Who Wants to Talk about Downton Abbey?

I don’t usually do this, but the season 3 finale of Downton Abbey came out last night and everyone seems to be talking about it right now. It’s a fascinating show from a historical standpoint, but there’s also a lot there to analyze from a gender or class standpoint. There’s also a good deal to think about from a religious standpoint (especially Sybil’s take on religion and the conflict over whether Tom and Sybil’s daughter should be Anglican or Catholic). Since it’s one of my favorite shows, and since I’m sure many of you are big fans, I thought I’d open the floor to whatever discussion you all might like.

***Spoilers***

Interesting angles for thought/discussion:

First, what do you think of the writers’ treatment of Sybil? For myself, I think the character had a lot of potential, but that at some point the authors dropped all that. It’s almost like after she got married they forgot she was a character who could do anything other than, you know, getting pregnant. I can think of a million ways I would rewrite Sybil.

Second, what do you think the writers are trying to do with Edith? I’m honestly not sure on that point, because her sudden interest in women’s work and in independence seemed completely and totally out of character as established in earlier seasons.

Third, I’m really curious what the writers are going to do with both Tom and Mary. They are both widowed and each has an infant child to raise. I really have no idea where the writers are going to take either of them.

And also, like I said, analyzing the show from the standpoint of class, gender, and/or religion is really fascinating.

Anyway, what thoughts do you have?

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.


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