"Downton Abbey" Season 2 was a ratings hit for PBS, but it didn't exactly make waves with critics, or its stars. Elizabeth McGovern, known to "Downton Abbey" fans as Lady Cora, told the Los Angeles Times that Season 2 and its World War I story didn't fit with her tastes.
When asked about viewers' fatigue after all the events during the time-spanning season, McGovern said she felt it too. "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.
UPDATE: McGovern spoke to TV Guide Magazine in an effort to clarify her "Downton Abbey" Season 2 statements. She said they were misinterpreted. "I was in no way criticizing the second season or implying that I loved or enjoyed it less," McGovern said.
McGovern seemed to echo Ryan's review, attributing the different tone to the WWI story. "What's made the show successful and different is that attention to character detail and that's what the audience likes ... Writers [in the second season] had to do a lot of glossing over the domestic life, and some of the small moments between characters that characterized the first season," McGovern told the LA Times.
Season 2 of "Downton Abbey" wrapped in the US in February to high ratings for PBS. Season 3 is in the works, but won't make its way to American shores until January 2013. Academy Award-winner Shirley MacLaine will appear in Season 3 as McGovern's mother and "Downton" producer Rebecca Eaton said viewers should expect to see many scenes between Maggie Smith and MacLaine. But could it be Smith's last season as the scene-stealing Dowager Countess?
Reports of Smith not signing on for Seasons 4 and 5 of the hit drama surfaced in March 2012 and were furthered by a UK tabloid report, but a rep for "Downton Abbey" co-producer Masterpiece Theatre told The Huffington Post those reports were untrue. "Season 3 is currently filming with Maggie and the rest of the cast," the rep said. "We don't comment on future storylines, but there's no truth in the story that Maggie is leaving the show."
For more from McGovern on "Downton Abbey," click over to the LA Times.