: 8/10

Final Score: 16/20

Jess comes in at number 10 because he is the perfect bad boy that every girl should have once in her life. He is not always good to Rory and his problems in life keeps him back, but later on in the story his character becomes extremely satisfying to see succeed.

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9. 

Seely Booth – David Boreanz, Bones

Character rating: 8/10

Smoky factor: 8/10

Final Score: 16/20

I LOVVEEE Bones. The show is good and takes place in a lab which, as it is part of my career world, I enjoy immensely (although the drinking and eating around human remains… nope).

Booth is so damn fine. The height, the size, the character, just take me now. I have a big thing for the whole injured soldier story so that factors in really well too.

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8.

Damon Salvatore – Ian Somerhalder, Vampire Diaries

Character rating:  7.5/10

Smoky factor: 9/10

Final Score: 16.5/20

I’ve only seen the first three seasons and I’m not that interested in seeing the rest because season three is already rather boring, but the main attraction of that show is Damon Salvatore. He is comfortable with his nature and doesn’t whine as much as his brother. Also, the eyes of Ian Somerhalder, paired with the black hair and that fuck-it-all attitude. Win.

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7.

Robb Stark – Richard Madden, Game of Thrones

Character rating: 8/10

Smoky factor: 8.5/10

Rating: 16.5/20

SOB. He was everything until George Martin was George Martin and killed him off. I’ve noticed that GoT has the same route – endear a character to the watcher/reader, and then pop him. Rob, with his curly hair, his kingly nature and his impulsive streak (that lead to said popping) made such a good character. Richard Madden was a great attribute to the show – looky wise, acting wise and execution of the storyline. He is sorely missed.

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6.

Tom Branson – Allen Leech, Downton Abbey

Character rating: 8.5/10

Smoky factor: 8.5/10

Final Score: 17/20

Tom Branson is initially introduced into Downton as a depiction of the unrest that was very much real in the middle and lower classes in Britain in the 1920s. Tom is adorable in his outspokenness and opinions and his fearless determination to give his opinion. His love story with Sybil is so romantic and fun because it is seen as inappropriate.

I love Tom. He is a good man and can see how the upper class isn’t all that bad although he disagrees with the class system. His grief at Sybil’s death had me so upset because it was done so well. His love for his young daughter and his determination to make life good for her.Just YES.

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5.

Khal Drogo – Jason Momoa, Game of Thrones

Character rating: 7.5/10

Smoky factor: 10/10

Final Score: 17.5/20

If this post was based solely on characters Khal Drogo would probably have been lower on the list. His character is cool but let’s face it – even though the love story between him and Khaleesi eventually becomes so beautiful it causes physical pain, the start of their sexual relationship is not at all consensual (at least in the series)

So it is thus the looks department that brings Khal Drogo in at number five on this list. He is so hot. All that muscle and manliness and the little scar above the eye and his looks and everything

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4.

Dean Winchester – Jensen Ackles, Supernatural

Character rating: 8.5/10

Smoky factor: 9/10

Final Score: 17.5/20

Ah Dean. Supernatural is such a great show (until season 5) and I’ve been scared plenty of times watching it. We all know who the better Winchester brother is. Sam Winchester is the most annoying crying baby that any show has had (apart from Carrie Matheson in Homeland). Dean however, is everything. HE is strong and resilient and such a good brother and smoking hot. His taste in music, his taste in cars, clothing and food. Everything just wins where Dean is concerned!

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3.

Peter Quinn – Rupert Friend, Homeland

Character rating:9/10

Smoky factor: 8.5/10

Final Score: 17.5/20

This could really be a list of my favorite shows too, as far as the numbering is currently going! I really enjoy Homeland and even though I find the drama, especially in Season 4, very much like a war propaganda from the US, I think the show is really well produced and the characters extremely well written. Carrie Matheson is the bane of everyone’s existence, not just mine, so the show’s quality relies on the supporting cast and the story.

Peter Quinn came to Homeland in Season 2 but never really received the proper character development he deserved. Every season would start off with some introduction on his life and extraordinary work skills and then just fade as Carrie’s crying face got all the attention.

Season 4 finally really starts to focus on Quinn, and although I retched when his feelings for Carrie came out into the open, I really enjoyed that he got more screen time.

Quinn is efficient and loyal and dedicated to his team, all of the things which Carrie is not. When he goes into avenging mode, it is damn hot and I just want to jump through the screen. I enjoy the many layers the character has and how he struggles with many of the decisions his superiors make.

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2. 

Sherlock Holmes – Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock

Character rating: 9/10

Smoky factor: 9.5/10

Final Score: 18.5/20

Sherlock comes in a close second on the favorite characters list. He is so intelligent and quirky and Benedict Cumberbatch brings the legendary sleuth to the screen in the way that no person could have thought possible. The three seasons are all highly entertaining, the banter between Sherlock and Watson is sharp and acerbic and the chemistry onscreen between Cumberbatch and Freeman contributes to the enormous success of the show. The story is sharp and layered and excellently written and produced. However, without Cumberbatch this show would have been really good, but I don’t think that it would have been as excellent. His unique features and nature brings the character to life – no one will ever be Sherlock as well again as he. Then there are Cumberbatch’s eyes and that voice that just kills me. (The hair and his height and his trench coats too)

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1.

Matthew Crawley – Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey

Character rating: 10/10

Smoky factor: 9/10

Final Score: 19/20

Matthew Crawley has forever ruined television crushes for me, because no one will ever be able to compete against him and walk away the victor. I don’t always go for blonde haired guys, so when I do, you must KNOW that it is for character reasons as well as looks. Matthew really perfected my standards here. His character is amazing. He is kind and compassionate in situations where it wouldn’t be unfair of him to lose his temper. He goes through so much in the show and he remains this gentle soul. I love everything about him and I can’t see myself ever giving this spot away to anyone else.

Series review: Downton Abbey Season 1

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Rating: 9/10

What I liked:

The humor: It is plentiful, intelligent, sharp, everywhere and of a higher quality that entertainment produces as a usual standard. It is dry wit properly used. I can’t get enough of it.

I now know that it is pronounced “Downton Abbey” and not “Downtown Abbey”

The costume design is gorgeous and suitable to the periodical setting

The estate – just wow. It is absolutely gorgeous and such a strong structure. I don’t often freak out about many buildings – architecture is not my greatest passion but I can really get behind a beautiful structure if it appeals to me. It was even more fascinating that this is a real holding and not just a magnificent prop stage.

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The depiction of relationships between upper, middle and lower class is keeping me really intrigued. All the sides are really well developed and gets proper show time. The Class system remains one of the most amusing hierarchical systems in the world. It is not really prevalent in South-Africa so I cannot imagine how people would willingly subject to such forms of oppression. It is interesting though, and the clear line between the classes even while they are still perfectly civil to each other.

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Maggie Smith slays. Just WOW. This role is so worthy of her time. The dry sarcasm, the disdain, her supreme lack of care of what people think of her, that entire character she brings so authentically to life. She’s my idol. That’s all.

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There are some characters I love and some I dislike, but every cast member does a wonderful job. The characters I dislike are purely because they were written for that exact reason – as antagonists. The characters I love the most: Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), who I can easily devote this entire post too, Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery), whose sad and intriguing lifestyle I can think days about,  John Bates (Brendan Coyle) – THAT FIRST SAD EPISODE WTF, The Lord Crawley, who has such a loyal heart and works so hard to save his inheritance.

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Theo James, I am so sorry. HAHAHA. My demented sense of humor was way too tickled about what happened to the Middle-Eastern prince when he visited Downton. It is just…. HAHAHA. The ramifications of how that poor girl must have felt. (Not disclosing who though #notospoilers). You are absolutely gorgeous though, sir.

That kiss. OMFG I nearly went through the roof. It is so beautiful and proper and appropriate and introduced on the perfect time in the story.

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Dan Stevens and his eyes. I get really irritated when people harp on other people’s pretty eyes. It seems so… false. But Dan Stevens has eyes that make me finally understand that sentiment of carrying on about it. It’s so blue and gorgeous and when he focuses on something… just hold me back haha. ❤ ❤ I also love the character that he plays. Matthew Crawley has the biggest heart and the most common sense, and I just adore his determination to stay true to who he is.

I really mostly liked all of it. The pilot episode is the weakest but it is still very good and the show picks up pace and character as it progresses through the season. It remains such an extremely cultured experience to watch, that I kid you not, I wore stockings the next day to work as a testimony of my adoration and desire to be part of 1912’s England. I really do dislike two of the characters, not for their acting, because it is wonderfully good and exceeds in making their characters exactly as unlikable as they were created to be. The relationship between Edith and Mary has so many complex layers and is quite satisfying to watch. I really sympathize with both of them – Mary has such a daunting task that goes against every grain of her personality and poor Edith is always found lacking next to her two absurdly pretty and charming sisters. They both did something that made me shake my head in exasperation – sisters should never fight like that. I see both of their sides and the vindictiveness of their actions – it’s horrid but there is an element of reason to what they do.

This is truly a wonderful show and enormous amounts of fun. It might be somewhat chaste to people who like things constantly bawdy (hey, not judging, I enjoy bawdy fun too), but it is such a lovely experience watching this DownTON Abbey and I can’t wait to get through the rest.:)