**Spoiler alert** If you watch Downton Abbey but have not reached season four, you probably shouldn’t read this here post!
I did not watch the Golden Globes last night.
I generally don’t watch award shows because generally speaking, I could care less about who wins what in Hollywood.
However, I heard today that Joanne Froggatt won the Golden Globe for Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television (whew, that was a mouthful!) for her performance in the role of Anna Bates in the fourth season of Downton Abbey.
I’m just gonna go out and say it–I’ve stopped watching Downton Abbey this season. I’m bored of the story line, I think the characters have passed their prime, and I personally believe that the show should have wrapped up after the third season. It’s all become a little too over dramatic for me; the refreshing beauty that it had in it’s first couple seasons as a show that was different, not like everything else out there on television, has been lost in trying to keep it going for far too long.
Last season, season 4, was the beginning of this downward spiral. I really can’t recall much of season 4 just because, well, quite frankly, there’s not a whole lot worth remembering. Even The Dowager Countess, played by the brilliant Dame Maggie Smith–who really made the show in many ways–was losing her charm. The Dowager Countesses remarks that were so witty and spot on in the early seasons seemed forced and dried up in season 4.
Then there was Anna. Anna’s season 4 story line was without a doubt the most controversial story line of the season, if not the whole series. It was terrible. It was horrible. It was really, quite truly, unbelievable to watch Anna, such a kind and beloved character, suffer as she did. I know many viewers were shocked and disappointed. I know many viewers who decided to quit watching Downton then and there because it was too sad, too heartbreaking for them, because they were so upset that the writers allowed that to happen.
Me? I was so glad to see Downton cover the subject. Anna’s rape was not easy to watch. It was not easy to see the pain she endured in the aftermath. It was not easy to see her relationship with Mr. Bates suffer as a result. But it was so real and so raw. These things happen. They happened back then, they happen today. I hate how we as a society tend to throw such touchy subjects under the rug. It’s important to talk about them, to acknowledge that such terribly bad things do happen. Downton tackled such a difficult subject with Anna’s rape, and I think they did it well…it simply could not have been successful, though, without Joanne Froggatt. Her performance was stunning. It was phenomenal. It made watching Anna’s pain all the more difficult to watch.
Need proof? Take a look:
I probably would have stopped watching Downton Abbey mid-season if not for Froggatt’s performance. It was, without a doubt, the shining light in Season 4. While many of the other characters have gotten annoying and kind of unbearable, watching Joanne Froggatt play a beaten and broken down Anna–as difficult as it was to do so–made Season 4 worthwhile for me.
When I heard she had won the Golden Globe nomination, I couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t even know she was up for the nomination in the first place, but she deserved the win. Her portrayal of Anna in season four is one of those performances that is difficult to forget. A subject like rape is difficult to portray on screen; Anna’s story could have come off as inappropriate and all-together wrong. However, that certainly didn’t happen because of Froggatt’s performance.
In other news, I was near tears while watching her acceptance speech.