Downton Abbey--Upstairs/Downstairs, Stiff Upper Lips, and Tea!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Matryeshka, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    The link in soxxy's post above from yesterday revealed that she would play Cora's mother. From the PBS Downtown Abbey press release:
     
  2. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    Poor William, I will miss him, sniff sniff and Matthew never saw that coming. Sad episode. The dowager was at her best as usual.
     
  3. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I keep wondering about the Turkish gentleman scandal thing. I mean, there's a war going on, this incident happened years ago (like 1913 or 1914?), and the world was changing. I'm not sure if it would have the same impact. Depending on what's going on around the world, this scandal might end up being a blip in the news, though of course, still hurt Mary to some extent.

    Can't the writers come up with another possible threat to the family? This is getting old

    I also wonder why Bates is so willing to give in to his wife. So far we only see Bates' side of the story, and I doubt in any marriage, one side is at fault and not the other
     
  4. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    Well of course the scandal would have been only a "blip in the news" in the global scheme of things. However, to say it would "still hurt Mary to some extent" is a supreme understatement. The world was changing (and would change a lot more in the coming decade), but it still hadn't changed so much that a unmarried woman's "virtue" was something that was a trifling thing.
    It still has the power to threaten the family's standing in society, although it seems that Sir Richard's posting of his/Mary's engagement has thwarted Vera Bates' plans to ruin the family (but not her husband).
    I'm not sure what you mean by "giving in" -- it was her threat to expose Mary's tryst with Pamuk that kept him from immediately divorcing her. In season 1 he revealed why he had gone to jail for her theft (he said that after returning injured from the Boer War, he had been drinking heavily and felt that he had failed to be a good husband).
     
  5. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    But it's still a story from Mr. Bates' perspective. The writers haven't covered his wife other than her coming to make trouble. WHy does she hate him so much that she can have affairs and he can't, and she has to threaten him as soon as she finds out?if she hates him that much why leave him alone in the first place (allowing him the chance to be back with Anna)? Too many little holes in this, IMHO
     
  6. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a bit of Vera's motivations and back story from the pov of the actress who plays her (from this Daily Mail article from Sept. -- I don't think there are any spoilers in it for how much has been broadcast here in the US):
    Of course, this mainly is conjecture, because not many details of their pre-Downton relationship are actually given. But it's still interesting, imo.
     
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    One other thing--this is World War I. Turkey/the Ottoman Empire is not on England's side. They were Central Powers. While there might be a certain value in "English maiden violated by Turk" (and it's not like there's any witnesses but Mary to say it was consensual or not) that STILL means Mary's damaged goods.
     
  8. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    One thing I'm happy about is that Lavinia's character is not a Mrs. Bates in nicer clothing. I like that she honestly loves Matthew. Though of course I want to see Matthew and Lady Mary together.
     
  9. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I thought Lavinia was out of the picture. He sent her packing and she meekly acquiesed. Maybe Matthew and Mary can adopt Ethel's baby, then they will have an heir, black moustache can suddenly claim paternal rights and the drama can continue.

    I still think Matthew is too morally pure for Mary. A year after they were married she would be bored to death. The only thing that keeps it going is that she can't have him.
     
  10. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i was thinking her parents could take it, that way i wouldnt have to hear about it or see it but the ethel storyline could go away
     
  11. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    *clamps mouth down to avoid spoilers*

    Livia's not out of the picture. But I think she's really more Mary's morality pet than Matthew's fiance--we knew nothing about her, she appears out of nowhere, and then...she's really sweet. And I think Mary treating her nicely including resisting attempts to undermine their engagement (while getting mired deeper and deeper in one she's at best got mixed feelings about) lets Mary seem nicer and definitely more mature.
     
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  12. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not reading spoilers so I don't know what the future holds though I would be shocked to see Matthew with anyone else but Mary. I'm just glad his most current "girl" was not "evil" in counterpoint to Mary's "good." And though the romantic in me would hope Matthew and Mary would be happy together I've read where affairs among the very rich/aristocracy were oh so common and accepted. But Matthew is more from the upper middle class and-as you mentioned--morally pure. He probably wouldn't accept the practice. Maybe the chase is bigger than the catch though I hope not.

    I wonder about Julian Fellowes and some of the themes he explored in "Gosford Park" and is following in DA. The baby is one of them. If I remember correctly two sisters both fathered children out of wedlock by their employer at Gosford Park. One put her child up for adoption and the other kept her child who eventually sickened and died. Ethel is not sympathetic and is receiving little help. I guess I give Fellowes credit for not making Ethel adorable or have the baby scooped for a life of a little lord because Cora remains despondent about a miscarriage (she seems fine.) At this point I wonder whether Ethel and her son will even survive the flu epidemic which must rear it's ugly head at some point.
     
  13. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

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    An adopted child cannot inherit the title or the entailed fortune- it must go to an "heir of the body" of Matthew.

    However, assuming Matthew doesn't recover, if he and Mary married and she had a son by someone else, the child would be considered legitimate as long as Matthew acknowledged it as his own- this was before DNA testing.;)
     
  14. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    IMO, the best soap opera love triangles involve two equally worthy choices. Lady Mary is Downton Abbey's heroine. She's beautiful, spirited and the eldest daughter of an earl. She loves Matthew but wasn't sure she could settle for being the wife of a Manchester solicitor. Lavinia is a nice young woman who loves Matthew and considers him a great catch. The one questionable action in her past was motivated by her love for and loyalty to her father. Both women could probably make Matthew happy but I'm not sure he could make Lady Mary happy over the long haul.
     
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  15. PRlady

    PRlady Smoking

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    There's something a bit Austen-esque about Lady Mary. She started out as a spoiled snob, looking down at Matthew and his mom, being dismissive of her sister, eying men for their social status. She's had some sense and values knocked into her, which is what makes her interesting.
     
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  16. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    I hadn't thought about it this way. If Matthew and Lady Mary wind up together, her personal growth will make it all the more sweeter for the audience.:)
     
  17. victoriajh

    victoriajh Well-Known Member

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    bates went to jail to cover up for his first wife- that was pretty nice- i thought (casue it was never said) tht he got out of jail and she was gone..... nice- he takes the rap for her and she takes all his money!!!
     
  18. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    That's "Major Moustache" to you!
     
  19. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    The war is sweeping away the old social order. All of the sisters are changing. Their futures are no longer guaranteed simply by following the rules. They are learning what it is to survive in the moment and use their wits. They can't take anyone or anything for granted anymore.
     
  20. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

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    I thought the new maid had an interesting reaction when someone shared the story of Ethel with her, as though she, too, is NOT a widow.
     
  21. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

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    That was my thinking, too.
     
  22. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    She's really a widow. But you're right, they're foreshadowing something.
     
  23. Parsley Sage

    Parsley Sage Well-Known Member

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    As Mrs. Hughes said to Ethel about the new maid, "they believe her"
     
  24. AshleyN

    AshleyN Well-Known Member

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  25. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    Awww, the pic of Mr. Bates holding the itty-bitty baby is so cute. Ethel's off-screen photo is rather fitting considering her behavior while at Downton Abbey. :shuffle: Poor Edith is wearing one of the ugliest/least flattering dresses I have ever seen. :scream: Carson on a bike (in biking shorts) was certainly a change -- and the on/off screen photos of Pharoah and Isis were :lol:.
     
  26. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    love the gif of dame maggie!

    the "hot scowling" one of matthew and mary is really easy on the eyes
     
  27. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

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    LOL - The on/off screen photos of Isis :)

    I remember Hugh Bonneville from his role in Notting Hill. I recall the dinner scene so clearly when he said (as his character) that he'd never get a girlfriend and "if these cheeks get any fatter I never will". I remember thinking, I'll be your girlfriend! He was so cute in that movie and he's even more handsome now that he's older.
     
  28. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

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    Would never in a million years have recognized Mrs. Hughes. They all look great. I've been trying to figure out who Lavinia reminds me of, and I think it's Nicole Kidman, only with fuller lips.
     
  29. Fergus

    Fergus Well-Known Member

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    Mrs. Hughes' and O'Brien's transformations are amazing!

    (There's a little Mama Fergus-ness in off-screen Mrs. Patmore, so the old dear gets a special :cheer2: from moi! :D )

    James-Collier needs to keep the beard and move to NYC and become my British hipster footman. :grope:
     
  30. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

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    I had watched him recently and it took me awhile to place him: It was in a movie called "Stage Beauty" when British females were finally allowed to take the stage instead of males playing all of the parts. Wonderful film---not sure why it didn't make a dent at the box office.