Downton Abbey sweeps back on to Sunday-night television in Britain this weekend, much to the delight of its avid fan base. While the British public has long had a love affair with costume drama -- not to mention Dame Maggie Smith -- the rest of the world has also taken the show to its bosom.
When Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy) drops in on Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) totally unannounced in the revival of David Hare's 1995 play Skylight, at Wyndham's, he's clearly there to fan the embers of a six-year affair that ended two years earlier.
I've always been an Anglophile. So I was predictably intrigued with Downton Abbey when it debuted. Beautiful noble house, fascinating family turmoil, class conflict, lovely setting, well-drawn characters.
One bit of minor calendar news before we get on with it: for the next two weeks, this column will be on hiatus. Instead, it will be pre-empted by our annual awards columns where we note the notable and laud the laudable from the past year.
Like so many millions of others, I was enthralled by the first two seasons of Downton Abbey. But now I am done. I find myself alternately bored and irritated while watching the show, and here are my reasons I no longer care.
Sometimes the universe speaks to me. The problem is, I don't always know what it's saying. But on one recent Sunday, it roared in my ear and I got the message loud and clear. Shirley MacLaine would be proud.