Downton Abbey Season 3

8/10 This show continues to suck me in and for a show you wouldn’t associate with binge watching, it is really hard to stop watching, which goes to the strength of the show. I will put this third season with the first season as being great, but just shy of eclipsing the strongest season so far; the second season. Everything you loved about the first two seasons are still here. Emmy worthy production design and costume design with stellar acting from the entire cast. The direction and cinematography accomplish their job without standing out too much but for a show like this, you don’t want or need a lot of flair or style because that would diminish what is going on. The dialogue continues to be extremely well written and every single character is developed and has something to do in terms of the plot. No one is left out…except maybe Isis, the family dog. Coming off of season 2’s World War I plot, this season had a huge task of keeping the show just as entertaining in a post wartime setting. Overall, the season succeeded and the show never gets boring or uninteresting. The problems are minor but there are several of them that make this season fall shy of last season’s quality overall. Most of the problems involve the plot. For example, a subplot featuring disgraced housemaid and one-time prostitute Ethel Parks is the one weak link in all of the subplots as her story becomes a bit repetitive and not as engaging as other character’s plot threads. Speaking of repetitive, Thomas Barrow is a character who is supposed to have left Downton Abbey and therefore the show about 20 times now but they keep pulling him back in to the point where whenever they claim he has to leave for some reason, we know he won’t which cheapens the drama. I also feel that the show has a hard time letting these characters have a good life. As soon as something fun like a carnival/fair takes place or some happy event occurs, the show has to have something extremely depressing go down to quash all of our hopes and dreams. A little additional light hearted fun wouldn’t do the show a disservice at all. Despite some new score that is well composed, the main themes are played too often, which is repetitive and lazy. Finally, after complaining in the first season that the year or time of episodes taking place not occurring onscreen, the second season correctly added them. However, this season they are gone again which baffles me and make no sense. Despite the complaints, they are relatively minor so most viewers won’t be too offended by them. Several subplots have conclusions which was really refreshing and rewarding to see (Anna and Mr. Bates for example) and the pacing of this show is superb. It may not quite live up to the high bar season 2 set, but season 3 is still really well done and if you are a fan of the show, you are going to keep enjoying it. Bring on season 4…

#MaryIntoMoney / #TheGayAndBarrowPath / #ThoughtsAndHeirs / #IrishCarTom / #PrideAndPrejudiceAndCrawleys / #DaisyStupidLove

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