PODCAST! – Looking Back at “Downton Abbey” (The CPU! Goodbye to Downton, Part Two, MAJOR SPOILERS) + The Best Written TV (#43) + The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Favorites (#44)

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Downton Abbey,” aired in the United States on public TV, specifically on PBS, from 2010-2016.

What: “Downton Abbey,” the story of the life and times of a fictional lord, his family, his servants, and his estate in Yorkshire, England, in the early twentieth century (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/synopsis.html).

When: The show aired in its entirety on PBS or public broadcasting from 2010 to 2016.

Where: The show is set Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, and spans the years 1912-1926.

Why: Downton Abbey is so popular among the CPU! panelists who have covered it, we couldn’t say goodbye with just one podcast episode.  In addition, Downton Abbey has been influential enough in its time to make two best-of lists being covered by CPU!  So, we felt we really needed one more deep-dive discussion and one more tip of the hat to say a proper goodbye to this wonderful drama.

How – as in How Much Do We Love this Show?!

Couch Potatoes Unite!’s Complete Downton Abbey Coverage

Season Four’s Written Recap

Season Five’s Podcast

Season Six’s Podcast

Our Downton Abbey panel of fans and enthusiasts of varying degrees – Kristen (L), Krista, Stacey, Spencer and Kristin T. – could not leave Downton behind forever without spending quality time saying a long and (mostly) loving goodbye to this show, which has been in our lives for six years. After our season/series 6 discussion, we decided to reconvene to discuss the show as a whole, including all of its ups and the occasional downs, for part two of our two-part CPU! series in which Couch Potatoes Unite! says goodbye to this fantastic program. In this second part, our panelists delve deep, reminiscing about what we loved and we did not like as much from Downton’s six seasons and about whether we think this series will hold up over time or whether it was a bit of lightning in a bottle, appropriate for the first half of the 2010s, even as the show hearkened back 90 years.

This second part of our two-part Downton goodbye was recorded on May 7, 2016, and there are, without doubt, major spoilers.  Give it a listen, and tell us what you think!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, and/or our Stitcher Radio channel to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Also: we now have Instagram! (@couchpotatoesunite) and a Pinterest (@cpupodcast). Find us there, if these social media platforms rock your respective socks.  We plan to get groovy on the interwebs elsewhere very soon as well – subscribe, follow, like, and review to stay on top of our newest developments.

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, we will be publishing another “Looking Back” episode, this time reminiscing about sudsy formerly Sunday soap opera Desperate Housewives, featuring some familiar voices and a brand new moderator (while CPU! Chief CP Kylie sits in as a panelist, for an unusual twist). Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

Our Downton Abbey panel recommends the show to lovers of period dramas; one panelist called the show “the right way to do a period drama.”  The panel also recommends Downton to Anglophiles, whether you live in England or not, as well as to those who simply appreciate quality television and quality drama, as Downton is replete with beautiful cinematography, settings, and costumes; high quality performances; and attention to detail with respect to history. Those who do not enjoy slower-moving, deliberative dramas like Downton will probably not enjoy it.  Most of the panel also felt that the show is best lived through once, unless the second viewing is with someone watching it for the first time, though one panelist thought she might revisit it in years to come.  In any event, all of the panelists enjoyed the six-season and fourteen-year journey of these characters, and if you have any proclivity toward shows of similar ilk, you likely will too.  The entire series is available to stream on Amazon Prime (season six has not yet been released to the service, though).

Did you watch Downton?  Let us know in the comments, and tell us what you thought of any or all of its six seasons!  And stay tuned!  Though our Downton coverage is primarily done, don’t be surprised if it makes an appearance or two in coming discussions, from time to time.  CPU! has some great plans to expand our panel formats in new and exciting ways. Details coming soon (as we work them out)! 🙂

 

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iTunes PODCAST – Downton Abbey, Series/Season Six, Part One (MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded on April 9, 2016, our panel– including moderator Kylie, Kristen L, Krista, Stacey, Spencer, and Kristin T–is Around the Water Cooler and discussing season 6 of Downton Abbey in the first part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! says goodbye to Downton. If you are not caught up on Downton, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Downton Abbey” – The Season 6 Recap (Part One; MAJOR SPOILERS)

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Downton Abbey,” aired in the United States on public TV, specifically on PBS, from 2010-2016.

What: “Downton Abbey,” the story of the life and times of a fictional lord, his family, his servants, and his estate in Yorkshire, England, in the early twentieth century (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/synopsis.html).

When: The season six – and series – finale aired on PBS, Sunday, March 6, 2016, at 9:00 PM.

Where: The show is set Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom.  The sixth season was set in the mid to late 1920s, the Jazz Age.

Why: I am an Anglophile through and through, and people were gushing about this show; I became one of those people, in fact. I also enjoy Dame Maggie Smith in just about everything, and her turn as the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, aficionado of acidic one-liners, is worth the watch alone.  I also have a few friends who also became converted gushers, and they joined me around the water cooler for this podcast!

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

For a recap of season 4, read here.

And to listen to our previous podcast covering Series/Season Five:

Downton Abbey fans: our beloved series has come to an end.  This dramatic study of the lushness of the English aristocracy in the early, Edwardian twentieth century, and our collective glimpses into the Crawleys, have come to a close with the airing of the show’s final Christmas special.  While the lives of our dear characters above and below stairs were still met with a dash of scandal and uneasy speculation into the status of the upper class – as well as into the overall evolution of the socioeconomic classes in general – as the modern world approached, season/series six served to give fans some satisfyingly happy endings for most of the Abbey residents, even though some of the story lines may have been rushed and even contrived toward the finish line, as noted by some of our panelists.

Speaking of, our returning panelists Kristen (L), Krista, and Stacey joined two new panelists, Spencer and Kristin T., to discuss the finale of Downton for part one of a two-part CPU! series in which Couch Potatoes Unite! says our own protracted goodbye to this lovely drama.  In this first part, our panelists delve deep into recapping Downton’s final season, in which several characters found love and/or experienced their dreams coming true before the characters’ and the viewing audience’s eyes.  In the second part, which our panel will record when we reconvene in May, CPU!’s Downton Abbey panel will engage in one of our “Looking Back” discussions, during which we will reflect upon Downton Abbey as a whole and whether we think this series will hold up over time or whether it was a bit of lightning in a bottle, appropriate for the first half of the 2010s, even as the show hearkened back 90 years.

In season six, it is fair to say that all of the characters, from the servants’ quarters to the drawing rooms, experienced ups and downs to various degrees of storytelling success as the series wrapped up, though our panel particularly noted that the season suffered from choppy pacing as Mr. Fellowes barreled toward the end of the story he created.  Thus, in this chapter “Around the Water Cooler,” or, perhaps, more appropriately, around the tea table, our Downton panel examines each of the main characters and discusses how we felt about the show’s swansong series, including the parting gift of its final Christmas special.

This first part of our two-part Downton goodbye was recorded on April 9, 2016, and there are, without doubt, major spoilers.  Give it a listen, and tell us what you think!

This new episode will be something of a rarity for us in this spring season, during which several of our regular panelists are undergoing huge life changes: new jobs, new babies, and various versions of spring breaks.  In addition, many of the shows we regularly cover in podcast format will be airing season finales in the next two months, so we’ll be checking into some of our repeat panels with extended show coverage during that time.  In the meantime, we have a host of new offerings on our plate, including revisits for How to Get Away with Murder and the X-Files miniseries, a look back at Desperate Housewives, and new panels are also in the works (can someone say Jessica Jones and the DC Television Universe?). You won’t want to miss them!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, and/or our Stitcher Radio channel to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Also: we now have Instagram! (@couchpotatoesunite) and a Pinterest (@cpupodcast). Find us there, if these social media platforms rock your respective socks.  We plan to get groovy on the interwebs elsewhere very soon as well – subscribe, follow, like, and review to stay on top of our newest developments.

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) Will Mary (Michelle Dockery) find out about Marigold?  Will Mary and Edith (Laura Carmichael) ever reconcile their differences?

ANSWER: Though not one of Mary’s smarter or quicker deductions, she learned via verbal clues from Anna (Joanne Froggatt) as well as through eavesdropping that Marigold is, in fact, Edith’s illegitimate child.  In one of Mary’s most predictable and cruelest moments, she then used this information to sabotage Edith’s blossoming relationship with Bertie Pelham, which temporarily derailed Edith’s potential marriage to him. This act of cruelty led to the row of the series, when Edith finally confronted Mary about her constant vitriol, resulting in Edith straightforwardly calling Mary a “bitch.”  Though spectacular, this fight, along with Edith’s reluctant attendance at Mary’s pending nuptials to Henry, finally allowed the sisters to reconcile or to, at least, reach some sort of coexistence, which had never before been seen on this show.

2) Will Mary finally settle on a suitor, whether the driver in the Christmas special or someone else?  Or, will she finally take solace in her own independence, since she’s been helping to run Downton with her father and brother-in-law, Tom Branson (Allen Leech)?

ANSWER: Mary was reluctant to commit to the driver, Henry, especially when one of Henry’s race car driving friends met his death on the race track.  The audience learns that the risk to Henry and the possibility of his own death reminded her too starkly of Matthew (Dan Stevens) and the fact that he lost his life in a car crash at the end of season three.  In the end, however, Henry gave up the sport, shaken as he was by the death of his friend, and opened a used car sales business with Tom before the end of the season.

3) Did Branson really take Sybbie and move to America?

ANSWER: He did, but he came back.  Tom realized that Downton was his home, which came as a bit of a surprise to him, though not necessarily to the family he left behind and to which he returned.

4) Who really killed Mr. Green?  Will the Bates finally be acquitted?  Will they be able to have a happy ending?

ANSWER: The culprit was not identified: a passer-by? An acquaintance? We will never know for sure, but the Bates’ (Froggatt, Brendan Coyle) were acquitted.  What’s more, Anna, with the help of some procedure proffered by a physician known by Mary that Anna saw in secret, was able to conceive and have a baby.  The Bates’ dreams came true.

5) Will Daisy (Sophie McShera) continue her education with Molesley (Kevin Doyle)?  Or, will she want to move away as others have to better herself?  Or, will she finally consent to run the farm with her father-in-law?

ANSWER: Not only did Daisy continue her studies under the tutelage of Molesley, she took her exams and passed, which led to a career change for Molesley, as he was offered a permanent teaching position at the Abbey school (pending the passage of his own entrance exams).  In the end, she decided not to move away but, instead, to move with Mr. Mason to his new farm after nearly endangering his livelihood by challenging the purchasers of the estate that formerly maintained, ensuring his eviction. Fortunately, Downton was in need of a new groundskeeper and pig farmer.  Daisy ultimately suffered from a large case of open mouth/insert foot syndrome this season. Also, footman Andy had something of a thing for her, which she reciprocated only after he withdrew his affection for a time.  In the end, she, Andy, and Mr. Mason plan to have a happy farm life together raising pigs.

6) Is Barrow (Rob James-Collier) turning over a new leaf?

ANSWER: He was beginning to turn over a new leaf, but at the start of the season, it was too little, too late.  Robert (Hugh Bonneville) began to consider cuts to staff again, and he and Carson (Jim Carter) agreed that Barrow, with all of his past exploits to consider and with an eye on other employment, was the candidate ripe for the axing. In fact, they intimated as much to an approval-seeking Barrow at every opportunity, so Barrow made a big show of his job seeking, and Robert and Carson patiently waited for him to make his transfer.  Though Barrow temporarily left, the change did not suit him, as he was no longer serving a large household.  In addition, the turn in his fortune left him distraught, and he attempted suicide near the end of the season.  Fortunately, Anna and Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) were able to find him and call the physician in time, saving his life.  This caused a ripple of guilt to mildly agitate Robert and Carson, but Barrow’s temporary departure was on good terms.  Barrow was asked back to help at Christmas, and just in time, as Carson developed something he called palsy, which caused him to have tremors in his hands and other extremities.  Carson, sadly, was forced into retirement as a result, but Mary was able to convince Robert to consider Barrow for the position of butler, which he was offered and graciously accepted. Barrow had a happy ending! Though, Carson’s was less than joyous.

7) Are Rose (Lily James) and Atticus gone for good?

ANSWER: Well, they were gone to America for most of season six, but they did manage to make it back for Mary and Edith’s weddings.  They’ve also had a baby.  They left her behind in America.

8) When will the show begin next season?  Will we see the effects of the stock market crash of 1929 in the USA, and will it have an effect on Downton, as Cora’s (Elizabeth McGovern) money may very well be tied up in the American markets?

ANSWER: Series six started in 1926, shortly after the events ending series five.  The timeline within the show did not advance much during the sixth season, and we certainly did not reach 1929 or see any transatlantic economic effects.

9) Will the Dowager Countess Violet (Maggie Smith) survive the series?  Will she or Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton) live out their days as best friends, or will they consent to winter courtships in the end?

ANSWER: Violet is hearty, and she remained loyal to Isobel, who ultimately agreed to marry Dickie Merton; in fact, Violet took on Dickie’s horrid daughter-in-law on Isobel’s behalf, after she attempted to ward off Isobel and protect her new found fortune at every turn. Isobel thought Lord Merton’s life was threatened by illness at the time, but, to her credit, she still wanted to marry him when his anemia was ruled to be non-life threatening by the local physician.

10) Where will our family finally land in the end?

ANSWER:

  • Robert and Cora remained happily married and prepared for their twilight years in their large, slightly emptier nest.
  • Cora was elected president of the hospital council, unseating Violet and her unpopular vote to keep Downton’s hospital as is, rather than to merge it with the county hospital from York.
  • Mary married Henry and became pregnant.  She also reconciled with Edith after maliciously sabotaging Edith’s relationship to Bertie Pelham.
  • Edith married Bertie, with his and his domineering mother’s full knowledge of Marigold.  What’s more, Bertie inherited a title and land from a distant cousin now deceased; he became marquess, ranking Edith at a higher level of nobility than Robert, an Earl.
  • Tom dallied with the editor of Edith’s newspaper and opened a used car sales business with Henry.
  • Violet consented begrudgingly to old age and the changing times but remained steadfastly loyal to Isobel, who agreed to marry Dickie Merton.
  • Carson and Hughes (Phyllis Logan) entered married life bumpily, with Carson criticizing Hughes’ every domestic move.  In the end, though, Carson developed palsy, which signaled the end of his career at Downton and the need for his reliance on his lovable but prickly wife.
  • Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) opened her bed and breakfast, though it was temporarily plagued by scandal as a house of ill repute with Downton’s apparently healthy paparazzi.  Business recovered, and she also seemed to get on well with Mr. Mason.
  • Daisy agreed to move to Mr. Mason’s farm with Andy to raise pigs and passed her exams.
  • Molesley became a teacher and continued his flirtation with Baxter.  Baxter agreed to testify against the man who raked her into scandal with her former employer, but, in the end, he confessed without her needing to testify.
  • The Bates were acquitted.  Anna had her baby in Mary’s bed.
  • Robert got a new dog.
  • Barrow became Downton’s butler to replace Carson.

PARTING SHOTS:

By consensus of the panel, Downton Abbey still did not maintain the same level of storytelling quality as it did in its first few seasons, but the podcast panel universally enjoyed the show’s final season much more than the fifth season, even as some panelists found the writing contrived and/or the pacing choppier than in other seasons.  We collectively continued to find the characters endlessly interesting, eternally English (minus Cora), and the art direction, cinematography, and costumes breathtaking.  In the end, our podcast panel felt that most of our characters’ ends made logical sense, even if they were rushed (see: Mary) and were thrilled that they were, for the most part, ultimately happy (except one panelist, who couldn’t turn off the part of his brain that knew, in real life, not all endings are happy; he was not as thrilled as the others).  Some panelists even wanted to see an epilogue or time jump to gain a glimpse into the later lives of our characters, and some panelists also saw glimmers of story possibility and loose threads that could serve to be the foundation of a movie or reunion special in the future. In all cases, however, our panelists, your moderator included, feel a certain mixture of elation and satisfaction with the ending and sadness that the journey of this particular program(me) has come to an end.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Downton Abbey has officially ended, but the CPU! Downton Abbey podcast panel is not quite finished!  We will be recording a second part to this mini podcast series saying goodbye to Downton, in which we will Look Back at the series as a whole, to be published in early May. Stay tuned, subscribe, like, and follow to keep abreast of that publication, and tell us what you think in the comment forums.  What’s more, review us on iTunes or Stitcher Radio, and check out our other podcast episodes related to a growing array of other TV shows! Until then!

iTunes PODCAST – Downton Abbey (MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded on June 7, 2015, our panel– including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Krista, and Stacey–is Around the Water Cooler and discussing season 5 of Downton Abbey. If you are not caught up on Downton, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler – Downton Abbey – The Season 5 Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

THE SPECS:

Who:  “Downton Abbey,” airs on public TV, specifically on PBS, Winter Sundays at 9:00 PM.

What: “Downton Abbey,” the story of the life and times of a fictional lord, his family, his servants, and his estate in Yorkshire, England, in the early twentieth century (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/synopsis.html).

When: The season five finale aired on PBS, Sunday, March 1, 2015, at 9:00 PM.

Where: The show is set Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom.  The most recent season was set in the mid to late 1920s, the Jazz Age.

Why: I am an Anglophile through and through, and people were gushing about this show.  I also enjoy Dame Maggie Smith in just about everything, and her turn as the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, aficionado of acidic one-liners, is worth the watch alone.

How – as in How Was It? – THOUGHTS

For a recap of season 4, read here.

Another season of Downton Abbey has come and gone and, with it, another look into the lushness of the English aristocracy in the early twentieth century.  Our glimpses into the Crawleys this year, though less tragic overall, were still met with scandal and uneasy speculation into the status of the upper class as the modern world approached. Many characters dallied with love, both of a taboo and socially acceptable nature, while others were forced to accept the rise of the middle class, even as the aristocracy’s otherwise insulated niche crumbled with the passing of time.  Though the fourth season offered a maudlin sense of rebuilding in the wake of deaths of two major characters, the fifth unevenly addressed each character’s metaphysical struggle to hang onto something familiar, to some sense of safety, as the world around them changed.  To wit, rest in peace, poor Isis.

All of the characters, from the servants’ quarters to the drawing rooms, experienced some level of change and upheaval this season, to various degrees of storytelling success.  While this fifth season lacked some emotional power, a plethora of touching moments as well as moments during which the viewer was left questioning or cringing remained.  As a result, I asked a panel of fellow Couch Potatoes how they felt about the fifth season of Downton Abbey “Around the Water Cooler,” or, perhaps, more appropriately, around the tea table; in this discussion, we examine each of the main characters and speculate upon what their journeys might look like in the sixth season, which was announced to be the series’ last.

This podcast was recorded on June 7, 2015. Listen and let us know what you think; comment below as to whether you agree or disagree.

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) What was Edith (Laura Carmichael) thinking?  And will her parents find out?  Will her grandmother and aunt find out that she has summoned her baby to Downton?

Answer: Everyone found out eventually about Edith’s child but Mary, which was deliberate on the part of Robert and Cora.  Edith has simply fallen in love with her daughter, now named Marigold, and can’t bear the thought of being parted from her.  As we discuss in the podcast, it seems that Marigold, who is now a ward of the Abbey, has become meaning and purpose for Edith’s life.

2) Who will Mary (Michelle Dockery) choose in the end?  I vote the firecracker critic of the upper classes, but the childhood friend, Tony, is nice too.

Answer: Mary chose neither of these suitors.  She engaged in a scandalous weekender with Tony but ultimately decided, after bedding with him, that he was not for her.  The other man has since left the country or at least the countryside, but a third potential dalliance has emerged at the end of the season that Mary seems to fancy.  Will she now be drawn to him?

3) Will Bates’ (Brendan Coyle and Joanna Froggatt) rash actions come back to haunt him?  He’s a nice man with an astounding capacity for anger and darkness.

Answer: Both Mr. and Mrs. Bates are now under suspicion of the murder of Mr. Green, Tony’s valet, who raped Mrs. Bates in the fourth season, after taking turns being under suspicion by the authorities all season.  Did either of them really commit the murder, though?

4) Carson and Mrs. Hughes (Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan) are so cute.  Let’s see something come of that!

Answer: CARSON PROPOSED, AND HUGHES SAID YES!  Let’s hope this union stays happy.

5) Who is Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) really?

Answer: She knew Barrow as a child and was caught stealing from a previous employer when she fell on hard times, though she admitted her offense and served some time for it.  She admitted all of this to Cora.  In addition, Barrow seemed to accept Baxter’s overtures of help for his own troubles by the end of the season.  Molesley is also quite taken with her.

6) Will Rose’s (Lily James) illicit affair resurface?

Answer: Her affair with the African American gentleman in the fourth season was not mentioned once this season, though she did end up marrying a Jewish gentleman named Atticus.  She’s allegedly moving to America, as the actress portraying her, Lily James, has entered the world of film acting.

7) Where does the family go from here?

Answer: They still seem to be fumbling toward the future, powerless to stop the onslaught of time.  What will finally become of the Crawleys by the end of the next and last season?

New Questions – Raised by the Podcast Panel

1) Will Mary find out about Marigold?  Will Mary and Edith ever reconcile their differences?

2) Will Mary finally settle on a suitor, whether the driver in the Christmas special or someone else?  Or, will she finally take solace in her own independence, since she’s been helping to run Downton with her father and brother-in-law, Tom Branson (Allen Leech)?

3) Did Branson really take Sybbie and move to America?

4) Who really killed Mr. Green?  Will the Bates finally be acquitted?  Will they be able to have a happy ending?

5) Will Daisy (Sophie McShera) continue her education with Molesley (Kevin Doyle)?  Or, will she want to move away as others have to better herself?  Or, will she finally consent to run the farm with her father-in-law?

6) Is Barrow (Rob James-Collier) turning over a new leaf?

7) Are Rose and Atticus gone for good?

8) When will the show begin next season?  Will we see the effects of the stock market crash of 1929 in the USA, and will it have an effect on Downton, as Cora’s money may very well be tied up in the American markets?

9) Will the Dowager Countess Violet (Maggie Smith) survive the series?  Will she or Cousin Isobel (Penelope Wilton) live out their days as best friends, or will they consent to winter courtships in the end?

10) Where will our family finally land in the end?

PARTING SHOTS:

By consensus of the panel, Downton Abbey still doesn’t have the same level of storytelling quality as it did in its first few seasons, but the stories of some our characters remain compelling, even as others fall flat.  The characters are endlessly interesting, eternally English (minus Cora), and the art direction, cinematography, and costumes are breathtaking.  How will the series end and pay off loyal viewers?  What can we hope to see next year?  Our podcast panel mostly wanted any end to make logical sense for our characters and, hopefully, to be ultimately happy.  Some even wanted to see an epilogue or time jump to have a glimpse into the later lives of our characters.  Whatever happens, we will all be tuning into to watch the swan song of Downton Abbey.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Downton Abbey was renewed for a sixth and final season/series slated to premiere in the United States on PBS on January 4, 2016.

Progress Report: End of Season Scorecard for Shows Covered By This Blog (Long-Running)

Based on reliable sources, including TVLine, the A.V. Club, and TV Guide, here are the current statuses of shows covered by this blog.  This list does not include up and coming shows to be reviewed or shows not listed on the “What I’m Currently Watching” page (such as The Simpsons).

This particular list comprises the End of Season Scorecard for Long-Running shows covered by this blog, as this viewer is behind in the whole TV watching department. Keep in mind that, as a one-woman operation, I’m still finishing up shows I’m watching, and there are reviews coming, but for now, I offer you the skinny on favorites this season.

2014-2015 TV Season (Active Currently)

*True Blood (HBO, Summer Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Season Seven was its last.  The Series Finale aired in August 2014.  Review to come.

*Witches of East End (Lifetime, Summer Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Canceled.  Review to Come.

*Bones (FOX, Fall Thursdays at 8:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Eleven.

*Sleepy Hollow (FOX, Fall Mondays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Three.

*New Girl (FOX, Fall Tuesdays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Five.

*The Mindy Project (FOX, Fall Tuesdays at 9:30 PM)

Canceled by FOX but picked up by Hulu and Renewed as a Hulu Original for Season Four.

*Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (ABC, Fall Tuesdays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Three.

*Person of Interest (CBS, Fall Tuesdays at 10:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Five.

*Glee (FOX, Premiering Midseason)

Series Finale Aired March 20, 2015.

*Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, Fall Thursdays at 8:00 PM)

Jumped the shark.  Review to come.

*Once Upon a Time (ABC, Fall Sundays at 8:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Five.

*Revenge (ABC, Fall Sundays at 10:00 PM)

Officially Canceled.  Review to Come.  Series Finale Aired May 10, 2015.

*The Vampire Diaries (CW, Fall Thursdays at 8:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Seven, despite the fact that Nina Dobrev – the lead – left the show.

*The Originals (CW, Fall Mondays at 8:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Three.

*Supernatural (CW, Fall Tuesdays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Eleven.

*American Horror Story (FX, Fall Wednesdays at 10:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Five.  Without Jessica Lange.

*Reign (CW, Fall Thursdays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Three.

*Grimm (NBC, Fall Fridays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Five.

*Doctor Who (BBC America, Currently on Hiatus)

Series 8 concluded with the Christmas Special on December 25, 2014.  Officially Renewed for Series Nine to premiere in August 2015.

*Downton Abbey (PBS, Winter Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Season Six will be its last.  Premieres in January 2016.

*Resurrection (ABC, Fall Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Canceled.  Review to come.

*About a Boy (NBC, Fall Tuesdays at 9:30 PM)

Officially Canceled.  Review to come.

*The 100 (CW, Fall Wednesdays at 9:00 PM)

Officially Renewed for Season Three.

*Fargo (FX, On Hiatus)

Renewed for Season 2

*Game of Thrones (HBO, Spring Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Season 5 currently airing.  Officially Renewed for Season Six.

—–

Stay tuned!  As the summer progresses, I will share the roster of new pilots coming to the networks and what appeals!  For now, summer is a great time to catch up on TV. There will be blogs and podcasts galore.  So I hope!

Progress Report: May Sweeps

Based on reliable sources, including TVLine, the A.V. Club, and TV Guide, here are the current statuses of shows covered by this blog.  This list does not include up and coming shows to be reviewed or shows not listed on the “What I’m Currently Watching” page (such as The Simpsons).  A final tally of possible renewals and cancellations will also be posted in June, as final decisions about some shows will no doubt be made this month after finales have aired.

*True Blood (HBO, Summer Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Season 7, Summer 2014, will be the final season.

*Bones (FOX, Fall Mondays at 8:00 PM)

Full season 9 ordered; Renewed for Season 10

*Sleepy Hollow (FOX, Fall Mondays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewed for Season 2

*New Girl (FOX, Fall Tuesdays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 3 Ordered; Renewed for Season 4

*The Mindy Project (FOX, Fall Tuesdays at 9:30 PM)

Full Season 2 Ordered; Renewed for Season 3

*Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (ABC, Fall Tuesdays at 8:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Likely

*Person of Interest (CBS, Fall Tuesdays at 10:00 PM)

Full Season 3 Ordered; Renewed for Season 4

*Revolution (NBC, Fall Wednesdays at 8:00 PM)

Full Season 2 Ordered; Renewal = Unlikely

*Glee (FOX, Fall Thursdays at 9:00 PM)

Season 6 (2014-2015) will be its last.

*Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, Fall Thursdays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 10 Ordered; Renewal = All But Guaranteed

*The Crazy Ones (CBS, Fall Thursdays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered;  Renewal = ?

*The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC, Fall Thursdays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Pre-Ordered and Contractually Obligated to Air;  Renewal = Officially Cancelled and Off the List (Review Posted)

*Once Upon a Time (ABC, Fall Sundays at 8:00 PM) –> MUST SEE FAVORITE

Full Season 3 Ordered; Renewal = All But Guaranteed

*Revenge (ABC, Fall Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 3 Ordered; Renewal = Likely

*The Vampire Diaries (CW, Fall Thursdays at 8:00 PM) –> MUST SEE FAVORITE

Full Season 5 Ordered; Renewed for Season 6

*The Originals (CW, Fall Tuesdays at 8:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewed for Season 2

*Witches of East End (Lifetime, Fall Sundays at 10:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Aired; Renewed for Season 2

*Supernatural (CW, Fall Tuesdays at 9:00 PM) –> MUST SEE FAVORITE

Full Season 9 Ordered; Renewed for Season 10

*The Tomorrow People (CW, Fall Wednesdays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Unlikely

*American Horror Story (FX, Fall Wednesdays at 10:00 PM)

Full Season 3 Aired; Renewed for Season 4

*Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC, Fall Thursdays at 8:00 PM) 

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Officially Canceled.  Review to Come.

*Reign (CW, Fall Thursdays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewed for Season 2

*Grimm (NBC, Fall Fridays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 3 Ordered; Renewed for Season 4

*Dracula (NBC, Fall Fridays at 10:00 PM) –> 6 episode trial

Full Season 1 Aired; Renewal = Unlikely

*Doctor Who (BBC America, Currently on Hiatus)

Full Series 8 & 9 Ordered; Premieres August 2014

*Almost Human (FOX, Fall/Winter Mondays at 8:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Aired; Renewal = Officially Canceled and Off the List (Review Posted)

*Downton Abbey (PBS, Winter Sundays at 9:00 PM) –> ON HIATUS

Full Series 4 Aired; Renewed for Series 5

*Intelligence (CBS, Winter Mondays at 10:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Aired; Renewal = Unlikely

*Resurrection (ABC, Spring Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Likely

*Star-Crossed (CW, Winter Mondays at 8:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Unlikely

*About a Boy (NBC, Spring Tuesdays at 9:00 PM) –> 4 episode trial

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Likely

*Believe (NBC, Spring Sundays at 9:00 PM)

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Unlikely

*Crisis (NBC, Spring Sundays at 10:00 PM) –> 4 episode trial

Full Season 1 Ordered; Renewal = Unlikely

ON DECK: The 100, Game of Thrones, Fargo