So Downton ended for good on 8th November 2015. At the time of writing, there was only the Christmas special left to go. And, that’s it. Like a feather in the breeze, Downton was there and then it was gone. Slight spoilers contained within.
Since 2010 the costume drama has been forced into our faces like a big box of luxury chocolate. It is often the want of writers to look upon the past with nostalgia. The series covered the years roundabout 1912-1924, and showed the breadth of social change which occurred over that time.
Instead of dully trying to recount every single episode of the final series, I just thought it would be easier to look upon the entire series itself as one, then look upon it once more when the Christmas special has aired. The series hasn’t been short of its share of drama. Its a high class soap, which sugar-coats the past.
Fellowes made it clear from the start that he liked Mary in the narrative. She is, of course, the central focus, but she still had all of the key plots happen to her. As a result, the other characters took a back seat. In the later episodes of season six she just came across as a very bitchy unpleasant person who acted like the sun wouldn’t shine out of her intimate orifices. Her criticisms of Henry Talbot seemed a little narrow minded and short-sighted when it came to his fortune. Oh, he works for a living? He must be totally villainous then.
Even with the positive conclusion of series 6, it still was a bit irksome that she still treats everyone like hell and still gets her happy ending? Fellowes seemed very keen to punish Edith as much as humanely possible, but at least gave her a stab in the dark of being an ‘independent woman’. Anything to get her out of Downton…
The emphasis seemed to be on the future, and the next generation. It was certainly proven for the characters that they can better themselves and rise above the situation in life they were born into. More historical references were ham-fisted into the final episode, too, just to place the episode in some sort of historical context. However, the episode and series seemed to have predominant focus on ‘the future’ – especially with the shot of the children playing hide and seek around Sybil’s gravestone. Relating to the past, present and future can’t be without a graveside monologue. It was rather sweet I suppose, especially given the historical context of being set 20 years before World War II. However, this series has proven to be good enough with some very good moments indeed.
A good enough series, but I will hold off further judgements until the 2015 Christmas special.
MY RATING: ***.5 / *****