DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA – Review by T. J. Callahan

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The British are coming! The British are going! The British are coming and going!

In Downton Abbey: The New Era. the Crawleys of Grantham have invited us back into their stately manor to catch us up on what the Earl, his family, and all of the spunky servants have been up to of late. This is the sequel to the 2019 movie spinoff of the globally popular six-season TV series that lasted from 2010 to 2015, and we are very familiar with the aristocratic family, their cohorts, servants and their circumstances.

When last we left the Abbey, the band of Brits had prepared for a visit from the King and Queen of England. Now, in order to get the mansion’s new roof paid for, they are reluctantly hosting Hollywood actors (dreadful) as a movie crew takes up residence at Downton Abby to film a silent motion picture titled The Gambler. Will Lady Mary and the butler Thomas Barrow fall for the influx of Tinseltown glamour?

Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess has found out she has inherited a villa in the South of France, and Robert, Cora and several other members of the household leave Downton Abbey to hightail it down there to find out why she is the beneficiary. Did a young Violet grant the ultimate favor of intimacy to a rich Frenchman as a new bride? Is Robert really a Crawley?

With these dueling New Era storylines, these soap opera questions and more will be explored and answered, and seasoned by a lot more comings and goings and goings and comings as well and always too soon.

Fans of the Downton Abbey franchise will find The New Era scathingly delicious and sentimentally sweet. Dame Maggie Smith’s tart tongue is still sharp. But, if you have never visited the Granthams before, you’ll probably have more fun watching your favorite DVD in an AirBnB. Downton Abbey: A New Era gets a 7 out of 10.

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T. J. Callahan

Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the Marconi Award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT in Houston to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for Houston Radio Platinum and 101 Gold , Southern New Mexico's favorite radio station. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and The Sam Malone Show on KNTH in Houston. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her Friday and Saturdays on houstonradioplatinum.com and on Friday afternoons on the Leslie T. Travis Show on KVLC FM in Las Cruces. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association and the Houston Film Critics Society. She truly believes everything in life is one degree of Blazing Saddles.