Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Musings: Downton Abbey Series 4

I wasn't expecting much.  I was already upset with Dan Stevens for leaving the show and I still think it was a poor decision on his part.  Just ask David Caruso how well that worked out for him when he left to "pursue other options" when he left as the star of NYPD Blue.  From

His low-keyed intensity, deep-voiced somberness, pale skin, puffy-eyed baby face and crop of carrot-red hair are all obvious and intriguing trademarks of TV star David Caruso. A hugely popular item in the 1990s as a result of a smash crime series, he got way too caught up in all the hoopla surrounding him. Those working with him on the innovative cop series were not exactly unhappy when he decided to abandon ship after only one season in order to pursue movie star fame. Despite his own predictions, the show prospered quite well after the loss of his focal character...but it would be a major understatement to state that Caruso did not fare as well.

TV to film crossover fame is tricky and David did not have the right formula to pull it off. Bad judgment calls, bad publicity after his departure from his TV series, a couple of poor film vehicles, and virtual unemployment in its wake eventually led him back to the small screen again a somewhat humbler person. Not many are given a second chance but Caruso, the enigmatic talent that he is, found gold a second time as (again) a wan, brooding lead in a hip, unconventional cop series. (CSI).

Both photos courtesy of the Downton Abbey Facebook site
Even with low expectations, I didn't know how sad I would be when watching the first of the new series of Downton Abbey. (I watch via the day after it broadcasts in the UK.)  There was such a heaviness to the episode...such a darkness....but such a BRILLIANCE in its writing.  Julian Fellowes never ceases to amaze me.  The movement of darkness into light is so subtle, but simply spectacular.  It is like being a scuba diver.  He brings the Crawleys and the viewers up gradually, so we don't get the bends.

So, all I will tell you is this:  Get ready to say good-bye to an old friend and get ready to welcome someone back who, in my opinion, should have definitely stayed away.  I know some of you will wait until January to resume watching, so I will be very careful in the weeks to come and not reveal anything that might spoil your viewing. (*Don't forget, though...they edit the show to make it fit on Masterpiece.  Not much, but some.  If you can see the UK version/get the UK version DVD's, you won't miss anything!)



P.S. I very much hope that Mr. Stevens has great success in whatever he pursues.  I still miss Matthew, though.

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