1- The Clothing. No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to manage transforming the “beaded, black lace” look into something that doesn’t look like a style I would have rocked circa 1997. Also, the headpieces are magnificent and would inevitably look ridiculous in modern-day Manhattan.
2- Granny (or Grand Ma-Ma). Maggie Smith is phenomenal. Her wit, comedic timing, and precise facial impressions cannot be imitated or replicated. She is also 78 years old. The threat of retirement or, ya know…worse, is enough to keep a devoted fan up at night.
3- Lady Mary. She is stunningly beautiful, tough, intelligent…and a bit mean. While she is admittedly my favorite Crawley daughter, I do sometime question my acceptance of this “mean girl” quality. For real though, she is a total bitch to Edith most of the time…and this causes me to wonder, would I (i.e. the transcendent we) be so accepting if Edith were more attractive? Yikes, I don’t need this self-reflection Downton!
4- Love (alright fine, sex) Scenes. Better yet, the LACK of gratuitous groping onscreen. In the land of True Blood, Game of Thrones, and even Girls…the prim and proper breakfast in bed moments just aren’t cutting it. We’re a nation of pervs, PBS. Get with the program.
5- Mr. Bates. I’m sorry, but isn’t he like 30 years older than our sweet Anna?! Am I the only one who thinks she looks like an adorable twenty-something…not a woman who would marry an ailing, and frankly uninteresting, stranger with a psycho wife (Vera, you sly minx). Can we keep our Matthews/Turks and trade in Mr. Bates?!