Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley in Downton Abbey: A New Era.

The Downton Abbey: A New Era Trailer Really Knows We All Need a ****ing Break

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As we’ve discussed many times on this very website, there’s pretty much always a sh*tstorm of suckitude in the world, to say the very least, as we’ve always been pretty far off from any utopian ideals, but the past few years have seemed particularly relentless in feeling like we’re not only not making progress, but sliding backwards. The team behind Downton Abbey: A New Era knows this, and they are ready to pounce on our collective need for some low-stakes good times with the official teaser trailer.

I mean, come on with that “grandest escape of the year” title card. Ouch. When I’m being pandered to, I’d appreciate it being a little more subtle. The last movie featured (spoilers, I guess?) Maggie Smith’s iconic Violet Crawley sharing news of her coming death, and this sequel is serving up … a feel-good time at a French villa tied up in humorous allusions to her adventurous past? It’s a tonal shift, to be sure, but also, they’re right. I’m not complaining. This is exactly what I need in my life right now, even if I have to assume that the full movie ends up a bit of a bittersweet sendoff for her character.

Other than the brief setup shown in the trailer, though, not much is known about the plot. According to Yahoo, series creator Julian Fellowes “said the film will further develop the fact that Lady Mary is ‘effectively running the show’ at the household amid the Dowager Countess’ illness. ‘We’re trying to mark the change — the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world.’”

Of course, it’s also going to be hard to watch something like this, especially right now, without massively obtrusive “eat the rich” thoughts, which may be why they’re really trying to get the “fun break” angle to catch on. The alternate way to look at it wouldn’t exactly be kind—or useful marketing. I’m ready for it, but I wouldn’t blame anybody who found this level of privilege upsetting rather than fun, especially considering the historical backdrop, as our own Princess Weekes recently pointed out.

Regardless, the movie isn’t the grandest escape of this year—it’s out in March 2022.

(image: Focus Features)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>