Downton Abbey: A New Era
The residents of Downton Abbey are living their happily ever after, at least most of them are. But of course without some conflict, the story would merely be a documentary about lovely homes and beautiful clothes. So “Downton Abbey: A New Era” is a tale of two country homes: the ancestral home of the Crawleys and a lovely beach chateau in France. The Dowager Countess of Grantham (Dame Maggie Smith), Granny to Lady Mary finds herself in possession of a French villa. As is typical of this family, intrigues abound in the usual upper crust ways as someone always has a secret to keep - and those secrets could bring down the family name. Meanwhile, back at the English estate Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) needs a new roof - so she reluctantly allows a movie to film in the grand old house, AirBnB style. Temperamental actors and awestruck staff members make for entertaining fodder as the Hollywood set encounters downstairs sensibilities. What “A New Era” has is a bevy of beloved characters spewing witty dialogue, charmingly engaged in playing out lighthearted drama in predictable but affectionate ways. That is the key to Downton's success; while there is strife, questionable heritage, and longing -again and again - the drama always sweetly entertains.