Sunday, 23 February 2014

Downton Abbey: The festering boil on Public Television

Tonight is the season finale of Downton Abbey, the show everybody else is watching who doesn't have Netflix.

Like most people who adore public television, I have been a loyal subject, though I admit to be getting a tich weary of its meanderings, not to mention the colors teal and mauve.

Surely, the wealthy at the turn of the century could have afforded a little pig's blood.

Anyway, this season has become a bit ridiculous, not like the shocker from the previous season which involved the expedition of three characters, the result of contract disputes or boredom.

Downton is becoming a tired soap opera of church bazaars, endless, faceless and uninteresting suitors and agrarian discussions. Should Downton diversify from sheep to pigs? Should the pudding be fig or bread?

It's all getting so pedestrian, what with all the milling, drinking and eating. And standing. In tails.

And smoking.

Even Maggie Smith can't save Downton Abbey, though she certainly is a trouper. Nobody can deliver a zinger better than the Dowager, but the setups are so obvious that even she is rolling her eyes.

Up the tempo!

Kill her off already!

And that insufferable Mr. Bates. I am in total agreement with the writer for the Daily Beast who believes that Downton would be far better off without the lugubrious eel who hides in the shadows with MURDA in his smoldering eyes.

Why does Mr. Bates take so long to exact revenge on the lout who penetrated his dear Anna while everyone was enjoying a little light Australian opera? How can he sit at the same table as Mr. Green knowing that the man upended his wife over the pastry table? Will we discover tonight that Bates did indeed off Mr. Green or have we simply stopped caring?

I suspect it will all be blamed on poor traffic control something which has become a bit of a problem in the town of York. Perhaps Tom will join the local city council and suggest traffic lights.

And don't get me started on Lady Mary and her fuggly sister. Mary is about as interesting as paint drying yet she manages to attract suitors from across the county like a barn cat in heat. And Edith, oh, poor Edith. Like her sister, she opens her drawers once and her lover is dispatched.

I was really hoping the addition of Rose (no relation) to the cast would spice things up a little. And initially, she didn't disappoint, taking up with a black singer!

In the olden days, the BBC would be showing her tits all over the place. But this is Masterpiece, after all. That means one foot on the floor and hands clearly in sight. No sex, please, we're PBS contributors and we'll stop sending our $10 donations.

The biracial spark is doused quickly enough, and young Rose is off looking for more suitable men at a cotillion. Meh, meh, meh.

Downstairs isn't much better than upstairs although we are grateful for the ousting of young Alfred, the goofy footman who has charmed all the ladies with his inability to deal with syntax. So Cheerio, young fellow! You're off to London to bake scones for the Queen.

Thank Christ for small miracles.

I hope tonight will be a barn burner of an episode, that Bates will be revealed as the avenger of Anna's vagina, that Mary will find herself once more in the pig pen with her bodice ripped, and that the Countess Grantham will find a different facial expression.

Alas, I am afraid, there will be more of the same. My prediction? Bates is blameless for the death of Green; he was having his teeth cleaned at the time. Maggie Smith will admonish guest star Shirley MacLean for wearing rouge. Mr. Carson will finally pick a wine that is to Lord Grantham's taste. Mrs. Hughes will be forced to sweep the floor. And the gentle Lab will take a crap on the lawn with no one to pick it up.

For Downton is nothing if not consistent.

A show about nothing cannot resurrect itself as a show about something.

 

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