The Dresses – How spectacular are those costumes! Especially the upstairs dresses! And how they have changed over the years in the story, from fabulous to wonderful to stupendous. Which era is better for gowns and embroidered frocks, I cannot say. They all have been beautiful. I will miss watching the women change 4-5 times a day for meals and every occasion in between.
The Furniture – I am fascinated by everything in the background – the overstuffed chairs, the straight back dining chairs, the loungers, the big soft beds, the colorful rugs, chests with a drawer for every item of clothing, that immense dining room table that seats 22 or more. I love all of it. Each little piece has a purpose all its own. One chair for reading, one lounge for fainting on, one table for tea service, and on and on.
The Accents – From the proper English spoken by the Grantham family to the Irish brogue of Tom Branson, the chauffeur/son-in-law to the Scotch tongue of Mrs. Hughes, downstairs housekeeper, all the languages spoken in the past by several of the characters are hinted at by the accents they use in 1900’s England. What a wonderful melting pot it becomes in one household both upstairs and downstairs.
The Kitchen – A lot happens in the castle kitchen and it is all very authentic to the time and station. How fascinating to see in detail how a true Victorian household was run from downstairs. And who wouldn’t fall in love with Mrs. Patmore on first sight? I am sure her bark is worse than her bite!
The Romance – There is actually a lot of romance and love among all the stories at Downton Abbey. I am enthralled by them all and am rooting for all to make it in good English style to the end. We can’t forget the ill-fated loves of Sybil and Tom, and Mary and Matthew. But there is still hope for the ongoing romances of Bates and Anna, Carson and Mrs. Hughes, and the family Lord and Lady Grantham. It may sometimes seem like a soap opera, but I truly adore a good love story.
Maggie Smith – Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess is the star of the show. Her character has the wisdom and wit to carry any conversation and opinion to make it interesting. She challenges every new convention and all change in general. No one gets better or more biting one liners than the Lady Violet. She will be missed most of all as she has made her character the center of the family as well as the center of the story of Downton Abbey.