'Downton Abbey': The Worst House Party Ever

Despite Downton Abbey's refinement and pretty costumes, the British period drama has always flirted with the idea of being just a big-budget soap opera with plot lines involving incest, a murder trial, and an intentional miscarriage. But there's really no trope as quintessentially soap-y as that of rape. And last… » 1/13/14 4:45pm 1/13/14 4:45pm

Sunday Sign Off: Lady Edith Is Going to Have a Great Decade

Lady Edith moves to 1920s Berlin, becomes a bon vivant artist, attending various orgies and drinking parties with Michael Gregson while working on a literary masterwork that starts out an innocuous chronicle of the Berlin social scene and transforms into a terrifying tale about the rise of fascism in Germany. Tell me… » 1/12/14 6:30pm 1/12/14 6:30pm

There’s No Earthly Way You Can Watch All the TV Tonight

Unless you're Adrian Veidt or James Woods in Videodrome and (spoiler alert) your stomach has turned into a weird VCR vagina, there's no way you'll be able to keep up with all the television you are required BY LAW to watch this evening. Seriously, the Sunday afternoon/evening lineup is so daunting…[How daunting is… » 1/12/14 1:00pm 1/12/14 1:00pm

Sunday Sign Off: Downton Abbey, Rise of the Machines

Sure, we could spend the whole new season fretting over Downton's precarious finances, OR the writers could have devised a whole new story arc: the luddite Mrs. Patmore learns that the machines are plotting to take over Downton and must set about destroying all telephones and electric mixers even as the people around… » 1/05/14 6:30pm 1/05/14 6:30pm

Lady Mary of Downton Abbey Is Also a Crime-Fighting Cop

Turns out Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery is a good sport when she's not playing mean girl Lady Mary Crawley. The actress made us giggle in Funny or Die's new spoof Tough Justice, narrated by Jon Hamm. In the faux TNT cop drama, Dockery plays Connie Tough (great name btw), a detective who can't decide whether to have… » 1/03/14 7:15pm 1/03/14 7:15pm

New UK Bill to Let Women Inherit Titles Named After Downton Abbey

Let this serve as the end of the debate over whether life imitates art or art imitates life (it's the former, but you're entitled to your entirely incorrect opinion): a new bill snaking its way through the UK's House of Lords would change a 400-year-old system of agnatic primogeniture and allow baronets to pass their… » 12/29/13 12:00pm 12/29/13 12:00pm

It's the Dowager Countess, er, Maggie Smith's Birthday!

Ladies, my afternoon tea today will be in celebration of the life and acting career of Maggie Smith. The Brit, born on December 28, 1934, is 79 years old and she has given us fabulous characters like Hook's Granny Wendy, Gunilla Garson Goldberg of The First Wives' Club, Mother Superior from Sister Act, and Professor… » 12/28/13 2:30pm 12/28/13 2:30pm