Have you heard the dreadful news?
No, not that Christmas is over, you've put on a stone in mince pies and there's nothing in your bank account... I mean the news that Downton Abbey might not continue past it's forthcoming fifth season.
Writer and creator Julian Fellowes says he doesn't know if there will be a sixth series of Downton, but that he is sure of one thing: the show won't go on forever.
Well Fellowes might think it okay to call time on the hit ITV period drama. But I've got other ideas. If it was down to me, Downton would continue forever. And I'll tell you why...
Lady Mary's love life
Poor ol' Lady Mary still needs at least four series to decide between Lord Gillingham and Charles Blake. After losing the love of her life and the father of her little heir last Christmas, she's been edging her way towards a new romance. But that gal is no fast mover – it took Matthew three series to get her down the aisle. Plus Gillingham and Blake have both made it clear that they are playing the long game. We don't want to have to rush her, now, do we? Important decisions like these take months, years, decades, even...
Slowly does it...
Ditto when it comes to Daisy getting a boyfriend, Branson finding Sybie a step mum and Carson making his move on Mrs Hughes. That lot at Downton Abbey like to take things sloooowly, you know. We could never hope to achieve any of these happy endings in eight short episodes. Are you listening, Fellowes?
Violet's wise words
What would we do without the Dowager's wise words of wisdom? Could you bare a life, let alone an autumnal Sunday night, without them? I don't know about you, but I practically live by these pearls...
"Don't be defeatist. It's very middle class."
"No one wants to kiss a girl in black."
"No guest should be admitted without the date of their departure settled."
"I'm a woman. I can be as contrary as I choose."
"You can normally find an Italian who isn't too picky."
In with the new
Of course it's true, Violet may not be around for ever. And Downton has seen its fair share of tragic accidents too. But these days it doesn't really matter if a few characters kick the bucket, there's a whole new generation of Crawleys to take their place. Little George, Sybie and Edith's "charming bastard" will forge their way into the future. Just get a few of the staff reproducing and you've got yourself a whole new cast right there.
The future's bright
As Martha Levinson insists on helpfully reminding everyone, the future's coming for us. And it might be daunting, but it offers such possibility, too. Yes, the nature of the Crawleys' scandals and dramas would change a tad as time goes on but why wouldn't you want to see the Crawley clan tackle WW2, rock 'n' roll, the sexual revolution and the first man on the moon? There are a lot of plot possibilities there, Fellowes. A hell of a lot.
Restoration, restoration, restoration
We know people love period drama. But you know what people also love? Restoration property programmes. Keep on going, push on into the future and Downton will be tackling issues such as how to sympathetically redecorate the drawing room or how to raise enough money to patch up the hole in the roof and damp-proof the east wing. It'll be like Sarah Beeney but with the Dowager Countess and Lady Mary at the helm instead. A win win, if you ask me.
We hate goodbyes.
Remember the backlash when Matthew died? People were an-gry. It's not really worth the bother, is it? Better to just carry on. Yeah? Glad we are in agreement.