The final episode of stately ITV soap Downton Abbey's last series had all the compellingly unrealistic elements that keep us glued to Corrie and EastEnders... (review date 15.11.15)
The final episode of stately ITV soap Downton Abbey's last series had all the compellingly unrealistic elements that keep us glued to Corrie and EastEnders...
The sudden wedding with no arrangements (“Don't worry, the bishop's a mate of mine”), the wild character arcs, the chaotic misery swiftly giving way to neat happy endings, the pervading sense of implausibility.
After being likeable for five years, Lady Mary jarringly turned into the bitch from hell and ruined her sister's life.
But then she married Hooray Henry and we all loved her again. After being horrible for five years, sinister servant Thomas slit his wrists and became a wonderful guy we all felt sorry for.
Meanwhile, nice but dim Lord Grantham made sweeping statements about the new world and writer Julian Fellowes frantically tied up loose ends like a man possessed.
Historically laughably inaccurate and often comically terrible, Downton could also deliver dazzlingly good telly. In a fabulous film length finale, it finished on a high. Only Lady Edith's story remains unresolved.
Roll on the festive special. Abbey Christmas.