Downton Abbey remains the greatest show about paperwork

by Gordon Shelly

I never expected to like Downton Abbey when it was on TV. It seemed like a Victorian-era soap opera that might be kind-of-sort-of interesting at its best. I was wrong. Well, not entirely. Downton Abbey is, and remains, a soap opera.

It’s a melodramatic journey of a wealthy family and their trials and tribulations to maintain their wealth, their upper class status, and be constant models for the Victorian ideal. It’s a little bit like watching Keeping up with the Kardashians for more of a high-brow audience.

These are rich people, with rich people problems. In fact, what the first three seasons were almost entirely about was paperwork. That’s right – keeping estates in order and who-wrote-what to whom. Paperwork. Yet, somehow, they managed to make it interesting.

As a show, Downton Abbey lost my attention after three seasons; however, I have been coming back for the film extensions to check in with the family and the periphery characters, in particular the servants.

The movie works as a stand alone movie, but it is unlikely that a new audience would find its way to the film without having first been introduced to the characters through the show.

It’s an entertaining continuation of the show with a few new twists and some continued character arcs.

Devoted Downton Abbey fans will likely be very pleased with this entry. Casual fans, such as myself, will find it satisfactorily entertaining.

Gordon’s Grade: B