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B*tch Ranking 'Downton Abbey': New Sheriff Edition

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | TV Reviews | February 10, 2014 | Comments ()


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Joanna used to do this duty, and I’ve inherited it via volunteering because of lack of trade news to talk about on Monday mornings. She used to give you GIFs though, but that’s because she coddled you. And you’ve grown soft, complacent as an Earl’s financial sense, so I will give you proper walls of text like a true Victorian would delight in.

1. Well first of all, let’s just get it out of the way that as far as bitchranking goes, the rapist wins top billing. Really he gets slots one through five, easily. I don’t think he even had five scenes, but I’m sure the camera was on him five times, and that’s enough. Remember when Thomas was the creepy bad guy of the show? Yeah, good times. But on the bright side, at least we can say for sure that this is the only rape that this particular rapist has ever committed. Because he is so monumentally stupid, that if he’d pulled this before, he’d already be dead. The look on Bates’ face that flew right over his head: you’re already dead, son, I just haven’t told you when.

2. Lord Grantham: But how am I supposed to go to America without a valet? I don’t look this fabulous with my own two hands. When told all the servants and half the family were vouching for Bates not to go, Grantham still managed to throw a hissy fit about who would be buttoning his cravat, or whatever that contraption is that holds in his ass and his ego. Still, one got the impression that if told the actual reasons for Bates not being able to go, the Earl would be like “I don’t understand, is the rapist still in the house? If not, there’s no sense not being properly dressed.” Hopefully the ship will go the way of the Titanic from the opening episode, but knowing our luck he’ll get there fine but manage to lose the family fortune again by investing in American elevator passes.

3. Lady Mary: Ok, I love the rolling in the mud, the stubborn insistence that she was taking care of her own damned pigs, and then topping it off by scrambling some eggs to finish blowing Report Dude’s but-she’s-just-a-worthless-nob presumptions. And the monumental eye roll at the implication that men were in competition for her? Gorgeous. But the true moment of absolute bitchiness? Being told that her lady’s maid was raped in this very house, she’s told “oh it was no one we know, just some stranger, who broke in, ravaged the servants, and wandered off, I’m sure it’ll never happen again.” And trusting in the upper class force fields that block movement up the stairs in the middle of the night, has no apparent thought that hey, maybe this whole thing is something to worry about in general. And the very next night everyone goes to bed and just leaves the key in the front door while she wanders around the countryside. Don’t worry, they never caught the stranger who broke into the house, so I’m sure it’s safe.

4. Daisy and the other one, oh you know the one: OH! OH! OH! Alfred is SO dreamy. I kind of prefer the completely oblivious Victorians to these two. Lady Mary needs to step downstairs, break their souls with one of her eyerolls, and then take them under her wing. Look, the first rule to fucking Turkish diplomats to death is to NOT TALK ABOUT fucking Turkish diplomats to death.

5. Jimmy: It’s like someone decided he was too nice and pretty, so it must be time to make him be a dickhead to everyone and everything. He gets three lines per episode, usually just ducking his head in to be mean to someone.

6. Rose: Oh just shut up Rose. No one cares. (If I’d been writing these all season, I would just cut and paste that in every week).

Honorary mention to Lady Edith, who I won’t classify as bitchy because that would just be cruel but the entire abortion subplot was kind of hilarious from a bad writing point of view. You’re going to get a highly illegal abortion? Where did you even find someone to do it?

Oh, there was an ad in the back of a Lady’s Journal at the store. I booked an appointment.

Seriously?

Where’d you find your heroin dealer? Oh, the ad in the back of Cosmo. Totally. I have a theory that she didn’t actually see an ad for an abortion clinic, but pieced together half understood euphemisms and ended up making an appointment at one of the earliest Brazilian waxing spas in England. I mean, all she actually saw behind that closed door was a woman sobbing, so the evidence more or less fits.




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • wsapnin

    Here is my plot...Daisy takes over the farm that has been offered to her, and then Alfred falls in love with her because she is no longer a kitchen maid. Then they open a fancy restaurant in town with all the food coming from the farm. Happily Ever After!

  • Next ep will be a race between Bates and Mrs. Hughes to see who gets to destroy Mr. Green first. I expect nothing less than a wacky hour of stiffly polite Spy vs. Spy-type antics.

  • BWeaves

    " Look, the first rule to fucking Turkish diplomats to death is to NOT TALK ABOUT fucking Turkish diplomats to death."

    PAMOUKed, again!

  • chanohack

    The Daisy/Ivy/Alfred subplot is super weird, as is the abortion subplot. It's like they're trying to increase the drama (which they've already got plenty of, between missing boyfriends and returning rapists) without really committing to any character development or plot twists.

    Come to think of it, same with the sick Granny subplot. It's not even that Violet gained some new appreciation for Isobel (because do any of us doubt that Violet loves Isobel, deep down?), she just became temporarily indebted to her and now has to play cards for "ages," which was cute, but did we really need to see her at death's door for that interaction?

    I'm not really complaining. My love for Downton can withstand weird subplots.

  • DataAngel

    Post-Edwardian... not Victorian. (or interwar era) /pedant

  • The word was chosen intentionally. The Victorian era is traditionally dated until 1900, and I am perfectly comfortable asserting that the upstairs is about thirty years behind popular culture in morals and attitudes.

  • BWeaves

    YEAH! Bitchy recap. I will move my comments here.

    1. Does Fellowes have no idea how to farm pigs? Those fences wouldn't keep weeds from escaping. Pigs are smart. They would have all been gone within the hour of being put in those pens. How do you knock a trough over? Those things are heavy, and should have been anchored to the ground. Also, they knew they were setting up for pigs and they didn't put a pump right over the trough? Really? I would not have been impressed with Downton's pig farming, even if Lady Mary ruined a perfectly great vintage dress. Also, I would have been very pissed off, if after all that, the man flicked mud in my face.

    2. Mary has 3 suitors all at once, and I can't tell them apart. Seriously, they all look alike. I can't even remember their names, except one of them is Evelyn.

    3. I know cousin Oliver Rose is supposed to be the scandalous one to replace Sybil, but at least Sybil was being scandalous for causes, not just to sleep around. They can kill off cousin Oliver Rose ANYTIME.

    4. Poor Edith. She gets the shittiest story lines.

    5. Except for Anna, who is killing it this season with that quivering lip.

    6. Or Bates, who is going to kill shortly, I'm sure of it.

    7. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the scenes with the Countess and Mrs. Crawley. They are just so cute together. "How long does this game go on?" "Forever." "Oh, goody."

    8. I own Cora's tiara. WooHoo! I must go dig it out and wear it at work today.

    9. I guess the "meet cute" at the political talk was Branson's new squeeze?

  • chanohack

    Edith was kinda shitty in series one, but she deserves so much better than this!

  • Walt Jr

    I'm very impressed with your knowledge of pig pens. I would also like to see a little sisterly compassion between Edith & Mary. They've both lost men they love- can't that be a bonding glue for them?

  • BWeaves

    I actually don't have much knowledge about pig pens, but I do know a three board fence when I see one, and there was enough space between those horizontal boards for any medium sized animal to squeeze through.

    I'm also reminded of a young lady I worked with at my first job. She had kept the runt of a pig litter as a pet in her backyard. It was in a chicken wire fenced in pen with a gate with a latch hook type of lock on it.

    One day she came home and found her fridge had been rifled through and half the food eaten and a mess made. She accused her roommate of making the mess, and her roommate accused her of making the mess. There was no breaking and entering, and neither one of them was home at the time it occurred, or so they said. This happened on and off for a few weeks.

    Then one day, my co-irker stayed home from work, sick. As she lay on the couch with the lights off, she heard a noise in the backyard. The pig had unlatched the gate and wandered over to the sliding glass door of the house. The pig put its nose on the door and breathed in to make a vacuum, then he jiggled the door off its locking mechanism and walked sideways to slide the door open. The pig then went to the fridge and suctioned his nose to the door and walked backwards to open it. He ate what he wanted and closed the door. Then he walked outside and slid the sliding glass door shut. He walked to his pen and relocked the gate.

    Given how smart this young pig was, I can only imagine how quickly a group of pigs in that 3 board fence are going to escape.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    That first paragraph reminds me of the episode of The West Wing when Josh does the press briefing after CJ has a root canal.

  • BiblioGlow

    I HAD WOOT CANAW! ow...

  • this is the best comment ever.

  • Stephanie

    Excuse me, Mr. Creepy Rapist? I don't know if you realize but you have screwed with the wrong housekeeper. Mrs. Hughes will totally end you, have Mrs. Patmore chop you up into tiny chunks, and then feed those chunks to the pigs. Just FYI.

  • emilya

    fried green downton abbey tomatoes? the secret's in the sauce!

  • mswas

    "don't. you. DARE .... thank me!"

    *fistpump* YES!

  • Dumily

    Am I the only one thinking "Hit him, Mrs. Hughes. Hit him with those canes that are directly behind you. Hit him hard in the head and about the face."?

  • Kala

    As amazing as Mrs. Hughes is, the only thing I was thinking was "Don't be alone with him!" He's a psycho and if he thinks he can galavant throughout the house with no worries, I can't help but think that murder would only be a small step up for the likes of him.

  • chanohack

    I was like GET 'IM MRS. HUGHES but don't get too close, and then I roundly threatened Mr. Disgusting Rapist that if he even thinks about harming Mrs. Hughes I will personally end him but I'm pretty sure he didn't hear me, so color me concerned.

  • Now I'm imagining Hughes going Obi-Wan: "If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

  • Kala

    Careful, Wilson. You're on the verge of crossing the streams. You know what happens when streams get crossed.

  • Boys become men?

  • Stephanie

    No. No, you are not.

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