This week''s episode of Terminal Caucasian Theatre is Downton Abbey: A New Era, which is now available on Netflix. This is the franchise fodder at its most erudite, with its continuing saga of a family of early-20th-century British lords and ladies and dowagers and heirs, which unfortunately does not provide us with anything new (until the ending anyway, not that youre gonna find any spoilers here). Consider it another warm serve of comfort food
DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The Gist: Here''s why none of us live in houses that have grounds. Grantham, Great-Grandma Violet, is fantastically old, but yet she continues to inherit a house, in this case, courtesy of an old friend who was not quite aware of it for decades. This is exactly what she needs right now another fing place with more fing grounds.
So the Dowager does what anyone would do: promises to give her her great-granddaughter this set of grounds to this person, and that set of grounds to this person, and the other ones to the other people. Meanwhile, a film crew intends to send some cinematographs to Downton Abbey, which, with its lowly actors, will greatly improve their condition, but now they will be able to pay for the repairs, which is a confusing plot point, because youd think they have money oo
So, a bunch of Downtoners have to take the plane to discover their newly acquired grandiose location of insane opulence, and take a nap of it. That way, they can''t imagine seeing the same 150,000 square feet of house where lowly Hollywood people are shooting a morally horrifying movie, and gasp, what would happen if someone was upset? Unlike the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) does everything she can to get
What Films Will It Offer You? Altmans Gosford Park centered on the upstairs/downstairs privileged/servant British dramatic enchantment.
Maggie Smith is so savant as ever as a woman who is so delicately incorrigible as ever. In that she really does things, from performing vocal overdubs for the flailing film to practicing extreme prudence, because she lives in Great Britain.
Memorable Dialogue: The Dowagers'' assessment of the filmmaking process: I watched some of it. I prefer to eat pebbles.
Butler Mr. Carsons (Jim Carter) Reveal of the French: They''re very French, the French, do they? The vile things.
Sex and Skin: Sex? [Faints on a spooky couch]
We have a Hallboy, a footman, a valet, and a butler. There is an actual servant hierarchy in Downton Abbey. They are so likable as they work their way through jejune comic dilemmas and mildly dramatic circumstances that have little meaning outside the grounds but so much within them. In this movie, one person will simply ask the other to drop the Sir and Mlady, and they call them Bill or Hortense, which is a sign that someone is making friends,
The warmth and understanding of this franchise that drives the focus most on Downton, but what''s beyond the miniscule drama in Downton? In a teeny subplot, involving closeted gay butler Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier), the melancholy gent would have a bit of a Pride Month bump if this film hadnt been theatrically released in April. That''s why, apparently, the Downton Bubble, where most funny people jugg
If you want to consider it a bit differently than you never imagined, otherwise these characters make do from within the enormous money-cushion they were born into, implying that we all suffer because we are human, although some suffer less than others. However, they never agree on whether the roof was fixed, although it''s safe to assume that a bunch of people below them in the class pecking order, however, eventually completed the task.
STREAM IT, but note that neophytes cannot apply. Downton Abbey: A New Era will appeal to the previously converted, and thats all that matters. Maggie Smith is still a gem, the 20s-era dresses are lovely, the scenery is stunning, and all that.
John Serba is a Michigan-based freelance writer and filmmaker. He is available on johnserbaatlarge.com.