There’s a pall over Downton Abbey as we greet Season 3. Despite our long-awaited anticipation of a lavish, happy wedding, it quickly turns into a bittersweet affair with everyone pocketing morsels of joy where they could. Shirley Maclaine pulls off the nouveau riche American pretty well and brings a level of levity to the cliché. Maggie Smith’s pallor mirrored the downbeat mood, and her jibes didn’t rise to their usual hilarity. So, the contrast of wits was lacking.

Upstairs, the men held the higher moral ground. While, it was the women’s strength of character that dominated Downstairs. In the end, it’s an uppity soap opera. There will be bumps along the road. Still, glad it’s back.

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