What would happen if a member of Tony Stark’s family showed up for dinner at Downton Abbey? Well, according to a bit of fan fiction from writer Gary Whitta, Howard Stark would insult Lord Grantham, offend the dowager countess, and flirt with Lady Mary. (Poor Lady Edith, who, by this account, coins the term “super soldier.” Even in fan fiction, it doesn’t get much better for Edith.) READ FULL STORY
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Downton Abbey doesn’t return to American televisions until January, but CollegeHumor and DirecTV paired up to give us something to satisfy our British-period-drama thirst with The Britishes, a series of Downton Abbey parodies.
Adolf Hitler visits the Britishes’ (yes, that’s the family’s last name) estate in the first episode, titled “The Charming Mr. Hitler.” In the sketch, Hitler woos the ladies with his Germandrawing skills, and desire to travel—and somehow escapes accusations of his evil. READ FULL STORY
Killing off a major character is one of the biggest risks a show can take. Some of these deaths end up paying off nicely; others go down in history as the death that killed a series. And then you have the deaths that, ultimately, don’t make much of a difference either way.
In honor of Homeland‘s return—which comes back to Showtime after killing off Brody in season 3—we went back to see how a handful of other beloved series fared after offing major characters:
They’re scenes all too familiar to any TV viewer: A woman is shoved down, she screams or sobs, her eyes grow wide and then blank as she wills herself anywhere else in the world. Lately the small screen has felt particularly thick with such moments of sexual horror, as writers have been churning out story lines in which our saints, our heroines, and our hard and cruel women too, are raped or forced to relive their nightmare of it. Try to imagine a singular abuse endured by an equivalent number of male characters. And yet it seems whenever a female character needs a juicy arc or humanizing touch, writers fall back on the easy, awful crime of rape. READ FULL STORY
[Spoiler alert for Sunday’s Downton Abbey!]
On the season finale of Downton Abbey, one important question is left up in the air — who will be Lady Mary’s new love.
Both of her main suitors — Charles Blake and Tony Gillingham — reiterated their intentions toward Mary. And plot-wise, viewers learned Charles is going to inherit a baronetcy, something that would seem to suggest that Charles is in the lead. (We all know how Mary can be.) But Mary wound up depriving viewers of a romantic moment when she told both men she still wasn’t ready. (Fair enough: Nothing is going to top the romance of this season finale anyway.)
But just because Mary didn’t make a decision doesn’t mean you can’t. Below, vote for who you’d like to see Lady Mary choose next season on Downton. READ FULL STORY
Tonight, as the plush velvet curtain draws to a close on the latest season of Downton Abbey, it’s worth taking a look ahead to what comes next for the Crawley clan. I’m not talking about whether Lady Mary will finally give the green light to one of her tweedy, stammering suitors. Or if Edith will be able to keep her secret, scarlet-letter shame under wraps in Switzerland amongst all the chocolate shops and cuckoo clocks. Or if the increasingly dim and blowhard-y Earl of Grantham will gamble away his wife’s fortune at the card table. I mean what comes next career-wise for the stars of the show.
It’s a question that’s particularly timely since we’re all currently being pummeled by trailers for Non-Stop showing Lady Mary herself (Michelle Dockery) dressed as a flight attendant watching Liam Neeson crack skulls at 30,000 feet.
'Downton Abbey': Meet Julian Ovenden, the man playing Mary's newest suitor (and Wink Murder) -- VIDEO
The Feb. 2 episode of Downton Abbey introduced a new man to Lady Mary’s circle, Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden). Mary thought he’d be staying at Downton as he completes a report on how family estates can be saved, while he’s actually there to determine what effect their demise would have on the food source. Neither one seems to think much of the other now, but that could change. “I immediately take a very strong dislike to Lady Mary partly, I think, because we’re very similar — quite alpha personalities,” Ovenden says of Blake. “I see her as someone living in the past, not living in the present. I’m a modern thinker: I believe in equality, not downstairs and upstairs. I think the aristocracy should take much more of a responsibility with their privilege, and that doesn’t sit so well with Mary, which is great to play because Michelle [Dockery] has created such a great, strong character. I wanted to push the character as much as I could, so it would take her into a different realm. Often men fall at her feet pretty easily, proposing after two minutes. I wanted to work against that.”
Whether Mary and Charles make nice is something Ovenden had to keep a secret, first from his sister, who pressed him for spoilers, and then from someone he met at Showtime late last year. “She said, ‘Look, I’m desperate. You can tell me. We’re in the same industry.’ I was like, ‘This is what we’ll do: You tell me about Homeland, and I’ll tell you about Downton Abbey.’ No deal,” he reports, laughing. He will, however, tell you how the Downton cast entertain themselves: “Those dinner scenes are interminable, because there’s so many people to shoot. So you’re siting there for hours eating the same bit of mackerel or whatever. You have to devise games to play, so we’d be playing Wink Murder: Someone’s got to be the murderer, and the way you kill somebody is you wink. Someone dies, and someone has to guess who the murderer is. A lot of times that’s quite funny,” he says. “Sometimes during takes.”
To get to know Ovenden better, we gave him an EW Pop Culture Personality Test. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY
Below is a version of the Downton Abbey opening credits with cats. It’s titled Downton Tabby, which is just purrrfect. Even the Crawley family’s Labrador has been cat-er-ized. Plus, it’s made by Pets Alive, a no-kill shelter in New York, and all the cast members are adoptable. Come to think of it, most Downton characters have pretty great potential cat names — “it’s time for dinner Lady Mary! … Mr. Bates! … Daisy! … Branson!” Check it out below: READ FULL STORY
Who doesn’t love to watch Dame Maggie Smith’s Emmy-winning Dowager Countess and her cunning bons mots?
Her own son! Actor Toby Stephens told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday that he doesn’t enjoy watching Downton Abbey.
The former Bond villain and lead in Starz’s upcoming pirate drama Black Sails was asked whether he’d prefer to be on a sleepy drama like the ITV/PBS hit rather than his action-heavy new show.
“Any day of the week, I’d prefer to be on the show I am now,” Stephens said. “I appreciate Downton Abbey for what it is. I don’t regularly tune in. It’s not really a show I enjoy — It’s just not really what I enjoy watching. Playing this kind of thing for me is like going on an exotic vacation because we don’t do this kind of stuff in the UK. … I’ve seen [UK shows], I’ve done it, I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life. This is fantastic story and production values, that’s what I want to be involved in.”
In other words: Forget that low-budget British-y stuff, bring on more Michael Bay!
After a bad breakup, it’s often best not to see the other person for awhile. It can be hard when they are moving on with a new girlfriend (or the movie Summer in February), and you’re still pining after them via re-watching old Downton Abbey episodes.
It’s best to take a break, which is likely what most fans did with Dan Stevens after his character Cousin Matthew (SPOILER ALERT!) broke our collective hearts and up and died in an automobile accident at the end of the last season of Downton. 2013 was spent mostly Stevens-free, but it’s a new year, which means tensions have thawed and now you might be ready to hear what he has to say.
And what he has to say, by way of the Today show Thursday morning, is that he’s sorry he hurt you. He never meant to! “I spend a lot of my time apologizing,” Stevens said about his interactions with people on the street. “[It happens] almost every day.”
“It was a tough decision,” Stevens continued of his choice to depart. “But like a lot of tough decisions, they’re kind of exciting to make at the same time. But I’m thrilled to be here and it’s been quite a year since we left.”
Hear that? It’s the “I hope we can still be friends” speech. Watch the interview below:
READ FULL STORY
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