Downton Abbey. It’s one of those shows I dislike, but always end up watching. Given the unremarkable season 4 finale of television’s Second-Most Overrated Show (Game of Thrones being the first), I’ve come up with some ideas to make next season less predictable, more enjoyable and unexpected.
Seven Ways Downton Abbey Could Improve… But Won‘t
1. Edith gives up trying to please her family and moves to London. She becomes editor in Grayson’s absence and does a brilliant job. Given her new power and influence, she embraces the “enlightened” Bohemian lifestyle and decides to raise her baby on her own. Whether Grayson returns or not is inconsequential to her happiness.
2. Violet brings her wardrobe into the 20th century. Being more comfortable in her new, loose-fitting clothes, she stops sniping with Isobel, but retains her sharp wit. The two become admirable friends, although their political differences remain unchanged.
3. Isobel continues her liberal efforts. She opens a rehabilitation shelter to help the destitute and down-trodden, and becomes famous for her good works. Lord Merton is so smitten with her drive and conviction, he lends his name and prestige to her efforts (even thought he’s likely a Tory).
4. Thomas is run over by a car and maimed for life. He must now depend on the kindness of all those he tried to destroy or blackmail. (Actually, Thomas was supposed to die at the end of season 1, but actor Robb James-Collier was so popular, Julian Fellowes kept him around. After good story lines in seasons 2 and 3, though, Thomas is now just a mustache-twirling villain. Since killing him off would be a waste of an excellent actor, let’s maim him and make him remorseful.)
5. Bates’ infamous trip to London was not to kill Green. He’s hired an agent to search for property that could be converted into a small inn. It’s to be a surprise for Anna, as it’s part of a dream they shared a couple seasons ago.
6. Baxter’s past is revealed. What’s so shameful? She either 1) had an illegitimate child, 2) had an abortion, 3) had a lesbian affair, or 4) killed someone, probably an abusive man. Whatever it is, it won’t bother Moseley, who finally comes into his own.
7. Daisy finally finds love with a farmer, and becomes pregnant. Will she stay on at Downton?
Of course, none of this will happen because Julian Fellows can’t seem to come up with anything new.
[Photo credits: from a series of Google image searches, but ultimately ITV, and penultimately PBS.]