Why don’t we have Christmas specials here in Australia, while the British have one for Cornination St, East Enders and Doctor Who and anything else they can think of, I don’t remember ever seeing an Australian Christmas Special. Unfortunately I think it’s due to the cruel fact that Christmas occurs in the summer in Australia so it’s smack dab in the middle of non ratings season, so cruel.
Well I don’t want to ruin the special for anyone who hasn’t seen it but it was just what I’ve always wanted in a Christmas present. First off most Christmas specials or Christmas episodes tend to be stand alone, they don’t progress the plot because they fall in the mid season break and no one wants to make any changes in case anyone missed it. Downton Abbey on the other hand ducked tradition and progressed the storyline leaps and bounds.
Secondly it kept the theme of Christmas and the joy of the holidays without being cheesy, painfully religious or do gooder. No one saved a child called Timmy orphaned by his cruel parents and no one went to a homeless shelter to appreciate what they had and help the needy. Yes I’m talking to you “Glee” bit obvious wasn’t it.
Also while being subtle and true to the time it was also uplifting and life affirming in the best possible way showing us that if we open our heart and let people see us for who we really are, there is joy and love to be found. Add to that just the right touch of Christmas spirit or magic and you have the best Christmas special I have ever experienced.
Now while many have argued that Julian Fellows lost his touch in the second season of Downton Abbey. With all the twists and turns the 2nd season wasn’t the slow burning period soap that made first second famous. But for me he’s still got it and if he didn’t he redeemed himself with this special.
My only regret is that I unlike those lucky British, I didn’t get to watch it on Christmas day. Damn them if only we had Christmas specials in Australia and if only we could make stuff this good.