By Sean Fischer & Sarah Albert
Six years spent falling in love with perfectly tailored suits and feeling like a part of an aristocratic family in the early 20th century are coming to a close. No longer will dedicated fans be able to gape at beautifully set tables and 5,000 acres of sublimely manicured lawns.
After the death of Sybil and Matthew, many worried that the show would spiral into a daytime soap opera. Even though the show has no shortage of unnecessary dramatic plot turns and twists that constantly change the entirety of the show, this season marks the end of an era for many. One aspect of this period piece that will certainly be missed are the snide comments from the Dowager Countess towards Isobel. Their ever-present bickering provided some subtle comedic relief in the midst of such an emotional, intense and engaging show.
Downton Abbey may be thought of as a show with a cult-like following, but this is not for nothing. Downton provides complex plots in which the audience can experience the extravagant lives of the upper-class aristocrats, to the tedious, but lively ones of their servants. Experiencing the routines of these characters takes the audience into the whole world and experience of this time period. The show is a true period piece, from the exquisite costumes and hairstyles, the household appliances and every tiny detail down to the door knobs, the many historians who worked on the show made sure that everything perfectly fits the setting of the early 1900s. Highclere Castle, where the show was filmed, provides a setting that completes the feeling of emersion for viewers. This is a large part of the appeal of the show, the feeling of emersion in a time that we can only imagine living through and experiencing the daily lives of characters that are so emotionally withdrawn, yet so lovable at the same time. More importantly, experiencing the issues the characters face throughout their daily lives. Some resort to action or violent films for escapism, but for Downton followers, the feeling of emersion while watching an episode is a feeling like no other. The oddly perfect, yet captivating lives of the British aristocrats allow anyone to feel genuine 1920s glitz and glamour. Saying goodbye will be a difficult task for many loyal fans who stuck with the show since the beginning (and even those who jumped onboard a bit later). For those who are feeling down about it ending, in the words of the Dowager Countess, “Don’t be defeatist dear, it’s very middle class.”