Golden Armchair Awards 2016: The People


The holidays are approaching, 2016 is (finally!) drawing to a close, and that means it’s time to look back and smile or shake our heads at all that happened this year in the world of costume dramas. First: let’s vote on the characters we loved, hated, and will miss.

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Dressing Downton: 2014 Christmas Special

Downtonc-57Pack up your tweeds and teagowns, the gang’s off to a grouse shoot!

Despite the fact that it revolved around a sport, a shooting weekend, even in the post-war era, was not an informal event. There was an intricate set of rules to be followed, meals were hugely elaborate, and clothes had to be chosen carefully and worn at just the right time. Breakfast and tea called for different outfits, tweeds were worn on the drive (which women only joined after lunch), and gowns, jewels, and tiaras were de rigueur for dinner. So we can expect lots and lots of loveliness.

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Dressing Downton: Series 5, Episode 2

DowntonEpisode2After last week’s excitement, it felt like not a lot happened this episode. It was more focused on setting up possible things to come (Cora and Bricker), making us hate Robert even as he was proven right in the most eye-rollingly ridiculous way imaginable, and some narrative wheel-spinning with Mary and Edith while Rose was totally wasted running around bleating about a wireless like a teenager begging daddy for the iPhone 6.

But the clothes were lovely, and the dowager seriously stepped it up.

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Dressing Downton, Season 5 Episode 1

JS46046547A fair bit happened in this episode: we got Farmer Drew going above and beyond to help keep Edith’s babydrama a secret, more chatter about Mary’s and Isobel’s love and sex lives than I cared to hear, Thomas acting super creepy, Sarah acting like a supreme asshole, Violet meddling, a predatory aristocrat, Baxter’s big secret, and a fire. Whew!

And, of course, lovely, lovely clothes.

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Downton Abbey: Before and After

Previously on Downton Abbey: We learned that war is hell, just in case you weren’t sure. Matthew came by with his new fiancée, who’s already being sneered at by Carson and Violet, even though she seems like a perfectly sweet girl. Bates got dragged off by his horrible wife, Vera, who’ll probably bleed him dry in no time. Both Sybil and Edith decided it was time to start being useful, and Thomas figured out a way to get sent home from the front.

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Downton Abbey: Leaving the Nest

Blogger’s Note: These recaps are for the hour-long episodes that aired on ITV back in the fall. After the way PBS hacked up series 1, I thought it might be better to recap the unadulterated versions. Episode one from PBS is covered in this and the following recap, and so forth.

We are back, folks! And how lovely was it that the very night Downton series 2 debuted in the UK series 1 cleaned up at the Emmys? The Americans may have fought a war to sever themselves from the crown, but we still love our British prestige pieces, don’t we? And rightly so—Downton was the best thing nominated in its categories, in my opinion. So, how does series 2 stack up to its predecessor? Let’s see.

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