April 30, 2012 at 11:03 AM ET
"Downton Abbey" has enjoyed tremendous success both in England and the U.S., which means that a backlash had to happen sometime. But that doesn't mean recent comments made by star Elizabeth McGovern and now actor Benedict Cumberbatch (of "Sherlock" fame) haven't gotten us all in a tizzy. Where are our smelling salts?
Last week, McGovern, who plays Countess Cora Crawley, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying the soapy turn the show took in the second season was a little tiring, with all of the twists and turns. "It's kind of a taste thing, and the show in the first season was more to my taste than the show in the second season," she said.
She's since backtracked, telling TV Guide Magazine in a statement that she was "horrified" that those comments were "taken out of context and misinterpreted.... I was in no way criticizing the second season or implying that I loved it or enjoyed it less."
Now here comes Benedict Cumberbatch, who fans of PBS miniseries (like "Downton") will know from his reprisal of Sherlock Holmes (season two begins airing May 6 on "Masterpiece Mystery!"). In Thursday's New York Times, Cumberbatch displayed a certain amount of envy that "Sherlock's" first season got ignored in the rising light of "Downtown" by relating a story from January's Golden Globes ceremony. He recalled that PBS "Masterpiece" executive producer Rebecca Eaton taunted him with "Downton's" just-won trophy.
"I just looked at it and went: 'Begone, woman. Bring it back when it says “Sherlock Holmes” or (series co-creator) Steven Moffat or myself -- someone else who’s more deserving than the second series of 'Downton Abbey.''"
He wouldn't say more about the series, only noting: "I know too many people who are in it. I thought the first (season) was good. That’s what I’ll say."
So what do you say? Did you find "Downton Abbey" too soapy in its second season? Tell us on our Facebook page!