The Disappointing Downton Abbey Premiere Saw Its Highest Ratings in Seattle

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Courtesy PBS
Maggie Smith, right, is still the best thing on television.
SPOILER ALERT!!! DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE SEASON 3 PREMIERE OF DOWNTON ABBEY. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE PREMIERE AND HAVE NO INTENTION OF WATCHING THE SHOW, YOU STILL SHOULD NOT READ THIS. NOT BECAUSE IT WILL SPOIL ANYTHING FOR YOU, BUT BECAUSE I DON'T WANT YOU READING THIS.

OK, so, the third season of Downton Abbey had its U.S. premiere last night, and, predictably, saw its highest ratings in Seattle, where 17 percent of Seattle's TV sets were tuned in to KCTC (seriously, what were the rest of you watching???).

Obviously, this was the most anticipated television event of our young year. And now that it's over, I've just gotta say . . .

1. Seriously, what's happening here? How is it that there are all of a sudden 79 different story lines to follow? I know it's terrible that Mr. Bates is in prison for a murder that he didn't commit, but I don't give a rat's poison about his cellmate.

2. I do care that Ethel has, apparently, become a prostitute. It's horrible.

3. LOOK, we know they're not going to LOSE DOWNTON. There will be a lot of drama, some money will change hands, sure. But the Crawleys are not going to lose Downton. THE SHOW IS CALLED DOWNTON ABBEY!!! So what's with all the fake drama? It's bad enough that we had to sit through all that "Oooooooh, are Mary and Matthew going to break up over this matter of Lavinia's dad's money????"

4. The season 2 premiere was incredible. It dropped us in the middle of WW1, and was Downton's Kid A moment. Some fans hated it and fell off, many others cheered on the creators. So what's the gambit this time around? Oooooh, hair styles! The biggest problems this family has is how to transfer money from cousins, husbands, grandmamas, and grannies. Same as it ever was!!!

5. What's going on with Branson, er, Tom, is great. I can't wait to see how the Tom/Matthew man-love evolves.

6. Holy crap, how long are Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes going to put up with O'Brien and Thomas? Yeah, the latter two are good characters. BUT they're TOXIC EMPLOYEES! Carson and Mrs. Hughes are supposed to be ass-kicking service members keeping up the high standards of Downton. But those standards are being lowered with every episode. If Hughes and Carson were so smart and good at their jobs -- and they are -- they would have fired O'Brien and Thomas in Season One. Every episode in which they persevere makes Carson and Hughes look dumber and dumber. And they're not dumb.

7. It's terrible that Mrs. Hughes has cancer. But, holy crap, do we really need another storyline? I agree that we need more Mrs. Patmore dialogue, but is this the best they could come up with? Is the only way for Mrs. Patmore to get more one-liners for Mrs. Hughes to get cancer?

8. Maggie Smith continues to be the best thing about this show, and television in general. Period.

9. Yes, I know a lot of you stole the episodes from the webinet and have already seen the as-seen-on-the-BBC season. You people are not allowed to leave spoilers in the comments. That would be unforgivable, the worst, like Sara Brickner telling me that Dumbledore was killed.

10. The next episode airs at 9 p.m. Sunday on KCTS 9.

 
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