I Miss The Crawleys
I Miss Downton Abbey. Truly one of the greatest shows of all time. I tell people often that if I had to pick my top two favorite pieces of cinema, combining both movies and television, one of those two would be Downton Abbey.
The BBC does, indeed, showcase some brilliant writing and screenplays, and the UK is certainly blessed with the talented Julian Fellowes, who wrote and created Downton Abbey.
For those of you not yet familiar with Downton Abbey, this is from Wikipedia:
“The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey, between 1912 and 1925, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post-Edwardian era—with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy. Such events depicted throughout the series include news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the first series; the outbreak of the First World War, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal in the second series, and many more. It earned the most nominations of any international television series in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, with twenty-seven in total (after two series). It was the most watched television series on both ITV and PBS, and subsequently became the most successful British costume drama series since the 1981 television serial of Brideshead Revisited. By the third series, it had become one of the most widely watched television drama shows in the world.”
It’s extremely hard to pick my favorite characters in the whole show, but among them were the father, Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, played by Britain’s Hugh Bonneville, and the mother, Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, played by Elizabeth McGovern.
Robert Crawley displayed many great qualities that every man should have, even after making one very poor choice. Fellowes wrote his character to be a great husband, father, and well-respected man in the community despite his imperfections and mistakes. Cora Crawley is no less respectable, with her own set of qualities that McGovern portrays excellently. Like Robert, Cora is certainly less than perfect, but very even-tempered, and not afraid to say the hard things that need to be said to anyone in her life, when it’s necessary. Cora always exhibits a certain degree of grace in everything, and supports her husband even when she may not agree with him.
Of course, even though the previous two characters are stunning,
Thomas Barrow is certainly near the top. Homosexuality in that era was not only frowned upon, but also illegal, and the writers certainly give Thomas his share of difficulties, sometimes fairly harshly, especially when his co-workers find out about it. Even though viewers never see much of this acted out, the writers cleverly include this theme in the dialogue while being very subtle. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this topic handled so gracefully, yet poignantly, showing viewers that we are all humans who should be treated with grace.
I can’t finish without mentioning Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter, played by Michelle Dockery. The one person in the family who is relentlessly cruel, albeit subtly and gracefully, to anyone in her path when it means furthering her own agenda.
Last, but in no way least, John and Anna Bates, who are possibly the best characters in the entire show. This couple goes through more trials in just a few years than any couple should ever have to endure in a lifetime, and they do it all nearly without faltering, supporting each other at all times. Brilliant writing, brilliant casting, brilliant acting.
If you have not yet stepped into the world of Downton Abbey, now is the time.