Downton Abbey was a wonderful series that thrived thanks to its incredible characters, but, while we loved some relationships, others were pretty bad.
One of the most popular and grand period dramas ever made, so much of Downton Abbey’s appeal comes from its elegant sets, costumes, and escapism. However, the lasting appeal of the series reaches far beyond the beauty of the show. It’s the relationships between the characters that keep audiences hooked.
Obviously there’s the romance, but many the friendships in the series are just as engrossing. There are just as many friendships that we love to watch though as ones we hate. Here are some of the best of the series along with some of the worst.
Worst – Thomas and Andrew
Thomas Barrow is one of the most complicated characters in the show. For so long he was nothing more than a foil for the more likable characters, but, as the series went on, his sympathetic nature overcame his worst intentions.
Sadly, even his best sides couldn’t appeal to characters with innate biases. Watching him and Andrew stumble through their friendship, with Thomas being forced to walk on eggshells constantly, was a nightmare.
Best – Mr. Carson and Lady Mary
This friendship overcame age and time to be one of the most lovable in the series. Mr. Carson and Lady Mary might not have had as much screen time together as others, but, every time they shared a moment together, you could feel the love and warmth.
It was a great pseudo-grandfatherly relationship between the two in a family where one didn’t exist. Probably the best moment between the two of them was when Carson consoled Mary after Matthew’s death and was the only one to bring her out of the darkness.
Worst – Anna and Bates
When it comes to friendships and couples, Anna and Bates seem to cause one of two reactions. Either fans love them for all the struggles they overcome, proving time and time again that their friendship and love can endure anything or you’re a sane human being who realizes how toxic these two really are.
Anna is a great character, with a strong moral backbone and what was once believed to be a strong direction. Yet, Bates constantly commits sketchy—if not illegal—acts. When your wife believes that you might have murdered someone twice, perhaps the stability of your friendship and marriage might need to be reevaluated.
Best – Molesley and Baxter
The trope of will they or won’t they get together among fictional characters is one of the oldest in fiction. It has become a staple though of a lot of lazy writing, leaving many viewers to dislike the practice. But, when it comes to the friendship of Molesley and Mrs. Baxter, it is done perfectly.
The pair became really great friends first, with Molesley serving as a great first friend to Baxter in Downton. At this point, after multiple innuendoes-filled interactions, even the characters themselves don’t know the exact points at which they stand with one another, and that’s just fine. The ambiguity in regards to their romance takes a backseat to their strong friendship.
Worst – Simon Bricker and Cora
The relationship between Cora and Robert is one of the most inseparable in the show. So, whenever the writers decided to put it to the test, it seldom worked out. These two are so strong most of the time, it was unfathomable that either would be unfaithful.
When esteemed guest actor Richard E. Grant joined the show as Cora’s very romantically inclined art friend Simon Bricker, we couldn’t wait for this plotline to be nipped in the bud. Cora showed time and time again that she would never be unfaithful to her husband, so why did the writers want to attempt this song and dance? It was a waste of a great actor in a role that served little to no purpose.