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 Posted:   Jan 6, 2014 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   Ralph   (Member)

Agree. The first hour was difficult to get through, morose as Lady Mary had to be, and everyone having to “talk” about Matthew’s and O’Brien’s departures. Never planning for either Julian begged both to allow him to write them out as part of the beginning of the 4th season but they refused and the show’s “bible” had to be revised. What I find intriguing is the solicitous attitude Bates & Anna have for Moseley. I didn’t buy into the Bates & Anna sleuthing last season that Vera killed herself. She was too venomous to do that, yes? In case viewers forgot, we see Vera falling to the floor in Season 2, which means there’s been some sort of sequence of events filmed. So I’m not convinced it’s entirely over, especially concerning Moseley’s behavior, which remains off kilter. He seems baffled by the kindness of Bates, whose job and wife Moseley wanted in previous seasons. Julian isn’t the type of writer to forget his characters’ secrets — as in O’Brien — and somewhere down the road I’d gamble on a revelation about Moseley’s intolerance to liquor. Somehow I don’t think his boozed up act is supposed to be amusing as much as a dangling issue.

 
 Posted:   Jan 13, 2014 - 10:41 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Last night, after the silly Golden Globes, I re-watched the second hour of the season premiere, and liked it more than I had last week, and then watched episode 2, which was certainly far more interesting than episode 1! More interesting (sometimes criminal) characters and twists in the plot, and I'm looking forward to the January 28 release of the Blu-ray set, which I have on pre-order at Amazon, and, as in the past, I'll probably watch the entire season in 1 or 2 days when I get it!

 
 Posted:   Jan 13, 2014 - 8:00 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

My wife and I watched Seasons 1 through 3 in about a week and a half, loving every single second of it. Then we watched Episode One of Season 4, and just looked at one another is disbelief. What happened? Dull, dull, dull. Episode Two was an improvement, but nothing by comparison to the three seasons that came before. We'll hang in, but I sure hope we get something far more interesting that Rose and Braithwaite (who's certainly no O'Brien). Even if it tanks this year, I really loved what came before it, so I'm grateful for that.

 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 12:21 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

PS: As you've probably noticed, I pretty much agree with you. I have each of the first 3 seasons on Blu-ray and the 4th on Amazon pre-order due out in 2 weeks, and the premiere episode last week was such a cold shower. But I think that most of us were so involved in the Matthew/Mary central romance, so there HAD to be a great letdown, and I look at the first 2 hours as mostly exposition to get us, hopefully, to the good stuff. I'm not that keen on having to deal with this monster of a rapist, and we all know that, as Anna whimpered, Bates would kill the guy if he knew. So it's going to be a big issue in some of the subsequent episodes, but I'm sure you'll agree that we hope they don't take the entire season to reconcile it! Yuck! I was sort of hoping that Thomas might be changing for the better based on the last couple of episodes of season 3, but we know now that nothing there has changed and that he's moving himself directly into Bates' crosshairs -- would like to see Bates take out Thomas AND the rapist, although the young actor playing Thomas, as himself, is quite personable (I've already made 2 separate DVD-Rs with lots of network profiles of the show as well as interviews with several members of the cast -- there's even a 30 minute program about the costumes hosted by Shirley MacLaine). Plus I bought the Blu-ray of "Secrets of Highclere Castle" after taking it from PBS and putting it on DVDs for friends, and the behind the scenes book should be arriving in the next few days. And let's not forget the 2 soundtracks! Honestly, I really don't buy EVERYTHING, but still quite a lot, so I certainly hope it gets better … soon!

 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 7:11 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Is it just me, or does it seem that Season 4, so far at least, isn't much better than an average episode of "The EastEnders"? The rape scene seemed to be a very tired soap opera contrivance, a really lazy thing for the writers to come up with. I have a strong suspicion that this season is the beginning of the end for this show, which I'd been a fan of up to this time, but I think its time may be passing. (And wasn't the guy who plays the rapist once on "The EastEnders"?)

 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 7:57 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Rory: Re: Is it just me, or does it seem that Season 4, so far at least, isn't much better than an average episode of "The EastEnders"?

Well, those of us who have pre-ordered the entire 4th season on DVD or Blu-ray should know the answer to that in about 2 weeks! Hope you're wrong!

 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)


Hang on in there folks. It DOES get better..MUCH better. You won't be disappointed.

In the first two episodes, it's as if Julian Fellowes was saying : "Erm...just talk amongst yourselves folks, whilst I think of a plot.". Then he decided to shock us and go for the tired old soap plot in Episode: 3.

After this, he pulled himself together, and got back on track.

As you would expect, things do get resolved and the new characters are worth waiting for.

By the time you get to the Christmas Special, you won't want it to end....especially when Dame Maggie and Dame Shirley (sic) are striking sparks off each other.

Just sit back and enjoy !




This bloke's not bad either !



 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   RoryR   (Member)

Good! Can't wait.

 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 6:46 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Is it just me, or does it seem that Season 4, so far at least, isn't much better than an average episode of "The EastEnders"? The rape scene seemed to be a very tired soap opera contrivance, a really lazy thing for the writers to come up with. I have a strong suspicion that this season is the beginning of the end for this show, which I'd been a fan of up to this time, but I think its time may be passing. (And wasn't the guy who plays the rapist once on "The EastEnders"?)

Yes, Dennis.

 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 8:00 PM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)

Is it just me, or does it seem that Season 4, so far at least, isn't much better than an average episode of "The EastEnders"? The rape scene seemed to be a very tired soap opera contrivance, a really lazy thing for the writers to come up with. I have a strong suspicion that this season is the beginning of the end for this show, which I'd been a fan of up to this time, but I think its time may be passing. (And wasn't the guy who plays the rapist once on "The EastEnders"?)

I felt the rape scene was totally unecessary as a story line. This series has kept me and many others of the male and female persuasion spellbound for the last 2 plus years. To me, it cheapened it somewhat. I will continue to watch of course but I hope this story line ends quickly.

 
 Posted:   Jan 14, 2014 - 8:16 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

PS: As you've probably noticed, I pretty much agree with you. I have each of the first 3 seasons on Blu-ray and the 4th on Amazon pre-order due out in 2 weeks, and the premiere episode last week was such a cold shower. But I think that most of us were so involved in the Matthew/Mary central romance, so there HAD to be a great letdown, and I look at the first 2 hours as mostly exposition to get us, hopefully, to the good stuff. I'm not that keen on having to deal with this monster of a rapist, and we all know that, as Anna whimpered, Bates would kill the guy if he knew. So it's going to be a big issue in some of the subsequent episodes, but I'm sure you'll agree that we hope they don't take the entire season to reconcile it! Yuck! I was sort of hoping that Thomas might be changing for the better based on the last couple of episodes of season 3, but we know now that nothing there has changed and that he's moving himself directly into Bates' crosshairs -- would like to see Bates take out Thomas AND the rapist, although the young actor playing Thomas, as himself, is quite personable (I've already made 2 separate DVD-Rs with lots of network profiles of the show as well as interviews with several members of the cast -- there's even a 30 minute program about the costumes hosted by Shirley MacLaine). Plus I bought the Blu-ray of "Secrets of Highclere Castle" after taking it from PBS and putting it on DVDs for friends, and the behind the scenes book should be arriving in the next few days. And let's not forget the 2 soundtracks! Honestly, I really don't buy EVERYTHING, but still quite a lot, so I certainly hope it gets better … soon!

I posted before I read any of the responses. Yes, it seems we do agree. In the box set of Seasons 1 thru 3, SECRETS OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE is included as a separate Blu-ray. I haven't watch it, yet. I didn't know there was another score disc. Will have to download it. Hope the show gets it's mojo back, soon!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 12:08 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Is it just me, or does it seem that Season 4, so far at least, isn't much better than an average episode of "The EastEnders"? The rape scene seemed to be a very tired soap opera contrivance, a really lazy thing for the writers to come up with. I have a strong suspicion that this season is the beginning of the end for this show, which I'd been a fan of up to this time, but I think its time may be passing. (And wasn't the guy who plays the rapist once on "The EastEnders"?)

I felt the rape scene was totally unecessary as a story line. This series has kept me and many others of the male and female persuasion spellbound for the last 2 plus years. To me, it cheapened it somewhat. I will continue to watch of course but I hope this story line ends quickly.


I watched all of season four when I got the UK Blu-ray a couple of months ago. Yes, it took a while to find its moorings, but it does. I was petrified that they Anna storyline would become irritating, just as Bates in jail was ultimately irritating being carried on for so long. While I did enjoy all the episodes in one way or another, around episode four it all gets back to where it should be and there are some wonderful things in store for those watching. Not all great, but I haven't found any but season one all great.

 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)

Is it just me, or does it seem that Season 4, so far at least, isn't much better than an average episode of "The EastEnders"? The rape scene seemed to be a very tired soap opera contrivance, a really lazy thing for the writers to come up with. I have a strong suspicion that this season is the beginning of the end for this show, which I'd been a fan of up to this time, but I think its time may be passing. (And wasn't the guy who plays the rapist once on "The EastEnders"?)

I felt the rape scene was totally unecessary as a story line. This series has kept me and many others of the male and female persuasion spellbound for the last 2 plus years. To me, it cheapened it somewhat. I will continue to watch of course but I hope this story line ends quickly.


I watched all of season four when I got the UK Blu-ray a couple of months ago. Yes, it took a while to find its moorings, but it does. I was petrified that they Anna storyline would become irritating, just as Bates in jail was ultimately irritating being carried on for so long. While I did enjoy all the episodes in one way or another, around episode four it all gets back to where it should be and there are some wonderful things in store for those watching. Not all great, but I haven't found any but season one all great.


Thank you for the information Bruce. I am about to order my copy of season 4 and I look forward to the wonderful things you mention. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

I was shocked to see Ed Speleers in this show, looking way different than he did in Eragon.

 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I'm looking forward to things "evening out", as it were. The last episode (house party, Anna's attack, etc.) was more contrived throughout than any episode I've seen, although the Dowager had some great lines.

The Anna attack was unnecessary, especially since she doesn't want Bates to know for fear of what he would do that might see him go back to prison (!!!)

The poker games -- and the final result of same -- were a contrivance to make Edith's beau more acceptable to the family.

And hearkening back to the previous episode, Edna and Thomas contriving to blame Edna's ineptitude on Anna (and the uncharacteristic blaming from both the lady of the house and the lord of the manor) was ridiculously irritating and sad.


I certainly hope things right themselves.

That last episode seemed to be written to be confusing... with silly, uncharacteristic behavior on the part of the Lord and Lady of Downton (gambling, entertaining a houseful of people, opening the best of the wine as if they were "going out" -- i.e. leaving Downton -- when it's clear other plans are afoot).

 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I was shocked to see Ed Speleers in this show, looking way different than he did in Eragon.

He joined in Season 3 and had a major part in the story arc.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

I think some of you are being too hard on Mr. Fellowes concerning these initial episodes of Season 4. Clearly Matthew's tragic departure wasn't part of the original story evolution, so it was necessary to regroup. For me, the most interesting aspect of these initial episodes has been the emphasis on the social and economic transitions in Britain following WWI, which were fully realized in the aftermath of WWII. I think the series is going to be stronger than it would have been had Matthew not been killed.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 12:26 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

dp

 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 1:17 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I was shocked to see Ed Speleers in this show, looking way different than he did in Eragon.



I had to look up both to know what you were saying. I now know he is Jimmy on the show. Never heard of Eragon, until 30 seconds ago.

 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2014 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I think some of you are being too hard on Mr. Fellowes concerning these initial episodes of Season 4. Clearly Matthew's tragic departure wasn't part of the original story evolution, so it was necessary to regroup. For me, the most interesting aspect of these initial episodes has been the emphasis on the social and economic transitions in Britain following WWI, which were fully realized in the aftermath of WWII. I think the series is going to be stronger than it would have been had Matthew not been killed.

Saving Downton was still going to be a major evolution..."with" Matthew.

The Lord of Downton has been presumptuous too much -- his upbringing to blame, no doubt -- as to the fate of Downton, how the taxes are to be paid when it is NOT his decision. He's being extremely hardheaded about it when, an episode or so earlier, he was resigned to others taking charge.

I wallow in this series, so when two contiguous episodes leave me slightly seasick, I'm not being too hard...I'm being justifiably critical (consumer feedback).

 
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