If you laughed as hard as I did at the sight of Cousin Matthew dead like a flattened hedgehog at the side of the road at the end of Downton Abbey‘s last series then you will have looked forward its return the way ESPN’s Fat Dan Rafael looks forward to his third breakfast of the morning. 6 months have passed since Matthew lost his argument with the laws of physics but the only thing anyone really cares about is O’Brien being poached by Lady Flintshire. It leaves Cora without a lady’s maid meaning she’ll have to do up her own bra and she’s understandably in a real state about it. She’s crazy pissed that Flintshire stole her star signing, particularly as her daughter Rose is still living under her roof. To make amends Rose puts a card in the Post Office advertising the vacancy. Edna Braithwaite (MyAnnusis Burning last seen in ITV’s quite reasonable The Poison Tree), who you’ll remember from trying to jump on Branson Pickle the Uppity Fenian (Allen Leech) when he was mourning Hot Sybil, spots it and she’s all over that shit like Cousin Matthew splattered over a country lane.
Edna Braithwaite spots the card and she’s all over that shit like Cousin Matthew splattered over a country lane.
In other news the widowed Lady Mary is stiff, unresponsive and blank. So no change there. But she has started dressing like Wednesday Addams and talking like Bobby “Boris” Pickett from the Monster Mash. “Haaaave a haaaappy tiiiiime” she says to Edith before retiring to her sarcophagus. Edeath does just that, rendezvousing with married Michael Gregson who wants to go to Berlin to divorce his insane wife. Being a mental is grounds for divorce there so it looks like Edith may finally be getting some ass which, judging from recent Clownton storylines, almost certainly means that Michael is a dead man.
The widowed Lady Mary is stiff, unresponsive and blank. So no change there. But she has started dressing like Wednesday Addams and talking like Bobby “Boris” Pickett from the Monster Mash.
Dead like Cousin Matthew, the thinking woman’s roadkill. Mary is still so sad! So sad she can’t possibly manage young George‘s fortune at least according to Lord Grantham. Carson and the Mick disagree with him and in one of the least interesting plots television has produced they joust over what Mary should do next. Christ it’s dull, as dull as Mary herself.
In one of the least interesting plots television has produced they joust over what Mary should do next. Christ it’s dull, as dull as Mary herself.
Down among the servants Thomas has a new nemesis in Nanny West. By nemesis I mean someone he can fuck with for no reason with the inevitable help of the endlessly gullible nobs who apparently know exactly what he’s like and yet fall for it every time. It turns out though that Nanny West actually is a wrong ‘un when Cora overhears her calling George a “wicked little crossbreed”. Nanny West is out on her arse and Thomas has some brownie points. Great work gay Tom.
The emotional high point of the episode comes when Violet tells Mary to choose death or choose life and Mary is suitably chastened. “I know I’ve spent too long in the land of the dead” she admits. Yeah, 3 series too long you ridiculous turd.
Clownton is as Clownton does and it does perfectly well in the completely pointless furrow it very effectively ploughs.
When you approach Downton Abbey you should be aware that it’s ridiculous show that does some things unusually well. It’s endlessly amusing that America is convinced that it’s an Emmy-baiting Merchant Ivory masterpiece in the same way they’re convinced that Hugh Grant is classy. Clownton is as Clownton does and it does perfectly well in the completely pointless furrow it very effectively ploughs. But yes, by all means, believe it’s the show The Singing Detective could have been. I won’t tell if you won’t.
The verdict: Ludicrous show.
Marks out of 10: 7