OK, since I have placed the words “DOWNTON SPOILER” in the title of this post, and since the Downton Abbey season finale aired last night, and since it is now available on the website, and since it already aired last year in the UK, and since everyone on Facebook is talking about it, I don’t want to hear ONE WORD FROM ANY OF YOU about how I “spoiled” Downton Abbey for you. If you are spoiled, the spoiling is all on your side of the table, ok?
I’m about to start talking about it, so I’m giving you one more chance to LOOK AWAY if you haven’t watched it yet.
Are we ready?
OK, so—by now you know that Matthew Crowley was killed in the season finale of Season Three of Downton Abbey. Because I was interested in learning more about the show and its actors, I actually spoiled this for myself months ago by reading several interviews with Dan Stevens (who played Matthew) about how his decision to quit the show, so I wasn’t really feeling very sad to see him go, to be honest with you. Stephan created a hilarious meme graphic to express our outrage.
Friends, I think we must go back in time to my rant about Mischa Barton and other people who throw away what they have, and how irresponsible I think it is for an actor to quit a hit show. I'm going to link to that post even though it will probably awaken the Mischa Barton Fan Club who will come here and leave nasty comments for me, because even after six years, I maintain my stance that MISCHA BARTON IS A BAD ACTRESS WHO WAS LUCKY TO EVEN BE ON THE O.C. Let me qualify this by telling you that I know many working actors, some of whom have been on hit shows (and some of whom are on hit shows now), so I think I can authoritatively say that before an actor gets on a hit show, they have done literally THOUSANDS of auditions, have been in a bunch of failed pilots, have done more guest spots than they would care to count, and have just really been hanging in there, playing the game and waiting for a hit. That is part of the reason I think it is so absurd when a previously unknown actor like Dan Stevens leaves a show like Downton Abbey because he can’t wait to move on to bigger and better things. Dan Stevens has barely established his brand equity in the U.S. Downton Abbey has only been a known commodity in the past couple of years, and I don’t know who is advising Stevens or if he has gone rogue, but this is just not a good idea, no matter how you slice it.
While we were discussing this, Stephan mentioned the adage of “Stages of Fame.” Here, we will apply this to the now-unemployed Dan Stevens, who did not sign on for Season Four of Downton because he was moving on to “other projects,” and whose Broadway play has already closed, so we can already see how that is going for him. This would be the life-cycle of a castable actor in the entertainment industry, which has a slightly longer life than that of a fruit fly.
Casting people/ producers say:
- Who is Dan Stevens?
- Get me Dan Stevens!
- Get me a Dan Stevens type!
- Get me a young Dan Stevens!
- Who is Dan Stevens?
So, there you go. I have the same exact feeling about Jessica Brown Finlay (Lady Sybil, who also quit and was also killed off this season). I also would like to mention that I fully agree with producer Julian Fellowes’ decision to kill these characters off instead of simply writing them off the show. You quit a show like that, I’m sorry, you don’t deserve a way back in if you change your mind. This also holds true for Jessica Brown Finlay. They quit, it wouldn’t have made sense (especially for Matthew) to be alive in that world but to not be a part of that family, so now they’re dead. What would you have done if you were Julian Fellowes? Here’s an article about his decision, in case you’re curious.I also would loved to have been a fly on the wall when Maggie Smith heard about those two leaving the show. I am 100% sure she made the face pictured above.