August 13, 2013

Downton Abbey First Look at Season 4

Downton Abbey Season 4 Episode 1  Reviews

lots of praise from the advanced press screenings

 It was Downton Abbey media day in the UK for series 4. 
We were delighted with all the coverage, news and photos revealed.
One of our most favorite things are the reviews and reactions from the media to the screening of the entire first episode in series 4. The reviews are amazing in the details some of them give so be sure to read the full review if you want to know, that is.

Here are a few we noticed in particular.

ITV/Nick Briggs/Carnival
When the widow Lady Mary examines the prospects for her younger sister's latest suitor, in the opening episode of Downton Abbey's fourth series, she sighs: "He's not bad looking and he's still alive, which puts him two steps ahead of most men of our generation."

Read more in The Independent
Many critics had warned that writer Julian Fellowes should quit while Downton Abbey was at its peak. Was he wrong to ignore them?

The answer is plain in the first seconds of the opening, 90-minute episode, scheduled for broadcast next month. We see the stately home in darkness, on a moonless night. Its towers and turrets are shrouded in heavy gloom. Only at one window is a light glimmering. It’s a perfectly composed, cinematic shot, declaring all of Lord Fellowes’ intentions from the outset — this series of Downton is about the light in the darkness, the ray of hope when everything seems lost.
For a programme that reinvented the old-fashioned concept of Upstairs Downstairs, with light stories woven into the main plot lines and plenty of humour to keep audiences smiling, that’s a bold ambition.

But it’s one that this cast is more than equal to achieving. Michelle Dockery as the widowed Lady Mary, mother of a baby just six months old, is heart-rending as her emotions struggle to break through her cold, repressive wall of reserve.

It seems to hurt her even to breathe: she is, she admits, living in the world of the dead.

Read more at the Daily Mail.

Downton Abbey will break from tradition when the new series opens later this year.
Not for series four the Labrador's bottom in the opening credits. This time we begin with the midnight flit of one of the main characters. The servants are seen scurrying to and fro, gossiping about the sudden departure as the kitchen buzzes to the sound of a new-fangled electric food mixer: the unstoppable force of progress making itself felt despite the Crawley family's continuing troubles. 
It is 1922 and the family are still black-clad and mourning Downton's recently deceased heir, Matthew Crawley. We rejoin them six months after the car crash that killed off the heart-throb husband of Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) during the show's Christmas day episode, which was watched by over seven million viewers. We know six months have passed because the dowager countess (Maggie Smith) is informed that a grave takes six months to settle before a headstone can be placed over it.
Exposition continues to play a large part in Julian Fellowes oddly anachronistic dialogue. At several points in the first episode characters explain that they "choose life", must "sort him out" or that they "had a hunch" about something. Nevertheless, the impeccable timing of Smith's verbal smackdowns continues to buoy proceedings with moment after moment of sublime comic satisfaction.
Read more at The Guardian.

Indeed, as a piece of TV craft, Downton Abbey really does seem to have turned the clock back: this new series much more closely – and welcomely – resembles that glorious first season, which made itself instantly the most popular TV drama in Britain back in 2010.
These are stories about a family, and stories about its servants. There is love both spoken and concealed; there are new allegiances, new rivalries upstairs and down, old scores to settle, the reappearance of an old flame. Even the dowager countess, still played to withering perfection by Dame Maggie Smith, has a surprising new cause to champion. The spice and intrigue comes from picking out the glorious detail of English country life in the early Twenties – not from the appearance of deformed foreign cousins, spines broken in the war, and miraculous medical recoveries.
Read more at The Telegraph 

What no hounds bum?? Maybe it's just the first episode?! Also, now we know what The Dowager & Mrs. Crawley were doing at the cemetery 6 months after Matthew's death, they were looking at his headstone.

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