Downton‘s airing in the U.K. now. Some described season 2 as disappointing, so we yearned for a strong return. Dash your hopes. Though you needn’t lower your expectations of the sublime, but underused, Shirley MacLaine who plays Cora‘s mother and sweeps in from America to drive the Dowager crazy. This Mary, this Mary is not the Mary we know. The Mary we know would not tolerate such douchery from the annoyingly and uselessly self-righteous Matthew. The contrived Downton financial crisis comes suddenly and the imminent solution provided a bit too easily.What remains? Glorious clothes, food, and decor. The humor is more sparsely sprinkled this season, but sharp as a fireplace poker. The show succeeds when the upstairs ladies hold court with the Dowager presiding. Only three episodes deep, Fellowes still has plenty of time to turn it around and make me eat my words.
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