B*tch Ranking 'Downton Abbey': We Need To Talk About Anna

true detective /hannibal / dc movies / snl / mindhole blowers / netflix / celebrity facts / marvel

B*tch Ranking 'Downton Abbey': We Need To Talk About Anna

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | January 13, 2014 | Comments ()

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 9.30.15 AM.png

It seems in poor taste to b*tchrank an episode that has such a shocking and upsetting event at the center of it. Anyway, I think we all know how that ranking would go:

5. That Evil Rapist, Mr. Green
4. That Evil Rapist, Mr. Green
3. That Evil Rapist, Mr. Green
2. That Evil Rapist, Mr. Green
1. That Evil Rapist, Mr. Green

Who else could possibly compare?

I really don’t feel that discussing what was going on upstairs is at all useful except to say it was the expectedly vacuous “privileged class enjoying their privileges” stuff that was no doubt meant to highlight the horror of what happened downstairs. We can’t even sympathize with the usually sympathetic Tom and his ennui or stomach Mary’s cautious flirtations or Lord Grantham’s intolerable snobbery.

No, the episode belonged to Joanne Froggat’s arresting Anna (not to mention Phyllis Logan’s excellent Mrs. Hughes). We, the modern television watcher, are quite used to horrific violence and, especially if we watch those gruesome police procedurals or, say, Game Of Thrones , are no stranger to a brutally executed rape. But the reason this episode of Downton was so shocking is that this isn’t that kind of show. Dead Turks in the bed are one thing, but sexual assault of a beloved character? That’s another thing entirely. No offense meant to Turks, by the way. This isn’t a race or gender thing. It’s a familiarity thing.

Downton Abbey, infuriatingly inconsistent though it may be at times, is a comforting show. Yes beloved characters die, but in a soppy, melodramatic and soapy way. There was nothing soppy about last night. It was rough and it was upsetting and yet that scene between Anna and Mrs. Hughes was also the best the show has ever been. But was it worth it?


Jared Leto's Golden Globes Speech Inspires Outrage? | A New Album By Johnny Cash? Yes Please!

Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Ashley

    It was a VERY powerful episode.... I knew something was going to happen between them but I thought he was going to want her to have an affair or something like that not rape! I was shocked! The Hughes/Anna scene was very well done.

  • Mark Maloney

    I DVR'd it and watched it last night, purposely avoiding this thread. I'm not typically moved by stuff on TV but, man, I was hoping that wasn't the Anna thing that was being inked at the end of episode 1. I think I keep returning to this show after 3+ years simply to see Anna be the lovable and perfectly loyal and honest employee and wife, and I believe the role to be ideally cast. Now I'm seriously conflicted not because of what happened to her character, as there are no limits to man's depravity, but how she's going to be honest going forward given her need/desire to shield her husband from the truth. Goodness, what's happened to me? To think that I'm this involved with and moved by British elitist melodrama......

  • chanohack

    Ugg, it was so awful. And then they just carried on with other stories like it was a NORMAL thing to happen on DA. I finally yelled, "What happened o Anna?" at my dad's tv. Very appropriate bitch list.

    (Though slot number six probably belongs to Lord Grantham, unless he gets wind of this and fucking destroys that bitch Mr. Green, then I shall forgive him, AGAIN.)

  • Lord Grantham is the worst. Why are they even discussing the possibility of selling off land to pay the taxes? The entire family has been given ample proof that every decision he makes is terrible. The very fact that he has suggested doing so is a clear indication that it is the worst plan ever.

    ps. Thus of COURSE he didn't want the opera singer at dinner. Because he's Lord Grantham.

  • J4Sho

    I'm sick of him too. What sort of ass knows he can't pay his taxes and then proceeds to gamble away large sums of money he knows he doesn't have.

  • Naye

    I never forgave him for Sybil. NEVER!

  • BWeaves

    I see where this might be going. Since Green's boss is Mary's new love interest of sorts, it means that Anna and Mr. Green are going to have to work together again. I really hate the rape storyline, and I'm sure we haven't heard the last of it.

    Poor Mosely. Living his career backwards. I swear, he's turning into the comic relief compared to the rest of the episode.

    Peach Melba. I thought it was incredibly rude of the gentlemen to get up and leave in the middle of a song to go play cards. That would have never happened. They would have waited until a song ended, or the concert ended.

    Speaking of cards, Edith's beau used to be a card sharp himself? He's getting shadier as he's supposed to be getting more likable. I guess it will culminate in him becoming a Nazi, and I don't say that lightly.

    I said it last week and I'll say it again, they can dump Cousin Oliver Rose any time and I won't miss her.

    I can't believe they're still playing Branson as a fish out of water after all this time. He would know by now what to call a Duchess and how to wear white tie. I guess he's going to run off with Ethel the ladies maid? She's gotten smarter as she's gotten older. I think she's going to play the good friend and bide her time.

    Lady Edith is getting more beautiful with every episode. Julian's going screw her over again, isn't he?

  • J4Sho

    I so HATED the Branson scenes. It was lazy and stupid to portray him, as you said, as a fish out of water after all this time. Like he was smart enough to figure out how to help run an estate, but not smart enough to figure out how to act in society.

    AND too dumb to see right through Ethel. I hate her with a passion that burns white hot. Every time I see her face I can't help but suck my teeth and snarl "This Bitch!" at the tv.

  • chanohack

    DA 101: Her name is Edna, you guys. Ethel was the maid who got knocked up by the dick soldier and became a woman of the night to support her illegitimate son until he went to live with his equally dick-ish granddad and decent grandma and then got hired by cousin Isobel and eventually moved to be closer to her kid.

  • J4Sho

    Thanks for the correction. Still hate her guts.

  • chanohack

    Me too. Should have thrown my vote in earlier, but she's awful!

  • BWeaves

    You're right. I knew it didn't sound quite right. They're both E-names and they're cut from the same cloth. They both want to snag a rich husband with their wiley ways.

  • I find predicting what is secretly horrible about Edith's beau the best part of the show. Personally I think his ex-wife isn't insane, she's on holiday. Or maybe he's wooing Edith for a scandalous expose of the upper class. Or maybe he and his wife are both currently Nazis and this is all an elaborate gambit to get Edith into the Nazi part.

    Who knows. I just know that lovely Edith gets saddled with horrible men, so it's just a matter of time till the shoe drops.

  • BWeaves

    If I was Edith, I would go to the insane asylum to confirm if the wife exists and what her condition is. The whole, "My wife is insane" thing just reeks of Charles Dickens real life.

  • chanohack

    Lady Edith is adorable, WHYYY can't she have a better boyfriend, show? I keep saying "NO EDITH FIND ANOTHER GUY." I hope you're wrong about the nazi thing, for her sake.

  • Alice

    This show is becoming a real misery-fest. My husband calls it "Downer Abbey" and stopped watching it with me. I agree that when there are bad plot turns, they have all been consistent with the soap-opera melodrama of the show. Anna's rape scene was so jarringly real and dreadful.

  • DataAngel

    This is why I quit watching. I loved the silliness of the first season. They've gone far from "What is a week end?" and into "let's torture sweet people just for the funsies."

  • annieanne

    Move quickly to "let's torture either Anna or her husband just for the funsies"....

  • Rebecca Hachmyer

    So you're saying they've Shonda Rhimes-ed it?

  • DataAngel

    Er. If I knew what that meant, I suppose yes?

  • Rebecca Hachmyer
  • Fruity Fonzie

    it was a really disturbing moment, but i must admit the acting was superb. Joanne Froggatt deserves Emmy nomination for this

  • nixiepoo

    Powerful episode indeed. I have seen the whole season already. I won't ruin it but you haven't seen anything yet!

  • chanohack


  • Bea Pants

    Great! Now I know that THINGS are going to happen. Next time post a spoiler warning.

  • nixiepoo

    HAHA I will try to contain my big mouth next time, promise!

  • Tammy

    I have so many feelings about this. The Hughes/Anna scene was stunning. But I can't shake the feeling that Julian Fellows is not equipped to handle a rape storyline with any semblance of skill. I do not think this bodes well for the season; I just don't trust Fellows enough to be OK with this development.

    I really miss the Dead Turk in the Bed days...

  • Naye

    I was tempted to have some problems with it but...he does okay. It wasn't everything I wanted, but in the Downton world it makes sense (no spoiler)

blog comments powered by Disqus