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

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

  1. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,388
    won't humiliating Mary stigmatize the whole family, hurting Edith's already not so hot chances of marrying well?
  2. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,731
    When you're pissed off at always being the ugly nobody, you don't think that way. Maybe Edith thinks her chances of any marriage at all, living in Mary's shadow, are minimal, and if Mary is consigned to Scarlet Womanness she'll have a shot.

    Edith is turning out to be a lot less sympathetic, and Mary more so, than I would originally have thought.

    And the comic relief of the Dowager Countess vs. Matthew's mom is hilarious.
  3. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,388
    considering they have to give all of their money to Matthew and Edith has a face like a bottle opener, I still say no shot

    If I were Matthew, I'd make a play for Sybil, she's so so so so pretty
  4. Fergus

    Fergus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    7,585
    And she looks 1/2 way decent in harem pants. ;)
  5. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,646
    Was I the only one who was :rofl: over those pants? The color was pretty and all, but she looked like she was about to join the circus.
  6. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    7,506
    I watched the entire British cut of the series (7 episodes of an hour each) and I LOVED it. Ooh you think it's dramatic now, just wait :watch:

    Maggie Smith is at her hilarious best in these kinds of roles. The scene where she sat down in the swivel chair: "What is this thing I am sitting on?!" :rofl:

    My only complaint is that things go a bit too fast for me. The series ends up covering two years and ends with
    England declaring war on Germany.
    I can't help but feel like we missed a great deal of interesting drama.
  7. Carmen Ovsiannikov

    Carmen Ovsiannikov New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Messages:
    8,165
    Poor Edith. Before she ratted her sister out I actually kind of felt bad for her because she clearly knows she is no prize and Mary at times seems to enjoy pointing that out to her when they are having their disagreements.

    ITA about Sybil. She is my favorite of the sisters. I was hoping that Matthew and Sybil would end up together as well but I get the feeling it will be Mary.
  8. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,646
    I'm still not liking Mary much. I feel sorry for her, being in such a tough position, but she's a bit of a brat.

    In a way this story reminds me a bit of Fiddler on the Roof, with the three girls revolutionizing the family and turning Dad's life upside down! :) And Sybil taking up with a socialist just like what's-her-name -- Hodel, I think?
  9. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,880
    That sound like it might have been Lark Rise to Candleford, which is currently in repeats on PBS Saturday nights. I'm not watching right now because they're repeats, so can't say if that particular storyline sounds familiar, but regardless it's a great series. Chronologically, though, set a few decades earlier than Downton Abbey.

    I developed a bit of a crush on Brendan Coyle, who plays Robert Timmins, the father of the protatonist Laura in Lark Rise ... so was delighted to see him reappear in Downton Abbey. Which I am also loving, soapyness and all. I do agree it's a bit of a stretch to call it "Masterpiece Classic," but I'm certainly not going to let that interfere with my enjoyment of it!

    I'm a little confused as to why we're only getting 4 episodes right now, though. When it aired in the UK there were 7 episodes in the first season, ending in 1914 with the beginning of WWI (oops, sorry, spoiler alert!). I hope we won't have to wait too long to see the rest of the season.
  10. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,880
    I'm not liking her either, and if I had one complaint about the series it would be how many unlikables there are. Mary, Edith, O'Brian, Thomas ... and really, we'd hate the Dowager too if it were anyone other than Maggie Smith. But I guess that's what makes for "good TV" in the 21st century. :watch:
  11. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,388
    even after she gave the prize to Mr Mosely? why, her heart grew three sizes that day!
  12. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,277
    This is the whole season, but with some cuts I think, and shoe-horned into the Masterpiece time slot of 1.5 hours per episode.
  13. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,646
    :D

    Yes, the Dowager is acerbic, but she still has her good side (and, of course, she's Maggie Smith! :) ). On the whole I'm liking the older folks much better than the younger ones.
  14. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,388
    i wish i had a better grasp of their names, i need a gant chart

    but :cheer2: to nice blonde maid telling bates she loved him
  15. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,731
    Or go ice dancing.

    Mary's prettier than Sybil but if Sybil is going to run off with the socialist chaffeur, of course she will be my favorite character. :D
  16. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,388
    really? i think mary is pretty but i think sybil is much more beautiful, she needs more camera time
    pollyanna and (deleted member) like this.
  17. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    If everyone was all nice and sweet and well-intentioned, it wouldn't make for very much drama. :blah: Dickens had quite a few "unlikeables" in his novels, which many considered "good fiction" in the 19th century.

    The "nasty" characters provide a source of conflict for the "good guys". I suppose they could have just had one designated "villain" whom everyone would have to battle and the audience could all hiss and boo whenever he/she appeared. :lol: As it is, I think that the good ones by far outnumber the nasty or unlikeable characters on Downton Abbey which gives me hope that there will be at least a couple of moderately "good endings" in the resolution of the plot lines. ;)
  18. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    Here's the Downton Abbey wiki -- that should help a bit with the names, etc. :)
  19. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,646
    Mmm, maybe, but she'd have to get them taken in a bit. The legs were so balloony, her partner would be sure to catch a blade in them and go down.

    True enough. But when you can see that you're clearly supposed to be rooting for Matthew + Mary, it would be nice if you could actually bring yourself to root for them!
  20. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    I think that some of us can. I concede that it's likely more of a problem for others, though. I never could bring myself to "root" for Fanny Price in Mansfield Park, myself. Sorry, Jane, I really couldn't. :p
  21. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,731
    Me neither. What a wuss.

    One thing's not making sense, though. Lady Chatham's pretty shrewd (for an American :p). Why hasn't she caught on that her lady's maid is a scheming beeyotch?
  22. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    713
    Artemis - the show aired on ITV in England - which has commercials. There were 7 eps. - 2 were 60 mins, 5 were 45. Total = 345 minutes of TV without commercials.

    What we saw on the first two episodes, encompassed the first 3 in England. Episode 3 was 4 & 5 of the series.

    On my local PBS station they even made a point of saying this is why it's "shorter" than in the UK - no commercials.

    Read this:

    http://www.televisionaryblog.com/2011/01/in-defense-of-downton-abbey-or-dont.html
  23. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    Lady Grantham (thank you, Wikipedia!) probably doesn't spend enough time "downstairs" -- if she did, she surely would have a clue. O'Brien is rather good at being two-faced when dealing with the upstairs folks -- downstairs, they've all got her number.
  24. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    20,731
    :slinkaway
  25. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    I'd be completely lost without the wiki entry since I missed the first episode. The entire upstairs seemed to be crawling with Crawleys -- and I first thought it was Lord and Lady Grantley. :lol: :slinkaway
  26. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,646
    Oh, me neither. And I like Dickens heroines, often derided for being too meek, so it just shows you how wussy Fanny is!
  27. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,880
    Ok, I was confusing myself because I thought I'd watched 3 episodes (which corresponded to the episodes 1-3 description) when in fact I've only watched 2 so far ... it all makes sense now!
  28. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    7,506
    If it's got a British accent, it's a Masterpiece Classic :lol:

    The British episodes were shorter - 50 minutes? PBS episodes are 1.5 hours long.
  29. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    16,763

    MANY THANKS!!!! :respec:
  30. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,777
    I love Lark Rise to Candleford. Just waiting for season 3 to come out on Netflix
  31. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,964
    I think Sybil is absolutely stunning. Mary is very attractive, but if I was Matthew, I'd be sneaking peeks at Sybil all the time.

    I am SOOOO mad at my daughter. DA dvds were released today on Netflix. I had them at the top of my queue. My daughter snuck in sometime late last night and place a couple of Harold and Kumar movies ahead of Downton Abbey. Now I have a VERY LONG WAIT to see the rest of the series. Needless to say, I've changed my password, but :mad: at polly jr. Who the hell are Harold and Kumar?
  32. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    7,506
    pollyanna and (deleted member) like this.
  33. Fergus

    Fergus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    7,585
    The first movie was actually sorta funny! Even has Neil Patrick Harris trippin' balls. :rofl:

    Definitely the polar opposite of "DA", however. In no way does it fulfill one's minimum daily requirement of Maggie Smith. ;)
  34. jen_faith

    jen_faith New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,893
    I am really enjoying Downton Abbey. It is so freaking soapy in a very classy kind of way. What's not to love?

    I think Mary Crawley is irredemiably obnoxious and if she and Matthew end up together I shall be annoyed. I am rooting for Sybil and Matthew to get together and make pretty little Crawley babies.

    Downstairs, am not liking eville Thomas nor the nasty lady's maid O'Brien... schemers all of 'em... Rooting for William and Daisy and hoping that Daisy finally wises up to Thomas' machinations and eville ways and loses her crush on the blighter.
  35. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    Or at least finally gets a clue about what was meant when she was warned that he wasn't a ladies man. ;)
  36. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,646
    I don't think Daisy will ever get a clue about anything. Poor girl is a few French fries short of a Happy Meal.
  37. moojja

    moojja Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    265
    I love Mary and Matthew. It's like Pride and Prejudice in reverse.
    It helps the actress is gorgeous. Also you get the feeling for all her snobbery, Mary is trapped in a role and she doesn't know how to break out of it. But her encounter with the Turkish diplomat is full of unfortunate implications. The show made a point saying she agreed/was interested. But he also didn't leave her a lot choices.
  38. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,880
    That's exactly what I thought! (The P&P parallels that is -- not sure if I'm in love with the idea of M&M.) Of course with P&P there's a predetermined end point, a resolution to the hate-turned-love. With Downton Abbey, since a 2nd season is in the works, if they resolved this particular storyline, that would end the overarching conflict and they'd need to introduce another continuing plot string.

    I refuse to spoil myself by reading future episode descriptions but here's my speculation: Mary & Matthew do discover their love for each other, and get engaged; the Abbey is saved. Then WWI begins, Matthew signs up, and either goes MIA or gets severe shell shock.
  39. jen_faith

    jen_faith New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,893
    Nooo.... Mary and Matthew is too easy and it's been done already in practically every Jane Austen book. Since Matthew has modern ideas and Sybil has modern ideas, they are definitely the best match. Obviously I am alone in my lonely Syb-Mat shipping :drama:

    As for Daisy and William: I speculate that William will finally win over Daisy and then Cranston will use his previous connections in the entertainment industry to get William gigs/a career in music and whatever the British version of vaudeville was/is. That's my prediction!

    Oh and I agree Matthew will end up in WWI in some awful battle like the Battle of the Somme and be traumatized by it. He can't be killed, though, or the soap goes out of the soap opera.
  40. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    7,506
    I love Sybil but I think she's too young for him. I ship Sybil-socialist driver. Run away together, very romantic! :lol: