Downton Abbey -- Season 3 on PBS

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  2. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    ^^Like! :)
     
  3. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    I certainly won't tune in next season. This show has an identity crisis. ;) If I'm going to watch a cheesy soap opera, I want it to make me feel all cosy and warm. Of course some bad things can happen, but there are limits! Serious drama can be as depressing as life can be, but then I want it to be true to life, crude and honest like the "This is England" series.

    So why should I watch Downton Abbey? Especially since the writer has admitted that he does not have imagination enough to keep the Matthew character away from home for the few months constituting a series! Could someone kindly make a clip of all of Maggie Smith's bits and put it on Youtube? Thanks in advance. :saint:

    Jen, I totallly agree with you about this not being a suitable Christmas special. What were UK channels thinking this year? Several programmes this year depressed me to no end. There is so much sh*t in life! Can't we see a small glimmer of hope even on Christmas day? :(

    For those who are looking for some light, sunny, cosy, feel-good period drama, I suggest BBC's Lark Rise to Candleford. Among its many qualities: when Brendon Coyle had to leave the series (presumable to play Bates in Downton Abbey) the writers didn't kill off his character and leave his children orphans.
     
  4. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    ^^^
    To each their own.
    I doubt that Fellowes, etc al. had any idea that the series would take on an identity of its' own; or that viewers would expect so much from it.
     
  5. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I like the series. A lot. I think Downton takes itself a little too seriously at times, but I didn't get that sense from Selfridge. Frances O'Connor is very good (and doesn't get anywhere near enough TV and movie parts!) and I've had a soft spot for Sam West since I saw him in Hamlet at the National Theatre ages ago.

    Also, Selfridge's French friend Henri Leclair was in a French series called Engrenages that's quite good and worth a look. Not so much for his DA character, but some of the others.

    I completely agree. The carnage in this season made me think they're trying to turn it into Spooks, the King George era. Errr, non! Thanks, but no thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  6. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a problem with either Sybil or Matthew dying, especially since the actors wanted out. The way I look at it is: hey, people die. Downton actually made it through the war fairly intact. The situations were pretty realistic - childbirth was very risky business up until the 1950's and '60s, so it wasn't that far-fetched. And those early automobiles were very dangerous. Again, not a stretch. But I guess my main thought is that Downton isn't MY story; I'm not writing it, I'm not producing it, I'm just a spectator. I don't see that they've done anything out of character - sending the besotted Matthew off to India would have been jarring to me - and I'm not so wrapped up in it that I can't deal with sharp twists and turns in the plot lines. If anything, I think it's interesting that the major traumas have occured in the Upper Class while the belowstairs folks are still relatively unscathed. :)
     
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  7. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    It's been done. And done again.

    Top 10 from Season 1

    Top 10 Season 2

    Season 3

    There are others too -- just search on YouTube for "maggie smith downton."
     
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  8. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I think Asli meant for Season 4 since she didn't plan on watching any more.
     
  9. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Not quite -- there was William, the guy who got killed in the war. And Bates with that endless stint in jail -- not fatal, of course, but still traumatic.
     
  10. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    ^ "Relatively unscathed" still holds true. Given the real-life death toll of both the war and flu, to have a household that large only lose 2 is pretty remarkable.
     
  11. AYS

    AYS Cruder than you thought

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    I read in an interview with Brendan Coyle that even he complained to Fellowes that the Bates jail story went on too long.
     
  12. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    What, he didn't like the sexy prison scrubs get-up? Nor the angsty forlorn looks he got to practice over and over as he sighed and looked downcast?
     
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  13. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    THANK you. I agree completely. First, the actors wanted to leave, and only crappy American daytime is still operating under the impression you can just replace an actor and pretend you never did it (and even there they wink and nod at it), so unless they can come up with some REALLY believable way to do it without hacking up other characters (they really couldn't leave Sybil in Ireland without writing Branson out and they clearly don't want to do that; they can't write Mary out and it's not really believable Matthew would leave her and the baby) killing the characters is the most realistic way to dispose of them. Childbirth is STILL risky, car crashes have pretty much happened since the auto was invented...I mean, if anything we ought to be complaining not enough people died of the flu or in the war! I think it's sufficient fantasy that Fellowes has flat-out said he'll never kill off the Dowager Duchess, even though let's be realistic, given her age, she would be statistically unlikely to make it to World War II.

    And I'm kinda rooting for Dr. Clarkson and Isobel! Let her loosen up a bit, let the man have a nice storyline that doesn't involve his being either embarrassingly wrong or tragically right!

    And lol at the cartoon--reminds me of "Every time someone asks George RR Martin when the next book is coming out, he kills a Stark. Won't someone think of the Starks?" Though I think the real best pledge drive ever CMU public TV actually did--they opened with a pledge segment and promised if they got $X by the end of that segment, they wouldn't run any more pledge interruptions for the rest of the way. And it worked
     
  14. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Happens to stories all the time, just ask JK Rowling and many other, more sophisticated novelists. While I do think that this was way harsh for Christmas, I will definitely watch the next season.

    As to the show being realistic: I am surprised more people don't die from infectious diseases. Before vaccines and antibiotics kids and adults alike died from diphteria and other bacterial infections left and right. Here we only had Lavinia die from a viral flu. And of course Sybil--like Lady Violet pointed out, childbirth was very dangerous. Not much could be done with a lot of complications. Hard to believe this was only a 100 years ago.

    Anyway, I am sucked in. He promised not to kill Lady Violet, good enough for me. Plus being Russian helps, lots of innate and cultural tolerance for :drama:.

    C'mon Asli. You live in France, not exactly little rays of sunshine in that literary heritage either. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  15. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I watch the show haphazardly and I am not all that invested in the characters and so I didn’t mind Matthew’s death. Though, I rather like it when big things happen like that on television shows because they usually play it so safe. The show has great actors, a great backdrop and a great wardrobe. Lots of reasons to keep watching despite the loss of a lead character.

    My first thought after the episode was a romantic match would occur between Mary and the Irish dude (see I don’t even know all their names) as they both have young children, dead spouses, and an interest in turning Downton around financially.
     
  16. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I don't see that happening. At all. Mary has come a long way in her attitudes, but she's still a snob. No way she'd hook up with an ex-chauffeur (his name is Tom Branson, btw), even though she has come to like and respect him. I just don't see Fellowes going that way.

    I also think it would be, well, icky. Both of them lost the loves of their lives, and they were very, very different people. It would be disrespectful to the memories, and a cheap cop-out imo.
     
  17. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Admittedly, it would be very Harlequin Romance to hook those two up. :lol:
     
  18. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I mostly agree with zaphyre's post 366 above. And, while I was sad to see Matthew killed (because, unlike others, I liked his character a lot and wasn't so critical of Dan Stevens' acting), it really was the only way that the story could have gone on for another season with the actor leaving. If there were a one-to-one correspondence of episodes to, say weeks of real time, then perhaps his absence could have been "explained" by his being away somewhere (which is why Fellowes said that this would have been what the would have done if Stevens had agreed to appear in two or three episodes) -- but no way for an entire season, even if only 7 episodes.

    The "Irish dude" is Tom Branson, and you (snoopy) are not the first to suggest pairing Mary and Tom, but for me that would be :scream: for much the same reason as Artemis -- and I think it would be for their respective characters as well (also for the same reason as Artemis).
     
  19. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    IMO a drama should obey the rules of its own world, not necessarily the rules of the outside world. Sybill's death was consistent with this world and IMO it had some meaning. There was all the discussion of the class differences, the political differences and religious conflict around the future baby's baptism and Sybill's death put all that in perspective in an effective way.

    OTOH, if a couple like Mary and Matthew - the center of the whole story - are on-off-on-off and go through hell for something like eight years and finally get married, then spend the beginning of their marriage with financial problems, then try to conceive a child and then ONE HOUR after that child is born Matthew dies in a random accident- now that makes no sense at all in the world of Downton. They would have done better to end the series IMO. :drama:
     
  20. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

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    I have nothing against angst and tragedy inliterature or drama. But everyone needs escapist television and that is what Downton should remain. :drama:
     
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  21. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.
     
  22. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I think I'll be looking forward to next season's Downton Abbey discussion threads because Matthew's death seems like it will have cleared out a lot of people who have been whinging on about how much it has gone down-hill and how disappointed and disinterested they have been with it the past two seasons. More time for them to spend their leisure hours on more enjoyable past times, less grumbling/grousing posts to read/scroll past for those who still want to watch the show and are curious to see how it continues. Sounds like a win-win situation. :)
     
  23. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    If it does, it won't be for a while. Just to be safe:
    http://tvline.com/2013/01/23/downton-abbey-season-4-spoilers-lady-mary/

    There are rumors today that they've cast an actor named Tom Ellis. But team Downton denies.
     
  24. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    I get it, I get it. :) I was just teasing you. It was a bit below the belt.
     
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  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    skatingfan5, you spoke for me.
     
  26. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Because it's a dreadful thing to have to scroll past -- or heaven forbid, to read -- an opinion that's different from yours. ;)
     
  27. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    No one forces the "disappointed" to watch; or anyone to read these threads.
     
  28. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Precisely.
     
  29. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    Anybody want to bet that the next Downton Abbey on Facebook recap features an exchange like this?

    Mrs Crawley: Where r u?
    Matthew Crawley: On my way home no....... :slinkaway:
     
  30. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    Well now that the season is over for us in the States, you betcha I will be waiting anxiously for season 4 to begin. Given most of the crap that
    is aired on television lately Downton is still first rate in my book. Yes I did find some of the story lines weak like Bates endlessly shuffling around the
    prison yard, Edith being jilted, the possible romance of Edith and her editor who to me looks like a younger version of the jilter.
    But I thought there was a lot of good stuff too.