Okay fellow Downton fans, so it’s been nearly two weeks since the third series’ Christmas special that single-handedly ruined everyone’s Christmas, and we’re finally (almost) over the tragic (and completely evitable) death of series favorite … Matthew Crawley. And while law-abiding Americans are revving up for the joyous Crawley wedding and honeymoon period of series 3, many of us are already looking ahead to series 4.
According to last week’s Ask Ausiello on TV Line, Lady Mary will definitely be getting a new man in her life come series 4 next year. So, while our initial reaction might be something verging on outrage (“How DARE Lady Mary ever love again when MATTHEW IS DEAD.”) I’m here to say let’s grab a little sugar and make some lemonade.
So while I’m sure we’ll be sobbing along with Mary and baby when the fourth season starts up again, here’s six potential suitors that could help get Lady Mary and us through the mourning period.
1) The Great American Cowboy
Dream Casting: Ryan Gosling
It’s always fun to see Americans turn the usually stuffy Downton lifestyle on it’s head (Shirley MacLaine, we LOVE you,) and Downton already hinted at this possibility last year when Lord Grantham told his daughter, “I want a good man for you, a brave man. Find a cowboy in the Middle West and bring him back to shake us up a bit.” How many of you thought: “Yes! Spin-off! Lady Mary Conquers the Wild West!”? Admit it. You did. And how amusing would it be to see our conservative Lady Mary swept off her feet by a brash, exciting cowboy? She already proved to us in series 1 she likes a bit of a rebel…
2) Matthew Crawley’s Charismatic (and Hunky) Estranged Cousin
Dream Casting: Bradley James
Okay, I’ll admit it. This one is mostly on here because now that Merlin is over, I need Bradley James back on my television again. His smug, King Arthur attitude could go toe-to-toe with Mary, and he’s already got the kind of charmingly-boyish Matthew Crawley look she’s into—but hunkier.
3) The Rival Family’s Scheming Son (with a Secret Heart of Gold)
Dream Casting: Sean Biggerstaff (aka Oliver Wood)
He tries scheming his way into Lady Mary’s heart to help out his family and before he knows it, he’s fallen for her just as hard. His family hates her, the Crawley’s hate him; so much drama ensues! It’s like Romeo and Juliet! But with sharp and witty adults instead of whiny thirteen year olds! (And yes, Sean Biggerstaff is on this list mostly so that I can watch Maggie Smith yell at her favorite former student again.)
4) The Sensitive but Damaged Lost Generation Writer
Dream Casting: Penn Badgley
He’s an American living in Paris because WWI left him existentially questioning his purpose in life, but meeting the spirited Mary renews his faith in the world and gives him a reason to get a real job. He’s besties with Gertrude Stein and invites the Fitzgerald’s over to Downton for dinner. Zelda gets a kick out of the Dowager Countess (the feeling is not reciprocated.)
5) A Rockefeller or Vanderbilt Heir
Dream Casting: Jonathan Taylor Thomas
As you can tell, I’m itching to get some more Americans across the pond, and what would be more welcome at Downton than a multi-millionaire with money to spare? With Mary’s practical nature and his worldliness, they would be a sure-fire power-couple. JTT would bring charm as well as intelligence to the part (remember how he left Home Improvement to attend HARVARD?) and you know that you’ve been missing him on your television lineup. Can I admit that I sometimes watch reruns of HI just to satisfy my 90’s inner child and get my JTT fix? Don’t lie; Simba was your first crush too…
6) The Sassy but Sexy Middle-Class Son of a Downton Farmer
Dream Casting: Henry Cavill
He grew up at Downton but was sharp as a whip so he got scholarships to the best schools and ended up a lawyer in the respectable middle-class. Now that Downton’s rebuilding itself to adapt for the twentieth century, he’s been called upon to work with Tom and Lord Grantham to help sort out some of the legal and land stuff. He loves his papa to pieces and doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for the landed gentry who he thinks never had to work for what they’ve got. He gets along pretty well with Edith and Tom and constantly bickers with Mary, but, you know, that’s how the best ones always start out…
What studly hunk do you think they should give Mary next series?
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