someplaceovertherainbow asked: A few posts back you mentioned that you're beginning to think that the end of Downton is nowhere in sight and I have to say I think you're spot on. However, even though I am a huge fan of the show I have to say that this is not an idea I am entirely comfortable with. Too much of a good thing always leaves one wanting less and it's because I love the show that I don't want it to go on forever. I hope the powers that be know when the moment is right to draw the curtain... Food for thought...
Hi there :)
Eh, that’s a good question: how late is too late?
I mean, talking as someone who watches a fair amount of television I sometimes wonder. I’m a big (BIG) fan of The Good Wife, and it’s been 5 years now, more than 100 episodes, and I think the show is not only very strong still, but that this last one was probably the best season, and TGW only had good seasons if you ask me (it’s not like it’s perfect, but it’s great, great television). Castle is another good example of a long running show that still keps its game strong for a long time-although I’ll admit that the beginning of this season kind of bored me a little? I still have a lot of episodes to catch up with, which I’ll do in a bit :)
Generally I’m not one of these fans who necessarily sticks with the show till the end. I usually keep watching even when I don’t find the writing so compelling anymore, because I tend to become fond of the characters, but even that can last for so long. I guess with DA it was that way in S3 for me: I kept watching but wasn’t overall impressed. And then the CS of doom happened (not my definition, but I find it very apt) and mourning started, lol.
That’s why I have not watched S4 yet. I think I’m in the stage of wearing lilac at the moment in that regard :P
But of course there are many fans who, heartbroken as I was, accepted the change and embraced the new season and loved it. And others who liked it to a point, but still enjoyed the ride.
As I said, DA is still a huge phenomenon, and there’s a lot in it to like, so, of course, till JF is willing to go, and till at least part of the original cast are willing to stay, there’s no reason for ITV to shut it down.
So that’s truly a question we should ask to these who have watched the whole show. For how long should it last?
Looking back at past seasons, for me the 2011 CS was the highest moment of the show (as an episode), but of course back then I would’ve been gutted had the show ended right there. And the end of S3—3x08—felt like an ending in many ways, so I guess that could’ve been another good ending point?
What about the end of S4? Did that feel like an ending too?
But then, when you think about it, endings are new beginnings also, and new characters, new relationships, new dynamics and new scenarios can bring a breath of fresh air or keep the ride interesting even after many years.
So… what would you like to see at the end of DA? What’s the right end for you? I’m really curious now :)
Ohhh my! The endless possibilities that that question leaves me with.
I’m not entirely sure what I would like to see at the end of DA. Because I think like any story there is always the possibility that it could go on forever. Because things never have a clear cut beginning and end. It’s like a piece of cake that has been cut, there’s always something that has come before it and something that will come after.
I guess in the end I just don’t want a sloppy ending; an ending that is just tacked on because the show is no longer doing as well as it once was or an ending that makes us wish the end had been much sooner. Even if the ending is something that saddens viewers to begin with I think it’s much better to go out on a high than to hit a low and realise it’s too late and that there are things that can’t be undone.
I think it could have very well ended at the end of S2 with us all wondering and dreaming about the endless beautiful possibilities between Matthew and Mary. The same of course could never have been said for S3. An ending there would have been terrible because of the cliff hanger nature in which it finished.
And I think you’re spot on about S4. An ending there would have fit quite nicely. Not all the questions had answers to them which is something I quite like and I hope that when JF decides to end the show that he doesn’t madly try and tie up all the lose ends. I think it’s perfectly okay to leave your audience with questions and have them pondering the what ifs- it keeps your show alive long after the curtain has come down.
And then there’s the question of the time jumps. I mean logistically how long can this show keep going? Characters are aging quickly due to the nature of the show. Take into account Violet for example, her age puts here in her 80s which in the 1920s was quite amazing for people to reach that age, not impossible but not entirely common either. So in theory her character can’t last for much longer.
If it’s ITV though that brings about the axe on Downton I do hope that JF is given plenty of warning. A local show where I am, which I adore and funnily enough was once labelled as this country’s answer to Downton, was axed recently whilst the 2nd season is still airing and despite the fact that the third season had apparently already been written.
I hope that for Downton that JF and the other producers bring about the end of the show instead of the network bringing about the axe instead. However I am quite happy for that end to not be in sight just yet :P hehe