I tried to give Downton Abbey the benefit of the doubt. I tried to stave off my judgments until I had given the show time to prove me wrong, to prove that this wasn't just another case of rape as cheap and consumable entertainment. But here we are at the end of the season, and my frustration has only grown.
Downton's fourth season notoriously featured the show's most beloved character, Anna (Joanne Froggatt), being violently assaulted by a visiting valet. But contrary to creator Julian Fellowes' defense that he wanted to "[explore] the mental damage and the emotional damage" that follows sexual assault, I still have very little idea how Anna has been intimately affected by this tragic incident. Instead of parsing Anna's psychological state, the show continued its violation of her character by immediately shifting the dramatic tension to questions about how Bates (Brendan Coyle) would respond.
Jessica Brown Findlay
The CW is on the hunt for the Holy Grail.
The network has ordered a four-hour miniseries, titled Labyrinth, that follows two women — one in modern-day France and the other in medieval France — who are united in their search for the Grail.
An adaptation of Kate Mosse's best-selling novel of the same name, Labyrinth stars Downton Abbey alum Jessica Brown-Findlay as Alaïs, a 17-year-old in the year...
Was it really so hard finding good help in those days? When Robert, aka Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), is informed that his wife is once again bereft of a lady's maid, he overdramatically moans, "Are we living under a curse?"
There's no question a pall thicker than London fog hangs heavy over Downton Abbey in its fourth year as Masterpiece Classic's signature series (Sunday, 9/8c, on PBS; check tvguide.com listings). Not only has Lady Cora's bedchamber not been the same since her scheming servant O'Brien left — she slinks away in the opening scene, and boy, is she missed — but the family and staff are in sustained mourning over the untimely (and contrived) death, six months earlier, of heir Matthew Crawley, Lady Mary's husband, in last year's unhappy finale.
Soon after the conclusion of another record-breaking season of Downton Abbey in the U.K., executive producer Gareth Neame, who has worked on the international phenomenon with series creator Julian Fellowes since its birth, sat down with TV Guide Magazine to share some scoop. The much-anticipated series about the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants returns to PBS's Masterpiece this Sunday.
Michelle Dockery, Allen Leech
[Spoilers! The following contains information about the first three seasons of Downton Abbey. Read at your own risk.]
Downton Abbey's Lady Mary may be in mourning, but will we get to see her eventually find happiness this season?
On the upcoming fourth season of Downton Abbey, the Crawleys upstairs may be mourning the recent death of their heir, but those downstairs are suffering from an additional loss: O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran). Beyond the absence of the scheming lady's maid, the servants will also have to contend with new-fangled kitchen gadgets, a familiar face returning and ongoing internal strife (we blame Thomas!).
Downton Abbey will return to PBS on ...
Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel
Our best moments of the week:
14. Most Disturbing Ball-Busting: When Tessa plays tennis with her new beau Ryan and his overbearing mother Sheila on Suburgatory, she gets a very creepy first-hand look into their — should we say, close? — mother-son relationship. "Are you ready to watch me give it to my mom?" Ryan asks Tessa in all seriousness before serving a fault. "Focus on delivering your balls right to Mama," Sheila yells in encouragement. Uh, last time we checked it's...
Jessica Brown-Findlay, Allen Leech
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey. If you haven't watched it yet, read at your own risk.]
Although Downton Abbey's third season has already played in its entirety in the U.K., a majority of American fans of the series have kept scrupulously ignorant of what happens in order to enjoy watching the series unspoiled. And even for those who already knew what was coming, Sunday's episode was far more horrifying and heart-wrenching to watch than we could have imagined.
Jessica Brown Findlay
With the arrival of Lady Sybil's baby (and perhaps another wee Crawley on the way), Downton Abbey will be casting the role of a...