'Downton Abbey' returns to America


DSCN0030.JPG Highclere Castle the set of Downton Abbey.
(Photo by Newlin Tillotson)

Downton Day is back in America! The U.K.-based show has returned to our televisions with a third season chronicling the drama and intrigue going on in the Earl of Grantham’s countryside estate.

Having spent the past semester living as an expatriate in London, I got a head start on the season where it had a U.K. premiere in September. The first episode starts off in the year 1920, and things are going well for most members of the family. Mathew and Mary are finally tying the knot after two rocky engagements. Sybil, happily married to the dashing chauffeur, Tom Branson, is back in the family’s good graces and is expecting her first child. Cora’s mother, Martha (Shirley MacLaine), has arrived from America for the Crawley’s wedding and gets into a number of amusing battles with Old Lady Grantham (Maggie Smith). Downstairs things are not as happy, Bates is still in prison and the housekeeper, Mrs. Hughes, may have breast cancer. Fear not though, I can give you this hint of the season ahead: The upstairs trouble will far surpass the drama downstairs.

DSCN0070.JPG Highclere Castle, the set of Downton Abbey in December.
(Photo by Newlin Tillotson)

And we can’t forget about Earl Grantham himself. With his characteristically bad judgment, Earl Grantham has gotten himself and his money into a sticky situation. His poorly conceived investment in the war has put the future of "Downton Abbey" at stake. We will have to see how the next episodes play out and if the family can find a way to save the great estate. In normal Downton fashion, the season will be filled with surprises for every member of the household and downstairs.


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