Downton Abbey - Season 4 on PBS

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. tamuno

    tamuno Member

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    Dardar, no spoilers but I have to ask you, did you not find this season the liveliest of all the series? despite the rape? I know I did. It was better than season 3 for me.
  2. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

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    Caught up on the episode last night and yes that totally made me weepy too! Was hoping we'd get a bonding scene like that.
  3. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    They're calling it "hate-flirting" on the If DA happened on Facebook site. :lol:

    I agree though: it's pretty obvious where they're taking it.

    I'm actually finding the whole "everyone loves Mary" business the most annoying part of the past couple of episodes. I like Mary and how they've allowed her character to grown and change over time, but she does still seem hard to love. With Gillingham and Napier both falling instantly in love with her, and now this Andrew Foyle, um, I mean Dr Cheriton, um I mean Charles Blake ...
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    ROFL, I can't believe I missed that...at least this Jack is substantially less annoying and you wouldn't get liver failure doing a drinking game of every time they say each others' names...
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Well, Napier's not really an instantly thing. He would be more a case of "First Guy Wins" as they knew each other and were corresponding way back when Matthew was still beneath her. He just ended up collateral damage to the Pamuk Issue (and learned a lesson about bringing subjectively handsome exotic foreigners with alley-cat morals as your plus-one to a weekend hunting party.) He clearly has been carrying a torch for her and figures well, now, the field's clear, but is taking a less desperate-seeming route than Gillingham.
  6. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    I agree. After a slow, sluggish start, I felt the series really picked up the pace and finished strong, and with some good cliff-hangers and teases for Season 5. :)
  7. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    You're quite right of course about it not being "love at first sight" -- for any of them really. But it still struck me as unnecessary and slightly unbelievable for Mary to have three suitors at once, especially when you consider that the eligible women far outnumbered the eligible men at that time, since so many of that generation were lost to the Great War.
  8. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    how many just inherited a bunch of stuff? i still think gillingham needs money. the congenial fellow always liked her. i cant explain that short douchebag.
  9. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

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    This- I'm finding it hard to believe that men like Gillingham and Napier would still be eligible bachelors at this point. Blake I can sort of believe. :lol:
  10. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    that's a good point. gillingham does have a girl, he was just hoping to trade up. but napier - he's so compliant. some overbearing mother would have just run right over him and hitched him to her daughter.
  11. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    I think the tradition used to be that the eligible guys stayed that way until their early thirties and then finally settled down with a 19-year-old virgin. (CF Charles/Diana.) So these thirtysomething bachelors are in line with social reality.

    Of course, when the husbands got old and gouty, their much younger wives took lovers, or so I've heard. :EVILLE:
  12. puglover

    puglover Active Member

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    Off topic but if you enjoy Downton and the terrific job the BBC shows do of character development you might also like "Call the Midwife". It is based on the memoirs of a group of midwives working out of a convent in the east end of London in the 1950's with their very large families and horrible conditions. Not all men would probably enjoy the sounds of active labour but the stories are so amazing and handled so brilliantly. Many of the cast are now my favourites. I got it from the library but I believe you can order it through netflix. They have finished two seasons and the third is going to start in the UK, I believe.
  13. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    I like that show; it returns to PBS at the end of March. :)
  14. Icetalavista

    Icetalavista New Member

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    As long as we're talking about period TV series w/ strong female characters, there's also "The Bletchley Circle" re/ women who stayed friends after decoding nazi messages in WWII, subsequently solving crimes.
  15. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Like that one, too! :) It returns to PBS in mid-April.

    P.S. And to save time...Mr. Selfridge returns to PBS at the end of March. :p
  16. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if they're going to be double-billing that, then, like they did with Downton-Sherlock, since Call the Midwife is scheduled to start March 30.

    I didn't like Mr Selfridge at all, but Call the Midwife is one of my favourite series ever shown on PBS.

    And I loved The Bletchley Circle too. Three of my favourite things in one package: murder mysteries, women in unconventional roles, and codes/puzzles.
  17. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i love tv murder, how did i miss bletchley circle?
  18. pollyanna

    pollyanna Well-Known Member

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    Catch it if you can, it's excellent. Netflix is currently streaming it. 4 strong, intelligent women who worked at Bletchley Park during the war go out on their own to find a serial killer. Superb casting.
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I am "eh" on "Call the Midwife" (I prefer the Victorian custom of politely pretending pregnancy, babies, and children don't exist and being one of those midwives would be my idea of hell-I'd sooner shove my arm up a cow's backside to preg-check it), enjoyed "Mr Selfridge" and "The Bletchley Circle." I think my favorite bit was the police superintendent saying something to the main character like "....You weren't a typist in the war, were you?"
  20. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and such great silent acting by Anna Maxwell in that scene -- the expression on her face where you can see she's fighting back the urge to say something about her real role ...

    That whole dynamic underscores what I loved so much about this series and others from that period: here's a group of women who were making an incredible contribution to the war effort, but once the war was over it was back to the kitchen, pretend like nothing happened.
  21. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    The fun of covert work...my friend in college's father worked for a government agency. She actually did not know which one officially. He could't tell his own family. (However, it isn't that hard to guess which it was and if he's reading this post..please don't tap my cell phone, it's not that interesting.)
  22. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    :respec::respec:

    It was so poignant and beautiful, and it went by too quickly, like youth.

    LOL!!! Love that :)
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  23. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    So Lady Mary and the late Lady Sybil are getting on with their careers. Yesterday I saw a trailer of Winter's Tale starring Jessica Brown Findlay, Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe. This was followed by a trailer of an action flick with Michelle Dockery, called Non-Stop with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore.

    Go Crawley girls! :cheer2:
    Cyn and (deleted member) like this.
  24. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    lady edith, on the sidelines again
  25. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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  26. ssminnow

    ssminnow Member

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  27. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of let's not feel sorry for Edith ... I watched one of the behind-the-scenes bits for this season and they were talking about that fantastic gown Edith wore when she met up with Gregson at the hotel earlier this season. You know, the green one with the beaded bodice and the big slit up one leg. Anyway, they were all so pleased with this particular gown that they gave it a name. And they called it ... Beadith.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  28. tamuno

    tamuno Member

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    Who loved this episode as much I did? Is it me or does Mary roll her eyes at Napier when he wants to get chatty?
  29. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    This was a strong episode. I've watched all the remaining episodes via DVD, and they are all quite strong, building to some very interesting loose ends/cliffhangers.

    I liked the tender scenes between Isobel and Violet.

    The muddy pig rescue was quite amusing! :lol:

    I like the new woman that Tom met at the political rally...potential love interest? ;)

    Rose and Jack are taking some big risks for their day and age. :eek:

    Heart-breaking to see Edith's painful struggle over what to do about her pregnancy...at this point she has nothing but difficult choices. :(

    I loved Mrs. Hughes verbally taking down Mr. Green. :kickass: But now Bates knows the truth, so Mr. Green's days are numbered...in one way or another. If LOOKS could kill, he'd be dead! :EVILLE:

    EDIT: Via Twitter...

    He plays Charles Blake.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  30. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Especially in that time and place.
  31. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    BTW, I read that Lord Grantham's trip to America storyline was written so that Hugh Bonneville could take time off to film The Monuments Men film.
  32. pollyanna

    pollyanna Well-Known Member

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    She is definitely not encouraging him.
  33. mikemba

    mikemba Active Member

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    Things I liked:

    Isobel and Tom's chat in the car, including the wonderful scenery. By the way, they are showing more of the grounds this season than ever before and I love it.

    Rosamund's support of Edith, and Edith's decision to keep the baby. I did think that Rosamund's complete support was a little unexpected and out of character. Nonetheless, I am glad that someone from Edith's family really cares about her and is willing to put in some time to support her. Everyone else either ignores her, or tells her off when she has a problem and walks away.

    Tom's return to some political activity.

    Violet's nonsensical ramblings while she was sick.
  34. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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  35. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  36. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming so. But what are Tom's politics now is indeed the question!

    It was driving my nuts where I'd seen the actor before, she was familiar with such a distinctive look & voice, but I couldn't place her. Then it came to me: she'd been in an episode of Lewis. (The episode called "The Quality of Mercy," where she played the very sure-of-herself student director of The Merchant of Venice.)

    My favourite moment in the episode though was when Violet and Isobel were playing gin, and Violet said "Oh, goody goody." Right out of Gosford Park, down to the breakfast tray in front of her. I've been waiting for that since the beginning of the series!
  37. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    BTW, anyone else think it was more than a tad unbelievable for Mary to be able to scramble eggs? When Mrs Patmore taught Sybil how to cook all those years ago it was because Sybil was applying for the nursing course, and didn't want to turn up without any skills whatsoever -- and that seemed to be the only reason to justify it. I know a lot of time has passed since then, and Mary has grown and softened, but still, for her of all people to learn how to cook scrambled eggs (not even boiled eggs, scrambled!) seemed a bit :confused:. Especially since she obviously hasn't spent enough time in the kitchen to even learn Ivy's name. A small matter, of course, but it seemed too convenient -- and unnecessary, when she's already showed Charles that she's willing to muck in (literally!) with the pigs.
  38. dardar1126

    dardar1126 Well-Known Member

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    Since Matthew was raised in a much more average, "normal" lifestyle, I could see where Mary might have made an effort to learn some rudimentary cooking skills for when they were on their own without servants (which could have happened from time to time).
  39. znachki

    znachki Active Member

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    Well, she has been married...."I know everything".
  40. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    ("... and by everything I mean penises" -- Facebook recap)

    No, I don't think that would have happened. Ever. It might have if they were living in "Crawley House" (or whatever it's called, where Isobel lives), but their entire married life was spent at Downton Abbey. And there would never be a time when Downton Abbey was without kitchen staff while any member of the family was in residence -- and even when they're not.

    But it's hard for me to be too critical of that one detail, when Mary looked so darned proud of herself.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014