But then Lemberger gets to her real problem: “Downton Abbey was appointment TV for my husband and me, two people whose tastes rarely coincide. He watches sports. I watch upholstery. But as the season has progressed, the groans from his end of the couch have gotten louder.” So, that’s it — the heart of what detractors are really complaining about. In its second season, the show has begun to strike some viewers as openly — nay, brazenly! — female oriented. While it used to be required viewing for everyone who’s ever donated enough to own a PBS tote bag, Julian Fellowes has tipped his hand, and it’s all queens. And, perhaps because everything women like more than men is ripe for popular scorn (think “chick flicks” vs. action blockbusters), the author is embarrassed enough by its girlie elements that she now seems to believe her beloved costume drama has devolved into World War I Gossip Girl.
Judy is secretly the Dowager Countess.