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Downton Abbey: The London Season (Christmas Special 2013) [DVD]
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It's summer and as part of Rose's ‘coming out' she is to be presented at Buckingham Palace. The family are in London, preparing Grantham House for the busy social programme. Not one to miss such a grand occasion, Martha Levinson arrives from New York with Cora's recently disgraced brother Harold. Both outspoken and larger-than-life, they make quite an impression amongst certain members of London's high society. When the Crawleys are implicated in a scandal that threatens to engulf the monarchy, Robert will go to great lengths to protect the royal family, and his own.
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Top Customer Reviews
This year, however, in my opinion Downton did not disappoint. As the title suggests, it is largely based in London and centres around the `coming out' of Lady Rose in 1923. For those of you who have not come across the expression, this involves the rather quaint upper class custom of introducing eligible young ladies to society, including being introduced to royalty. There is a good measure of romance, jealousy and intrigue - in other words exactly what we would expect from Downton! The pace of the plot is reasonable although arguably there was a little too much in the way of social gathering dominating the action, particularly earlier on. However, for me the highlight was the anticipated rematch between the incomparable Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine, fully charged with caustic wit and the clash of two strong personalities. Well worth seeing just for that little gem!
Certainly it was not as good as the first ever Downton Christmas Special, but that is hardly a fair comparison as that was such a good episode, with a strong central story. This was more a continuation of various existing plot lines, but was a good, solid Downton offering which most viewers will have enjoyed.
I enjoy the acting, which is excellent from every participant, and the costumes look superb on screen. For me it is a blessed relief to watch a show without the loud violence of some US series. The scenery and backgrounds are beautiful and the human interest story lines grip me. I look forward to every 'next episode.' What I did NOT appreciate was the media leaking the climactic points, such as the death of Matthew Crawley, to the public before the episode was screened. That was very bad form and spoiled the impact. Such a pity. Bring on the next series though! Cant wait for No 5!
This series is, of course, perfectly acceptable to the fee paying audience looking for relaxing entertainment on Sunday evening but you get nothing more and nothing less! The result is, for me anyway, complete rubbish and awful drivel!