DOWNTON ABBEY Preview: Season 4 Offers Suitors, Shocks, and New-Found Ambition

With many U.S. fans are still recouping from the Season 3 tragedies – the deaths of Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) — viewers may not be quite ready to embrace what Season 4 has in store.

Six months has passed since Matthew’s untimely demise and Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) is still in mourning. In fact, the entire Grantham household seems to be walking on egg-shells to not disturb Mary’s grief-stricken life. But grieving can only go on for so long and even sympathetic Tom (Allen Leech) knows that Mary needs a distraction. Fortunately, there is a nanny issue to address, tenant properties that need inspecting, and a massive estate to manage, all which may or may not be under Mary’s prevue as Matthew’s widow. Unfortunately, shaking Mary out of her stupor will be quite the task. But let’s not forget that Mary is now a very eligible widow – and many suitors will be circling around from a safe distance. [Read more…]

We Preview DOWNTON ABBEY’s Tumultuous Season Three

downton abbey season 3
In the genteel world of DOWNTON ABBEY, calamity strikes swiftly bringing uncertainty to the lives of the Granthams, the Crawleys and their devoted staff.  Having survived the loss of the estate’s heir in the sinking of the Titanic in the first season, followed by the upheaval in their lives due to World War I in the second season, the third season brings about a different kind of challenges to the great house and its stately occupants: a financial scandal rocks the house of Grantham and threatens to impoverish them all forcing them to abandon the only home they have ever known. So just as Mary Grantham (Michelle Dockery) and Matthew Crowley (Dan Stevens) are about to finally wed, this latest wrinkle in their path to marital bliss may prevent their blessed union. [Read more…]

The Top 10 Television Shows of 2012

Top 10 lists are tricky things.  It can be absurdly hard to narrow down anything to a select group of ten.  It’s like being asked to choose your favorite child and you just want to wail, “But I love all of them!”   This is particularly true in television.  Each year I commit to nearly 100 television shows that air throughout the twelve-month period.  Thus, to pare down to the few that were truly outstanding, it can be exceptionally difficult.   But there are always a deserving few who manage to do the impossible:  sustaining a high caliber of performance and be equally captivating entertainment.  As a caveat, there will always be better shows, but sometimes those shows just didn’t manage to be as consistently entertaining. Addictiveness plays a large part of what makes television shows successful.  It is a quality that is rare and elusive and can be dependent upon the personal tastes of the viewer.   However, when you simply cannot wait to see what comes next, then you know there is something special about that show.
Accordingly, these were the Top 10 TV Shows that I found myself counting down the minutes and hours of each week anxiously awaiting the next episode: [Read more…]

Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Things That Make Us Go “Hmmmm…”

Multiple sources are reporting that Matthew Crawley’s real-life alter ego Dan Stevens has opted not to renew his contract for a fourth and fifth season of DOWNTON ABBEY. And while speculation has run rampant that Stevens — who is currently appearing on Broadway in a revival of The Heiress opposite Jessica Chastain — is hoping to parlay the success that comes with starring on a hit UK television show into more lucrative work Stateside, we’ve got two words for him: David Caruso. Or to be more specific: Television is an incredibly powerful medium that if used properly can open an endless amount of doors in Hollywood. Just ask SHERLOCK stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, both of whom savvily squeezed in work on some little side projects like Star Trek: Into Darkness and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey during downtime from their hit British export.

2013 SAG Nominees
Earlier today, the Screen Actors Guild announced their 2013 nominations honoring the year in both movies and television. Unfortunately, if the list of nominees illustrated anything, it’s the the hard working men and women who make up the screen actors guild may-or-may-not actually watch the medium that pays the bills! Case in point, HAPPY ENDINGS, PARKS AND RECREATION and SUBURGATORY were inexplicably left out of the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series category in lieu of far less funny veterans like GLEE, NURSE JACKIE and THE OFFICE. While THE GOOD WIFE, GAME OF THRONES, THE WALKING DEAD and PARENTHOOD failed to be recognized in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Category. And don’t even get us started on Betty White’s nod for her work on HOT IN CLEVELAND! Mainly because we don’t want to go on record as bashing a national treasure, but come on, isn’t it enough already? [Read more…]

TCA 2012: An Evening Celebrating the Success of DOWNTON ABBEY

DOWNTON ABBEY, which currently filming its 3rd season and just nominated for 16 Emmys (including Best Drama Series, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor), was celebrated at the recent PBS Summer 2012 Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on July 21, 2012. 
Attending from “across the pond” were cast members: Hugh Bonneville (“Robert Crawley”), Elizabeth McGovern (“Cora Crawley”), Michelle Dockery (“Mary Crawley”), Brendan Coyle (“John Bates”), Joanne Froggatt (“Anna Smith Bates”), Shirley MacLaine (“Martha Levinson”), along with Julian Fellowes (creator, writer and executive producer) and Gareth Neame (executive producer).  Introduced and moderated by Rebecca Eaton (series executive producer of PBS MASTERPIECE), the evening’s panel was filled with hilarity and mutual joy – a rare feat for any show brought before the highly critical Television Critic’s Association.
To get the party started, there was a special screening of a highlight reel of TV shows that have parodied the series, followed by an exclusive sneak peek of scenes from the upcoming third season of DOWNTON ABBEY.  If that was not enough to get everyone salivating at the prospect of learning more juicy tidbits about what the show has in store for its worldwide fans, as the cast was introduced, each seemed to exude such happy confidence that the entire room was immediately under their thrall.  It was an unusual night of blissful contentment and unexpected comedy.
The following are a few of the fun things learned during the panel as the cast and producers could barely conceal their giddy-glee and the audience sat in rapt attention: [Read more…]

Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Actresses Who Could Replace Our Favorite DOWNTON Dame

The news that Maggie Smith — aka everyone’s favorite Dowager Countess (although, honestly, can you name another) — will probably exit DOWNTON ABBEY after season three left us fanning ourselves and reaching for the smelling salts. And, while dames don’t come any grander than the veteran actress, TheTVAddict could conceivably accept one of the following filling the void. [Read more…]