March 10, 2016
Few series reward re-viewing like . From its first episode, one can detect and thrill at the themes and storylines that will inspire writer-creator Julian Fellowes throughout. It is there in the way Anna Smith (Joanne Froggatt) so sweetly attends to the unwelcome John Bates (Brendan Coyle), and in how the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and butler Charles Carson (Jim Carter) do battle against the dying of the light to maintain the standards of a country house they both so treasure. I have seen all of many times and I never intend stopping. And I will continue to be delighted by the exquisite narrative patterning – of how Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) must deal with the death of his fiancee, and things said, before he can move on and marry Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), and then how Mary must deal with the death of Matthew, and things said, before also moving on – just as I will cheer loudly at each dazzling aphorism from the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith).