As I sit here trying to formulate my thoughts for this blog post, two things have occurred to me. First, why the hell am I sitting here watching The Green Lantern on HBO? I mean this movie is terrible. And second, why is this picture of the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey as a cat so hilarious?
I mean, come on. How amazing is this? Link with more pictures here, courtesy of Etsy.
But enough procrastinating! The tv event of the winter occurred just a few days ago and things need to be said. And no, I am not talking about the playoff game where the Redskins got their ass handed to them (they started losing as soon as I started watching, natch)...but I am referring to the return of Downton Abbey Sunday night on PBS!
It's been almost a year since those wacky Brits were last on our television and the wait has been pure torture. Would Mary and Matthew actually get married? Would the show-down between Maggie Smith and Shirley Maclaine be epic? Would I give two shits about poor Mr. Bates sitting in jail? The answer to these questions are, in order, yes, eh, and nope.
But don't think I'm disappointed--this first episode was a return to form for the series which I think we can all admit stumbled a bit in its sophomore season. Old characters returned (Sybil and Branson!), new characters are introduced (Alfred the giant footman), the estate is in financial trouble again, Matthew and Mary FINALLY get married, Mrs. Hughes might have cancer (OMG), and of course, Cora's Mom played by Shirley Maclaine joined the cast. There were way too many plot points introduced in the two hour premiere to get into here, but for the most part, everything chugged right along with that kind of soapy, speedy, yet classy way that Downton is famous for. Except for the Bates stuff--I'm sorry I just don't care anymore. Everytime they cut to him in prison I eye-rolled.
Because bullet points are the way I roll, here are some other thoughts:
--I'm sorry, but I don't buy Matthew not taking that money and immediately sinking it into Downton. In the show's timeline it's been 8 years of him coming to the love the place as his own, and I cannot BELIEVE that he would for one minute let it be sold. Maybe in Season 1--no way in Season 3.
--Who ever thought Branson would be the voice of reason? Loved his character stuff, and Sir Anthony calling out the dude who drugged him.
--Mary's wedding dress = underwhelming. It was a beautiful white sack, but still a sack.
--Who thought letting Robert make financial decisions was a good idea? We all know Cora should be running that place. Glad to see he is over his stupid mid-life crisis thing though. When he told Cora, "thank god for you," I was glad he had moved on. But seriously. I wouldn't let him balance my checkbook much less run an estate.
--For a second there I was worried that they had dropped the whole Sybil is pregnant thing. But American Grandma made a reference to it.
--OMG BATES I DON'T CARE. Sorry--but it's the truth. Wouldn't it be awesome if he actually was a murderer?
--Thomas vs. O'Brien and I LOVE IT. I want more and I want them to go all Thunderdome on each other. This is seriously my favorite plot development.
--You go, Edith. Get what you want, girl. I loved her line about how all the young men she grew up with are dead. Don't forget, this is a post WWI world. Edith is going to be this season's truth-teller. Girl does not give a flying shit anymore and it's awesome. She is a Dowager Countess in training for reals.
--Is it just me or does Alfred the new footman look like he could be Eddie Redmayne's younger brother?
--The Maggie vs. Shirley showdown was ho-hum. I thought they should have let Maggie go all vicious on her, but instead Shirley got all the digs. I was also expecting more than just being constantly hit over the head with the "British people are slaves to tradition and Americans have no respect for it" cliche.
--and I almost forgot, MOSLEY! He might actually be my favorite. All he wants to do is help. LET HIM HELP YOU, MATTHEW.
There's still tons more to say, but my fingers are getting tired. So I'll just leave you with this: Downton Abbey's ratings DOUBLED from last year. I know Brits have a tendency to cancel things after a couple years, but come on guys. You should milk this cow for all it's worth.