Maggie Smith has never watched Downton Abbey, possibly because television is a vulgar instrument of torture

Maggie Smith has never watched Downton Abbey, possibly because television is a vulgar instrument of torture

Promising that at least one person in this world will escape being brainwashed into believing rich people are nice, Maggie Smith recently told 60 Minutes that she hasn’t seen a single episode of Downton Abbey, presumably because Maggie Smith also lives in a perfectly maintained Victorian-era manor, where naming the shapes made by the flickering shadows of gas lights are still the preferred mode of parlor entertainment. Also because—like so many actors who don’t enjoy watching themselves—she finds the experience “frustrating” and would lead to her second-guessing her performance. Smith does say that she’s “very pleased” with the show’s acclaim and also allows that “maybe” she’ll try to watch it once it’s finished its run. “I cannot abide this squawking contraption,” Smith will say approximately 10 minutes into episode one, smashing a cane into her first and last television.