[Spoiler alert! The following contains details from Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey. Read if you dare risk the wrath of the Dowager Countess.]
Downton Abbey's Thomas finally got his comeuppance, but was it enough? Or was it unfair treatment?
On Sunday's episode, the sneering servant was finally outmaneuvered by his fellow downstairs nemesis O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran) who convinced him that footman Jimmy (Ed Speleers) reciprocated his romantic feelings. Thomas (Rob James-Collier) made his move by kissing the unsuspecting sleeping Jimmy, who was shocked and disgusted by the unwanted advances.
"You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people." -- the wisdom of Mrs. Patmore
Not every servant on Downton Abbey can have the fairy tale romance of Bates and Anna (false murder rap and imprisonment aside), and a servant in the 1920s is further constrained by his/her status. For every Gwen (Rose Leslie) who opened up her romantic prospects by becoming a secretary, sadly there's a fallen Ethel (Amy Nuttall) who's forced into prostitution after having an affair with a military man. What's one of the serving class to do but flirt awkwardly with one of their own in hopes of safely pairing off?
Downton Abbey survived World War I. But can the country manor weather the latest skirmish, a below-stairs battle between those scheming servants O'Brien and Thomas?
That's just one of the many entertaining questions and diverting dilemmas presented by the long-awaited — and well worth the wait — third season of this Masterpiece Classic addiction, which returns like a delicious if bittersweet bonbon. (And how I hope you've kept the blinders on regarding the many spoilers issuing from across the pond during the recent U.K. telecast.)
"No family is ever what it seems from the outside," muses the formidable Dowager Countess (the peerless Maggie Smith) during one of the many crises that beset the Crawleys and their loyal servants over the next seven Sundays (PBS, check tvguide.com listings).
On the West London set of Downton Abbey, where all of the "downstairs" scenes are shot, two footmen in formal attire are about to bring another lavish meal upstairs to the waiting lords and ladies. It's a familiar sight, but don't let it fool you: As Season 3 of the Emmy-winning drama begins, the Grantham family and their servants are entering a different world altogether — and it may be a difficult one for...
What unbecomes a legend most? Look no further than this long weekend's well-timed candidate for the TV Turkey Hall of Fame: Liz & Dick (Lifetime, Sunday at 9/8c), an epic of stunningly cynical and pathetic miscasting, a TV-movie so laughably inept it doesn't deserve to be on a first-name basis with anything resembling humanity.