Spoiler Alert: This blog is for people watching Downton Abbey series three on PBS in the Us. Don't read on if you haven't seen episode three.
Viv Groskop's episode two blog
This was an episode that pointed up the main problem with Downton: when it's mad we complain, but secretly enjoy it; when it's not that mad we also complain, because it feels a bit boring. By the usual melty-faced, tingling standards, this was a tame instalment, to be sure. Hundreds of letters went undelivered and then suddenly arrived all at once. Bates stopped shaving. Cousin Isobel said the word "prostitute" 73 times. There were some good points: the new footman, the reappearance of the Molesley-deprived Mrs Bird, the new footman. But mostly this was a rehash of things we've seen before.