Random Entertainment Thoughts from Jacob Schoeneberger Part 3

The May 9, 2022 installment of Jake Schoeneberger’s random entertainment opinions

The great thing about streaming is it allows you to binge through entire series in short amounts of time. Yes I know, the part of Captain Obvious is currently being played by Jacob Schoeneberger. But my reason for saying that is this: Sometimes watching several years of a show in just a couple weeks may not actually be a good thing.

Maybe we are meant to take about a year between seasons of a show in order for us to yearn for it more. Maybe that space in time allows the show to grow fonder for us. I think I experienced this recently.

Here are some random thoughts about the entertainment Jacob Schoeneberger is currently consuming:

Random Jacob Schoeneberger Thoughts on Downton Abbey
This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.

I just finished watching the entire run of the show as well as the movie of Downton Abbey. I honestly feel this show was better served by those who watched it in real time waiting a year for each new season.

It was a great show, and the movie that followed was a nice next chapter. I wanted to say that up front before I launch into any further thoughts about it. Let it never be said that Jacob Schoeneberger doesn’t love a good period piece.

This show was well-written, well-acted, had amazing locations and sets, and of course the wardrobe was incredible. These all go without saying.

And it did an exceptional job of showing how the lives of the English nobility and those who served them comingled and influenced one another. It made statements on class and wealth and the nuances of that life, and how those factors still play out today in the 21st century.

But I will say I thought the show’s quality was front-heavy, meaning the first few seasons were far more dramatic and satisfying than the last few seasons. It’s something I brought up in my first article on this subject.

The show’s dramatic quality took a downhill turn after the death of Matthew. To me, Mary and Matthew were the two pillars the show was built on. Over the first few seasons, the show earned our admiration, and it earned our love for Mary and Matthew.

They fell in love for the right reasons, they each had reasons they felt they couldn’t be with the other, we watched them earn our affection by being genuine, strong people, and we ultimately felt satisfaction that they got together. Their relationship formed the foundation of the show.

Then Matthew died and it felt like all the passion drained out of the show. And it felt to me like from that point on the show chased this passion but never truly found it again.

There was Mary and Gillingham’s tryst, which came off as a cheap ploy and wound up serving no end. Even Mary eventually marrying Henry Talbot feels shallow in comparison to what she experienced with Matthew. What did Talbot truly bring to the table? He was handsome and he raced cars? Really, that was enough to win Mary?

We never got to see the merit of Talbot. The only time we saw any depth in him was the emotion he showed when his friend died in the car crash. Heck, he barely even made an appearance until the end of the movie. So he comes driving in after all the drama unfolds, kisses Mary, and they dance once at the ball? Sorry, that was not enough. Anyone who was to follow in Matthew’s shoes had to be special. He just didn’t feel special enough.

I realize Mary and Matthew weren’t the only characters in the show. This was obviously an ensemble cast and each character had their own arc. But let’s not mince words. Shows are built around tentpole characters. Those special two (or three) who hold the show up and make us want to watch, make us want to root for them, and ultimately form the focus of the drama. Mary and Matthew were those characters, and I don’t feel the show ever really matched the dramatic pace it had once Matthew died.

Was it still good? Yes. Was it still worth watching? Yes. Will Jacob Schoeneberger see the next movie coming out soon? Yes. Let it never be said that Jake Schoeneberger quits on a quality show! The show is great work, but I stand behind my statement. It’s a front-heavy show that never matches the quality of its early seasons.

That’s why maybe if I’d waited a year between seasons and really craved that new material, I could have overlooked the reduced dramatic quality of the later seasons. Streaming giveths and streaming takeths away.

The Jacob Schoeneberger Random Entertainment Thought of the Day

I have a lot of faith in what Disney has done with its Star Wars material, but it hasn’t been infallible. There was no reason Solo should ever have been made, and they better not mess up Kenobi. Please, just not Obi-Wan.

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