Well of course this has bloody spoilers in it.  So don’t say I didn’t warn you.  But it’s fun to judge an entire season of a show – heck, a whole show – based on just one episode.  So, let’s do it: here are the top 5 reasons the latest season of Downton Abbey will suck ass.

 

 

1.  O’Brien’s bangs are no longer menacing.  There’s no denying that the coiled springs over her forehead were the prime source of her devious power.  She’s Medusa in a maid dress.  Which was awesome.  But nooooo, now they’ve gone and fashioned her bangs differently.  They’ve gone from evil windings to what looks like the spider from Cut The Rope.   That is so not awesome anymore.   That’s like changing up Darrin on “Bewitched” and hoping no one notices.  Or that girl from the Fresh Beat Band.  Bullshit.

2.  No mention of Pamuk (yet).  He’s been the most recurring unseen character since Vera and Maris.  In season 2, it seemed like whatever Lady Mary did had some direct correlation to that dead git.  This first episode in the third season?  Nothing.  Not one whisper.  It’s like the dead Turk never existed.  What a letdown.  The least they could do was something like what Simon Pegg suggested in his tweet.

3.  Are they trying to make Thomas more likable?  Shit, I found myself agreeing with him not once but twice.  TWICE!  After the second time, I punched myself in the face to make sure a third time wouldn’t happen.

4.  They’ve taken the zingers off the boil.   It’s like the writing has been dumbed down to something worthy of Home Improvement.  When the Countess Dowager says that Shirley MacLaine’s character reminds her of “the virtues of the English”,  Matthew Crawley walks right into it and asks, “But isn’t she American?” “Exactly.” So, so awful.  For God’s sake, Julian, stop cribbing dialogue from awful shows like How I Met Your Mother or hackey shit like that.  Honestly, I half-expected a laugh track to erupt after that exchange.

5.  Oh shit, here come the Americans.  Clearly creating a program that is uniquely British is a limiting proposition.  I mean, why not dilute a clever formula?  About 8 million people tuned into ITV on Sunday to watch the show.  That’s chump change compared to what you could get in America.  Sooooooo… if you wanna appeal to ‘Murrrcans, hell, you’ve got to make sure you include loads more Americans in it!  That’s why Yanks have no patience for sports like Formula 1 or soccer – a glaring absence of formidable Yank talent.  No way Downton’s gonna fall into that trap (not when the estate’s going broker than broke!).  So, cue the new Yank cast, and cue all the lame “pompous English vs. brutish American” jokes!  Ugh.

 

Downton Abbey’s broken the golden rule of quality British television: two seasons and you’re out.  You quit while you’re still ahead.  Good shows are only good for two seasons.   Don’t believe me?  I present exhibits A, B, and C:  The Office, Spaced, and Fawlty Towers.   I rest my case.