Anyone annoyed at the uptick in melodrama during the second series of “Downton Abbey” better get ready for a lot more of the same, at least if the first footage from the upcoming season is anything to go by. The addition of a new character, Martha Levinson — Lady Cora’s mother, played by Shirely MacLaine — doesn’t look like it’s going to calm things down around the Grantham estate one bit. The clip, which premiered during the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Shirley MacLaine, is delight for any fan of the Julian Fellowes’s period piece drama. It shows MacLaine and Maggie Smith’s first interaction, in what’s most likely years, and things get a little testy. (Fast forward to the 0:45 second mark to get to the good stuff.)
As enjoyable as it has been to watch Smith’s Dowager Countess verbally eviscerate anyone who annoys her over the last couple seasons, the idea of her finally meeting her match, and hopefully pushing her insult game to a new level, is exciting. Note to Mr. Fellowes: As much as we’d like to see what happens with the rest of the Crawley clan, we’d totally be okay with an entire season of MacLaine and Smith throwing sassy barbs at one another. The only problem: This makes waiting for the next season to start airing in 2013 that much harder.