Vote for your favorite Dish of the Week

Battle of the Movie Stars #130: 1993-2000

The Groovy List is thankful for Steve Grand

Battle of the Broadway Stars #15: 1970-71 Season

10 Groovy Things to Do in December
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Groove Tube: Downton Abbey returns with big ratings (and Connie Tough)



I, of course, was one of 10.2 million people who tuned in to watch last Sunday's Season 4 premiere of Downton Abbey, making it the highest-rated drama in PBS history. However, as much as I enjoyed seeing Maggie Smith and the rest of the gang again, the two-hour episode was kind of dull for the most part. So let's take a look at the Best and the Worst of the season opener:

Worst Exit: Since actress Siobhan Finneran decided to depart Downton, her character, O'Brien, suddenly left as well in the middle of the night to take a new job. And her snarky absence was definitely felt in the episode.

Worst Replacement: Former housemaid Edna, who put the moves on Tom last season, returned as Cora's new lady's maid - but despite her friendship with Thomas, she's no O'Brien.

Best Exit: Nanny West got kicked to the curb by Cora, who overheard her treating Tom and Sybil's young daughter badly - and Thomas, who had badmouthed her earlier just because they didn't get along, came off smelling like a rose.

Worst Busybody and Most Boring Storyline: Mrs. Hughes for interfering in Carson's fractured friendship with his former colleague, Mr. Grigg.

Most Boring Storyline Runner-Up: I did feel bad for Mr Molesley, who lost his job as a valet following Matthew's death, but his tale of woe was a snoozer.

Worst Father and Most Boring Storyline Dishonorable Mention: Lord Grantham's male chauvinist attitude towards Mary helping to manage the estate may be true to the era, but it wasn't enjoyable to watch.

Most Glamorous Gal: Edith has certainly blossomed into a fashion plate.

Best Romance: Edith and magazine editor Michael Gregson, who wants to become a German citizen in order to divorce his institutionalized wife.

Hottest Hunk and Best Kiss: Actor Jonathan Howard as Sam, a bar patron who took a shine to Rose, but sadly she kissed him goodbye.

Best Friend: Carson let Mary cry on his shoulder - and thankfully she then stopped dressing in black and got on with her life (of course, she had to have a period of mourning, but sad widowhood is depressing to watch).

Best Line: As would be expected, Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess had the most amusing quip in response to her annoying son, Lord Grantham - "When you talk like that, I'm tempted to ring for nanny and have you put to bed with no supper."

Grade: B (I'm being quite generous with my grade, but the exceptionally talented cast can even make lukewarm Downton worth watching. Also, I'm hoping actor Tom Cullen will perk things up on tonight's episode as Mary's new love interest, Lord Gillingham)

Below you can watch Downton's Lady Mary (aka actress Michelle Dockery) having a lot more fun as "Connie Tough" in a hilarious new Funny or Die video called Tough Justice, a cop drama spoof co-starring The Shield's Michael Chiklis and the voice of Mad Men's Jon Hamm. I've also included two PBS videos featuring the cast and producers discussing the Season 4 premiere and participating in a live Q&A event that was filmed on December 12.



4 comments:

Rex said...

Great coverage. Thanks. I am considering whether or not to buy season four, since it really has started to be a soap opera... Never one to dismiss out of hand out of date genres, I shall have to soldier on and buy it. :)

Marc said...

Glad you liked my review, Rex. And Season 4 does get better with the handsome addition of Mary's new love interest (played by Tom Cullen, who starred in the 2011 gay indie film, Weekend).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! I'm a big fan of Downton Abbey and was happy to see that you are as well! Look forward to future coverage!

Marc said...

Glad you liked the post, Anonymous. As for future Downton coverage, I plan to write a review of the season once it ends.