Why Season 2 of Downton Abbey Has Been a Letdown

Confession 1:  I watch Downton Abbey.  Confession 2:  I freaking love it.  Or should I say, I loveD it.  Season 1 was amazing, but season 2 has been a total let down for me.

Compare season 1 story lines with season 2:

Lady Sybil:

In Season 1, she basically hangs around in the background showing the most upside of any of the daughters.  She wears pants once.  Everyone is shocked.  In Season 2, she is courted by her chauffeur, who every time they see one another confesses his love for Lady Sybil.  We learn about the chemistry between them when he tells her about it, but also during the lovepacked season when he drives her around.  Try not to get aroused looking at this screencap:

Va-va-va-voom!  Am I right?  The passion continues for the entirety of the season until she tells him that she’s in.  They share a passionate kiss, filled with as much romance as this:

And she then decides to eff it all and run off to Dublin, where she will give up all of her worldly possessions and finally ride shotgun.  The Lord steadfastly refuses until the episode is almost over.  Then he caves.  She will get money so everyone is happy.

Lady Edith:

In season 1, nobody cares about her, which makes her sad.

In season 2, nobody cares about her, but she drives a car, which makes her happy.

Matthew:

In Season 1, he shows up as a hard working barrister who does not care about the elite world of Downton Abbey.  He is supposed to marry Mary and a season long will they/won’t they drama unfolds.  He proposes and she makes him wait because she wants to see if he will be displaced by a boy sibling.  He gets sad.  We get sad too.

In season 2, he goes to war and leads a group of soldiers.  He gets engaged to a lovely young woman with a name that is not one that a real person would have.  We hate her because she is not Mary, but we don’t really know why we root for Mary, who is a loathsome human being, generally speaking.  During the war, he nearly dies (but is saved by his handsomeness and charm) and discovers he will never be able to walk again or use his reproductive organs.  He still loves Mary.  Then, he tells his fiancé to leave him, because they could never be properly married (i.e., do it).  But she is so great of a person that she agrees to stand by him no matter what.  But Matthew still loves Mary, mostly because she gave him a toy to protect him during the war.  Rather than protect him, the toy led him to think that he was paralyzed and penis-less.  Despite his wishes, his bride-to-be wants to stay with him and care for him.  He keeps the toy, but agrees that he should get married.  Then miraculously, he can walk and procreate again.  So with the use of a walking stick, he walks his stick right to Lady Mary and makes out with her in the living room.  His fiancé sees it and promptly dies.  Crisis averted!  OR IS IT?!

Lady Mary:

In Season 1, she loses her future husband in a horrible boating accident.  She is left with no one to marry and no one to take over the heir to the house, so she says “mama” and “papa” a lot with the emphasis on the second syllable.  Matthew appears and she doesn’t like him, probably because he is disgustingly handsome, worldly, funny, a good dancer, charitable, and loyal.  As she is being courted, she bangs a Turkish guy, who dies,disproving a certain theory that I learned from Clerks.  

In Season 2, she continues to be a horrible person.  She gets engaged to a newspaper man, who purchases the rights to her scandal.  We wait for her to tell the newsman that she is going to leave him so that piece of information will again be relevant.

Mr. Bates:

In Season 1, he has a limp, a cane, and a horrible secret that he can’t reveal.  No one likes him, except Anna, and he doesn’t say much.  We learn that he is married and can’t marry Anna.

In Season 2, everyone loves Bates, especially Anna, but not his ex-wife, who appears periodically so that he can have additional secrets to keep from Anna.  Anna keeps wanting to marry him so that she can learn his first name once and for all, but he can’t for various reasons that he cannot reveal.  In last night’s episode, we learn that the reason was that he has weirdly shaped upper back and shoulder area:

Lord Grantham:

In Season 1, he is generally nice and kind to all that he encounters and loving to his wife.

In Season 2, he hooks up with a mildly attractive maid when his wife is probably dying from the flu.  We learn that he and the maid will hook up earlier in the season when all of their scenes together involve passionate music and close ups of their lips.  Also, he remembers her kid’s name, which is a sign of love.

Daisy:

In season 1, she has a crush on Thomas, but he does not like her back because he is gay.  Because he is a jerk, he pretends to like her because it will infuriate his nemesis, William. She puts soap in the soup.

In Season 2, Daisy agrees to marry William even though she doesn’t like him because of pressure from a cook in the kitchen.  Every scene unfolds in the exact same way.  The cook says, “Daisy, you should_____”  Daisy says, “But I can’t.  I don’t love him.”  Because she is British, the word love is pronounced with an eloooooongated O.  Then the cook says, but you have to.  He’s at war/dying/dead/watching you from heaven.  Then if it is something that would be bad for her, she says ok.  If it is something that would benefit her, she holds strong and refuses.

The guy with the burnt face:

In season 1, he dies in the Titanic.

In season 2, he reemerges from the dead and hangs around for one episode looking like this:

Only instead of his wife’s Burberry scarf, it was gauze, and his eyes weren’t as naturally beautiful, and his face was more scorched from the fire.  He then spends the first 45 minutes of his visit telling everyone that he can’t believe they don’t remember him, but refuses to mention his name.  Then he says who he is and everyone thinks he is a fraud except Lady Edith, who can drive a car so she believes him.

The Dowager Countess:

Season 1 – Selflessly gives up rose title and says hilarious things.

Season 2 – Says hilarious things.  Uses cane more.

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