My sister, Mary Kay, got me hooked. She told me about it around Christmas. By the end of January I managed to watch all of season 1 and 2 thanks to NetFlix and then catch up to real time with season 3 on PBS.ORG on my computer. Then I was able to watch the last three weeks, including last night's season finale, on my local PBS station, on the tv.
Now I have to wait until January of 2014 before season 4 starts. Britain will start airing season 4 this fall.
SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED SEASON 3!
I did not know Matthew was going to die, until I saw his car speeding down the road. Even then I was hoping it would just be a car accident and they would bring him back in season 4. Then when they showed his body with his eyes open, I finally knew....poor Mary (We'll talk more about her later....).
After doing a little research on the computer I found that he had already announced that he was leaving the show. I'm so glad I didn't know ahead of time.
WHAT A SEASON FINALE!
Maggie Smith as, Violet Crawley, is amazing. I love how "pruney" and smug she is. I also adore how real she is. The way she relates to the "downstairs" cast is wonderful. I love how she adapts to the changing world around her (marriages she doesn't agree with, servants she feels should move on, Cora, manners, "modern" dress...etc...) albeit kicking and screaming. Mixing the stodginess of the old guard in with the new "modern" world gives so much flavor to this show.
Violet's sarcasm makes me laugh. On the episode where Violet had to deal with....
....Martha Levinson, played by Shirley MacLaine, coming to Downton (Cora's mother)....I think I almost peed my pants.
Their interactions were priceless. I hope they bring her to visit from American again.
Robert Crawley, played by Hugh Bonneville, is the steward of Downton Abbey.
He and his wife, Cora, Countess of Grantham, played by Elizabeth McGovern, who is "supportive, strong and steadfast," are perfect together. Cora's "American ways" have really softened Robert. I am sad that we won't see the relationship between him and Matthew develop more. I was really looking forward to that.
I cried with Cora as she went through the death of her daughter, Sybil, played by Jessica Findlay, who died after giving birth. That again shocked me. It was sad to see her written off the show.
Sybil was such a strong woman for the period. It was glorious to see and heartbreaking to see end....
....especially for her husband...Tom Branson, played by Allen Leech, who started out as very controversial for marrying Sybil, when he was originally the chauffeur.
I loved seeing him finally bond with the other men of the family over cricket. Now I'm looking forward to seeing him and Robert bond, since Matthew is no longer in the picture.
....to be continued....