I’ll fully admit to binge watching the ‘Downton Abbey’ series with all of it’s ridiculous schemes and often over the top plot points. I turned a blind eye when the characters invited someone to a card game so Lady Mary and her cousin could steal a missing letter from his room in season seven. I didn’t complain when Daisy spent several seasons whining about the guilt she felt over getting married to someone she thought she didn’t love. Alas, that is just what the show was. Every moment of it a guilty pleasure of turn-your-brain-off romantic entertainment done so well that you didn’t care.
So, while I gladly paid $10 for a movie ticket to watch the new movie, I did so knowing that there would just be more of the same. And there was. Somehow, the creators managed to fill an entire season of the show into a two hour movie.
We pick up at Downton several years after the show ended. The King Queen are coming for a visit. This makes those living both downstairs and upstairs excited for the big event. Mary has grown tired of keeping Downton going. Edith has grown tired of putting together events for her husband. Carson has mostly enjoyed retirement. Anna and Mr. Bates have finally found their happiness.
But when the royal staff come to Downton and take over how to run things, the Downton staff are up in arms. They come up with a silly plot to get them out of the way so Mrs. Patmore can cook the King and Queen her own food and the Downton footman can be in the dining room to serve the food.
Meanwhile, there is a side plot with Grannie Violet (Maggie Smith) having another mild mannered beef with a distant relative. Violet and Isobel Crawley continue to trade barbs with each other even though the two obviously have grown to be great friends.
Like I said, it’s ridiculous at times but it is done so well that you won’t care. It’s just nice to have the gang together again. It’s more fast paced than the show, but only because the cast is so big and they feel the need to give each character their own moment.