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

By Alexander Joenks | TV | February 10, 2014 |

By Alexander Joenks | TV | February 10, 2014 |

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.


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.