Ah, Sunday nights. If you’re anything like me, Sunday night is when you suddenly realise you’ve not done half the things you planned to do with your weekend and start to get that sinking feeling associated with waking up early on Monday morning.
But as of yesterday, my Sunday nights have just got a lot better. That’s right, people, Downton Abbey‘s back!
Before I go any further, quick spoiler alert. I’m going to be mentioning some things that happened in series 3 (including the Christmas special) so if you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you don’t read any further. I also suggest that, before you watch it, you arm yourself with alcohol/chocolate/a comfort blanket/whatever it is that you turn to in times of crisis. You have been warned.
I didn’t even like Downton to begin with. I started watching the first episode and got a bit bored. Of course that was before the lovely Matthew Crawley turned up, so you can’t really blame me. Then my friend started telling me how great it was and eventually, because I’m very easily persuaded, I tuned back in – just in time for the last episode of the first series, also known as ‘The One with Her Ladyship’s Soap’.
When series 2 rolled around, I watched from the start and really enjoyed it, despite being a bit confused by all the references to ‘the big scandal’ and Turkish diplomats. Like most people, I got caught up in the ‘will they, won’t they’ relationship between Mary and Matthew (how very convenient that the heir to the estate happened to be a young, attractive, single man) and squealed with delight like the big girl I am when they finally got together, even if it did mean his poor fiancée getting killed off by the Spanish flu (again, very convenient – except for her, obviously).
And then there was series 3, which was nothing short of traumatic. Julian Fellowes, I’m not sure if I can ever forgive you for killing off not one, but two of my favourite characters. And why exactly do you hate new parents, anyway? Just make sure you stay away from the Dowager Countess; she needs to live forever. And Lord Grantham, who’s so endearingly rubbish at everything, from raising kids to managing finances to employing appropriate staff, that you can’t help but love him. Oh, and Anna and Mr Bates, the cutest couple in the world. And Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson. Mrs Patmore. Daisy.
Ok, so basically I love everyone. I even want Edith to find a nice man – because if she can, then it means there’s hope for us all.
And so, at last series 4 is here. Finally we get to find out exactly how long Mr Fellowes plans to wait before throwing Mary and Tom together to bond in their mutual grief (I’m guessing not long). Meanwhile Edith’s still being pursued by her married editor, Thomas is still evil, Daisy’s still falling for the wrong guy. And Lord Grantham’s still rubbish at everything. But we love him anyway.
So in summary, nothing’s really changed, but I still can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Welcome back, Downton. Sunday nights are good again.