DOWNTON ABBEY 404: WHO DESERVES A PUNCH IN THE FACE

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I had a hard time with figuring out how much time had passed between last week’s episode and this week’s episode, but it is clear that there has been a time jump, even if it is just a month or so.  After all, it has been enough time for Anna to figure out that she is not pregnant with Mr. Green’s baby, for Mrs. Crowley to have a new lady’s maid, and for Violet to stopping feeling so sorry for Isobel.  It feels like not very much happened in this week’s episode, but it definitely set the stage for big things to come.  Now, let’s get down to punching people.

18.  Anna – You finally have “the talk” with Mr. Bates, even if you were forced into it.  See, he wasn’t mad at you.  I told you, he wouldn’t be.  And, I appreciate the fact that you didn’t get mad at Mrs. Hughes for telling your secret.  I see no need for a punch this week, since it seems like you still have bigger troubles ahead.

17.  Sybbie and George – I still stand firm on the fact that you can’t punch babies, but Sybbie I am not sure that you have to worry about hurricanes in England.  I shake my head at you.

16.  Mrs. Hughes – Although you ultimately did the right thing by telling Mr. Bates what happened to Anna, it still wasn’t exactly your secret to tell.  So, while things may have worked out for you, you still get a small punch for spilling the beans.

15.  Alfred and Daisy – I am sad to see that Alfred didn’t make it into cooking school, but at least he tried.  And, I am glad to see that Daisy helped him as much as she could.  But, I was kind of hoping that Alfred would leave so that we could move on from this Alfred, Daisy, Ivy, Jimmy love-square that has been happening.

14.  Mary – Mary appears to be back to her old self again, judging from her rude comments to Edith.  And, it appears that she has changed her opinion of Evelyn Napier.  At least she is no longer moping around.

13.  Rose – Again, please get a storyline, thanks.  At this point, I don’t see why you are even on this show.  Oh right, to plan parties.  My bad.

12.  Isobel and Violet – I know most people wouldn’t agree that these two should be so far down on the list.  But, I am beginning to feel like they just bicker because there is nothing else for them to do.  Isobel, it is actually possible that the boy you recommended (who you don’t know at all) could have stolen the letter-opener.  Violet, it is actually possible for you not to fight Isobel on everything.  Remember when you were so comforting to her a few episodes ago?  Where was that compassion?

11.  Cora Crowley – You’re taste in lady’s maids is just so horrible.

10.  Mrs. Patmore – How many times do I have to tell you that you can’t be so resistant to change?  Eventually it is going to come back and bite you.  Plus, I promise you that a refrigerator is going to be awesome.

9.  Carson – You weren’t exactly kind to Mr. Mosley, but I also kind of think he deserved it (see below).  So you get somewhat of a pass this week.

8.  Mosley – Seriously, you get offered a job in the house and you have to “think about it?”  I don’t understand what is wrong with you.  While Carson was pretty mean to you when you actually came to accept the job, I also kind of think you deserve it.  When opportunity knocks, you have to answer quickly. (yes, I really did just type that).

7.  Jimmy and Ivy – Jimmy, when did you turn into such a d-bag?  Stop picking on Alfred for having goals and dreams.  And, Ivy, you bore me.  Both of you get a punch.

6.  Gregson and Edith – While Mr. Gregson only appeared in name in this episode, it is clear that he hasn’t written Edith in some time.  This is not acceptable.  And, Edith, are we to assume your doctor visit in London means you are pregnant?  I will be very disappointed in you if that is the case.

5.  Tom – I struggle with you.  I don’t hate your plan for America, actually I think it might be good for you.  But, you have turned into the most depressing character ever.  Please stop moaning about not belonging.  I am so over your internal struggle.

4.  Lord Gillingham – Engaged so quickly.  Clearly your love for Mary wasn’t eternal.

3.  Thomas – Always up to no good.  What are you plans for Baxter?  And, what do you have hanging over her head so that she will agree to do your bidding?  Tell me.

2.  Robert Crowley – I understand that a lot of people are singing Dad Crowley’s praises this week for helping out the poor farmer with the dead dad, but that doesn’t earn you points with me, Mr. Crowley.  I do appreciate your loyalty, but instead of trying to honorably persuade Mary and Tom to agree with your plans, you once again lie and deceive people to get what you want.  And, you again piss away money that isn’t exactly yours I don’t think.  While your intentions may have been good (although I am not sure that I buy that either), you methods are not.  Punch.

1.  Bates – Look, I know that Bates wasn’t completely awful this episode.  He was in fact very sweet and compassionate towards his wife when he finally figured out what happened to her.  But, the last scene with Mrs. Hughes, when Bates appears hell-bent on revenge is what did it for me.  Dude, you know your wife doesn’t want you to go all psycho on the man that did this to her, so why can’t you just respect her wishes and try to move on.  If you end up murdering Mr. Green and end up back in prison, I will not be happy.  (If you can murder him and not get caught, well then, we can talk).

-LJ

BETTER CALL SAUL UPDATE: MIKE!!!!!

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In case you missed it yesterday (which hopefully if you are as obsessed with Breaking Bad as we are, you didn’t), Jonathan Banks (aka Mike Ehrmantraut) has joined the cast of Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel.  Banks will appear as a series regular.  In Breaking Bad, Mike, a former police officer, worked as the Head of Corporate Security at Los Pollos Hermanos and as an enforcer for Gus Fring’s meth operation.  He later became involved with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman’s meth business.  In one of the greatest tragedies on the show, Walt shot Mike in the Season 5A finale.

There has of course been speculation about which other Breaking Bad characters may appear on Better Call Saul, but nothing has been released yet.

We are very, very happy to have Mike back on TV.

*Story broken by Deadline.  http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/jonathan-banks-better-call-saul-casting-mike-ehrmantraut/

-CJ & LJ

DOWNTON ABBEY 403: WHO DESERVES A PUNCH IN THE FACE

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In a surprising twist of fate, Daddy Crowley yet again skips top-billing this week on the list.  This doesn’t mean that I like him, it just means that there are just people who happen to be doing more deplorable things again this week.  This shouldn’t be so shocking considering the rape storyline is still very present.  And, while it doesn’t seem like a lot happened this week at Downton, there are still plenty of people who deserve a punch in the face, so let’s get to the list.

18.  Violet – Still helping Isobel navigate the post-Matthew world.  Nothing wrong with that at all.

17.  Jack Ross – Handsome singer who saves the day.  If only your singing voice had been a littler better…

16.  Mary – For a girl who used to be super bitchy, you have certainly changed.  You are kind to Anna and Tom and you are able to keep your head on straight when it comes to Lord Gillingham’s proposal.  Also, you win the prize for best line of the week.

15.  Isobel – I am glad to see that you can put your grief aside for Mary’s sake and that you are starting to find your way in the world again.  I hope this week was a turning point for you.

14.  Carson and Mrs. Hughes – Carson had a pretty uneventful and unremarkable week, but Mrs. Hughes has become Downton’s resident therapist.  Is there a problem she can’t solve?

13. Rose – Oh Rose, I wish you could get a storyline that didn’t involve you being a love-crazed girl with poor taste in suitors.  I am looking forward to some scandals with Mr. Ross though.

12.  Mrs. Patmore – I don’t know how you can keep your head on straight with all the teenage-love happening in your kitchen.  You keep giving good advice to Daisy though, let’s hope some day she actually takes it.

11.  Cora Crowley – Please stop throwing your grief-stricken daughter at men.  It’s just pathetic.

10.  Thomas – You were your usual self this episode.  I am a bit concerned about your choice of lady’s maid though.  Who is it that you are recommending?  I can’t imagine that it will be good.

9.  Lord Gillingham – Oh, I had such high hopes for you and then you go and propose to Mary after 3 days.  You look like a crazed-stalker.  And, your “he’s dead, I’m alive” line was cringe-worthy.  Matthew’s only been dead 6 months.  Maybe don’t go proposing marriage just yet, especially when you are engaged!  I really liked you and now it appears that you are out of the Downton circle.

8.  Daisy, Ivy, Alfred, and Jimmy – Daisy, when did you turn into such a mean girl and how are you still wrapped up on this Alfred thing?  For my sanity’s sake, I need you to get over it (that goes for you too, Alfred).  This storyline is sooo boring and overplayed.

7.  Edith and Gregson – I think it is clear how I feel about this particular relationship, so I won’t rehash.  But, hello, Edith…you don’t sign papers that you don’t read!!  What have you gotten yourself into?

6.  Anna and Bates – Look, I am not about to punch a girl when she is down, so instead Anna will get a strongly-worded talking to.  Seriously?  You are going to kill yourself if you are pregnant?  That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.  I need you to put on your big girl panties and realize that it isn’t your fault that you were raped.  And, Bates, your wife clearly looks like she was beat up.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened.  This storyline makes me furious.

5.  Robert Crowley – Still doubting Mary, shame.  And, could you even pretend to be a little happy for Edith?  “I don’t dislike him” – I agree with Violet, such a glowing recommendation.  At least you tried to be helpful to Bates.

4.  Aunt Rosamund – I understand times were different back then, but racism definitely deserves a punch in the face.  And, look, I am not completely mad about you yelling at Edith for staying out all night with Gregson (doing you know what), but I feel like it could have been a little more tactful.  Plus, did you really have to throw her past suitors back in her face?

3.  Tom – I’d never thought I would say this, but what the heck is your problem?  You are not entirely to blame for the Edna situation, but you aren’t completely without fault.  If you hadn’t let yourself get so drunk last episode because you were feeling sorry for yourself, then maybe you wouldn’t have found yourself in the predicament you are in.  You are lucky to have Mrs. Hughes to bail you out because you clearly can’t be expected to act like an adult.  Punch.

2.  Mr. Green – You would be #1 again this week, but you were only in 1% of the episode.  Your 1%, however, lands you another punch in the face though due to your smug-ness and overall despicableness.  Oh yeah, and because you are a rapist…I have not forgotten.

1.  Edna – So Edna sneaks into Tom’s room, while he is clearly drunk, and has relations with him.  Then, she attempts to bully him into agreeing to marry her “if she is pregnant,” although she knows she isn’t.  And, if Tom had agreed, it appears she would have grabbed any guy to make sure the deed was actually done.  Gross Edna, just gross.  You get a punch for being a horrible human being and another punch for believing everything that Mrs. Hughes said to you, stupid girl.  It appears that this may be the last we see of Edna, so I would like to offer another punch to the writers of Downton for bringing us a stupid and pointless storyline about a girl that no one cares about or even remembered.

-LJ

WALKING DEAD TRAILER

Well, we showed you the Game of Thrones new trailer earlier this week, so it only seems appropriate to post The Walking Dead’s new trailer for the back-half of season 4.  I think it is safe to say that everyone doesn’t seem to be doing well in the post-prison world.  They seem a little stressed, don’t you think?

The Walking Dead returns in February.

-LJ

DOWNTON ABBEY 402: WHO DESERVES A PUNCH IN THE FACE

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So it really isn’t any surprise who gets the biggest punch this week.  Yup, that’s right, it takes a rapist to knock Dad Crowley off the top spot.  That doesn’t really speak well for Robert now does it?  As much as it pains me to write about an episode in which something so horrible happened to Anna, it must be done.  So here we go!

*Anna is excused from the list this week, for obvious reasons.  She has been through enough.

20.  Lord Gillingham – You win the prize for being the best this week.  It’s a huge honor, let me tell you.  You are charming and smart and appear to be a good friend for Mary to lean on.  I know you would like more, so we will just have to see how this relationship develops.

19.  Violet – Humorous and compassionate as usual.  Well done with Tom and Isobel.

18.  Mary – I know it’s hard to move on, but you are doing better.  Plus, good job standing up to your father.  Question for you though…are you now only going to wear purple?

17.  Mrs. Hughes – Good job taking care of Anna.

16.  Daisy and Ivy – Not much happened this week with you two.  Daisy did take over the kitchen for Mrs. Patmore, so there is that I guess.

15.  Cora Crowley – Thank you for finally putting Robert in his place for something (and for punishing him by having him sit next to Dame Nellie), although you clearly can’t see all of his faults.

14.  Isobel – I know it’s hard to live in a world without Matthew, but it’s getting really hard to watch you sob each week.

13.  Bates – So, I know you were right about Mr. Green, but if you hadn’t been so childish about Anna interacting with him, maybe she would have listened to you more.  Further, your wife shows up at the end of the night with a beat up face and a new dress and you think she just fell in the kitchen, seriously?!  Come on, man.

12.  Michael Gregson – You saved the day and won everyone’s money back.  And, I think it was very smart of you.  So, I will only give you a small punch this week.  But, you are still becoming a German and you still shouldn’t be dating Edith.  Also, you are kind of whiny when Robert doesn’t want to hang out with you.

11.  Jimmy – See that is what showing off will get you, a hurt wrist.  Stop trying to impress the girls, they already like you.

10.  Edith – Stop being so transparent.  We know your want your dad to like your boyfriend, your dad knows you want him to like your boyfriend, we all get it.  Also, please still get a new boyfriend.  Thanks.

9.  Mrs. Patmore – You are stressing yourself and everyone else out for no good reason.  But, way to put Carson in his place for being such a snob about Alfred helping out in the kitchen and the kitchen maids going upstairs to watch the concert.

8.  Rose – You are such a silly, silly girl.  Yeah, maybe bringing Matthew’s stuff out of the attic wasn’t a good idea.  Also, continuing dancing after Mary clearly gets upset by what you have done, doesn’t win you many points either.

7.  Molesley – You may not deserve a straight-out punch, but definitely a slap in the face.  No one likes a pity party.  Can’t you see that people are trying to help you?

6.  Tom – You had a bad, bad week.  Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get the hell away from Edna.  You are showing very bad judgment and I don’t like it.  If you weren’t so nice to Isobel, you might have been even higher on the list.

5.  Thomas – You are mean to Tom and then throw a fit when you are asked to help out.  Stop being so childish.

4.  Carson – You are such a snob.  No redeeming act to help you this week.

3.  Edna – It’s not really surprising to find you at the top of the list this week.  You are needlessly bothering Tom, making him feel worse, and you get him drunk so you can take advantage of him.  Seriously?  You are a maid!

2.  Robert Crowley – You force an amazing singer to eat in her room alone because she is “beneath” you; you won’t listen to your own daughter Mary when she says she is trying to help fix the estate problems; you won’t try and get to know your other daughter’s boyfriend; and you are a horrible gambler who loses tons of money.  You suck.

1.  Mr. Green (aka the rapist valet) – Ok, so this could not have been a more horrific scene if it tried to be.  This man is pretty much the worst person on the planet for harming Anna (and then having the nerve to say goodnight to her and Mr. Bates afterwards).  He deserves much much worse than any punch I could give him.

**In addition to Mr. Green, I am lumping the Downton writers into this #1.  Seriously, we couldn’t have Anna happy for more than a second?  Her and Bates’s relationship has been full of chaos from the beginning, we don’t need any more.  Maybe you could have tried and stretched yourself and seen if you could make a happy couple interesting, maybe.  Additionally, I am not happy that it seems like this is just going to turn into the same-old storyline of “wife gets attacked, doesn’t tell husband, begins to shy away from husband (for good reason), and then marriage problems ensue.”  This is boring to watch and it is lazy writing.  The end.  (You can tell I am a little on edge about this, can’t you?!).

-LJ

THE YBTV GOLDEN GLOBES: IF WE RAN THE WORLD

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The Golden Globes are this Sunday hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  As we did with the Emmys, we are providing you with our thoughts on who should win (and who will think will actually win).  Again, we are working within the parameters of who was actually nominated, even if don’t necessarily agree with some nominations.  And, while the Golden Globes, honor both film and TV, since this is a television blog, we will only be discussing the TV related nominations.  That being said, if American Hustle doesn’t win everything, then this is a world I don’t want to live in.  Here we go:

Best TV Comedy or Musical
Girls
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
The Big Bang Theory
Brooklyn Nine-Nine

CJ’s picks:  Parks and Recreation (should win); The Big Bang Theory (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Same.

Best TV Drama
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
The Good Wife
House of Cards
Masters of Sex

CJ’s picks:  Breaking Bad (should win); Breaking Bad (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Same.

Best Actress in a TV Drama
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

CJ’s picks:  Tatiana Maslany (should win); Tatiana Maslany (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Tatiana Maslany (should win); Julianna Marguiles/Robin Wright (will win).

Best Actress in a TV Comedy
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

CJ’s picks:  Julia Louis-Dreyfus (should win); Julia Louis-Dreyfus (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Same.  [I promise I do have my own thoughts.]

Best Actor in a TV Drama
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, The Blacklist

CJ’s picks:  Bryan Cranston (should win); Kevin Spacey (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Same.

Best Actor in a TV Comedy
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

CJ’s picks:  Jason Bateman (should win); Michael J. Fox (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Jason Bateman (should win); Jim Parsons (will win).  [Full disclosure – I couldn’t care less about any of these people.  I only watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Michael J. Fox Show and neither deserve a nomination.]

Best Miniseries or TV Movie
American Horror Story: Coven
Behind the Candelabra
Dancing on the Edge
Top of the Lake
White Queen

CJ’s picks:  Top of the Lake (should win); Top of the Lake/Behind the Candelabra (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Top of the Lake (should win); Behind the Candelabra (will win).

Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Rebecca Ferguson, White Queen
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake

CJ’s picks:  Elisabeth Moss (should win); Elisabeth Moss (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Elisabeth Moss (should win); Jessica Lange (will win).

Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

CJ’s picks:  Idris Elba (should win); Michael Douglas (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Same.

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Show, Miniseries or TV Movie
Jacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the Edge
Janet McTeer, White Queen
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

CJ’s picks:  Sofia Vergara (should win); Sofia Vergara (will win). [Such an awful category, where is Elisabeth Moss and Anna Gunn?]

LJ’s picks:  Same.

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Show, Miniseries or TV Movie
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Corey Stoll, House of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

CJ’s picks:  Corey Stoll (should win); Aaron Paul (will win).

LJ’s picks:  Aaron Paul (should win); Aaron Paul (will win).

Biggest Snub

CJ’s pick:  No nominations for Mad Men or Justified.

LJ’s pick:  Anna Gunn/Elisabeth Moss/Kate Mara/Anyone from Orange is the New Black in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Category with the Worst Nominations

CJ’s pick:  Best Supporting Actress.

LJ’s pick:  Same.  [Hayden Panettiere?  You have got to be kidding me.]

Clearly, we have a lot of overlap this year.  I blame this on the low quality of the nominations because CJ and I never agree this much on anything.  Ever.

-CJ and LJ