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:
    30,553
    last week he told her he had been married
     
  2. Aimless

    Aimless New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    467
    I'm loving it. At the end of the last episode, at the garden party when Mr. Carson puts his arms gently around the sobbing Mary, I too burst into tears. I want a butler!
     
  3. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    There are only about 20 minutes total from the whole of the series. I think that part of the jump problems - and didn't you notice the jump when they returned from the London season - is because the series was shown in 1 hour (actually 45 minute) segments in the UK. So what seems like something missing, is the end of one ep and the beginning of the next.
     
  4. Lorac

    Lorac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    20 minutes is a lot to cut and there is no logical reason for it IMHO. From what I understand and have seen myself on watching some shows in the UK when I return on vacation and then seeing the same show on PBS in the US - the US edits UK shows for no reason - and as it is on PBS there is no need to edit anything at all!!
     
  5. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    12,406
    Mary should have just let Edith marry the older man just to get rid of her and "win" for once. I understand she was pissed, and rightfully so, but wouldn't it be better to get her out of the way in the long run? Plus, he didn't deserve that. It seemed excessively cruel to him. I understand Mary wasn't thinking of it like that, but I felt so bad for him.

    I understand that O'Brien is probably going to have the redemptive arc, but there's not redemption for how nasty she's been, even before the bathtub incident. I love this series, even though it ended on a downer. It's like a soap opera for people with intellectual pretentions.
     
  6. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    30,553
    she did that old dude a favor, Edith would get on his nerves eventually
     
  7. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2002
    Messages:
    890
    Did anyone else recognize the "old dude" as a character in the A&E Hornblower series' first episode? It's been several years, but I believe his character was Lieutenant Eccleston and he died near the end of the episode.
     
  8. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,284

    He was also Mr. Weston in the Paltrow/Northam Emma. Robert Bathurst is a respected character actor who's been around a long time.
     
  9. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,468
    He was driving me nuts as yet another "Hey it's that guy!" British actor. (And yes, while I understand Mary's feelings, at least it would have gotten rid of Edith!)

    Anyone else hoping that conniving jackass Thomas gets sent to a "field hospital" about ten yards from the front lines? I mean, bad enough, but finally pulling that attack on the footman's DEAD MOTHER? Moral event horizon right there, he's a sociopathic jerk and I'm hoping he gets an up close and personal look at war someplace like the Argonne.

    O'Brien, well, that was mostly a 'poor communication kills' situation. She's a crabby old bat, but I feel for her, as she's way past the point she has many/any other options if she's fired. Doesn't excuse her being a beyotch to the other help, but I can kind of understand (and unlike that ********** Thomas she felt immediate remorse even BEFORE her impulsive act did something awful.)

    My biggest AAAAGHHH CAN'T WAIT TIL NEXT SEASON is Bates and Anna. (Why yes, I wanted to throw a brick through the screen watching "Howard's End", why do you ask?)
     
  10. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,654
    Thomas is awful, but I think O'Brien is worse, remorse or no remorse. She destroyed the child and she could have killed Cora, too.
     
  11. znachki

    znachki Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    731
    Mmmmmm......Jeremy Northam.......mmmm...... I'll be in my bunk.
     
  12. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    15,154
    I was too consumed with skating to watch on Sunday so I just caught up. Only four episodes? That's it? We wuzrobbed! :wuzrobbed

    I, too, am finding the timeline a bit too fragmented, but The Dowager Countess Maggie Smith was certainly at her finest last night! "In times like these, one can usually find an Italian who is not too picky." Or something like that. :rofl:
     
  13. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,954
    :rofl:

    In a previous episode when she declared her love to Bates, and Bates didn't reciprocate even tho they both knew he wanted to, she asked if he was married. His reply was "I'm not now, but I was" or words to that effect. But now it sounds as though the marriage might not be quite as past tense (at least in a legal sense).

    For Mary, I do feel for her and understand why she was reluctant to jump in to marriage with Matthew right away: all her life she's had people telling her what she should do out of duty. Her Aunt piping in with another voice was just adding more confusion. And she knew she had to tell Matthew about Pamuk before accepting his proposal, and at the same time she was afraid to tell Matthew and risk damaging his good opinion of her, regardless of the marriage. Plus she thought she had more time, until her mother miscarried. All good stuff. :watch:

    The Dowager's line about taking Mary over to The Continent as there's always "some Italian who isn't that picky" -- :lol:

    Loved, loved, loved this show, can hardly wait for season 2. (And my library has the DVDs of season 1 on order so I'm going to watch it all over again -- with no cuts!)

    I wonder, though, if they tweaked the ending of season 1 during (or after) production because they already knew there would be a season 2. ITV announced a second season shortly after the first episode aired, but I would assume that the whole season was already in the can at that point. But I get the sense it would have had more of an "ending" if they hadn't known for sure there'd be more to come. But maybe they were just really confident there would be.
     
  14. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,798
    I normally cannot abide these British series where, by my take, everyone speaks in hushed tones about nonsensical 300 year old social mores. But the compelling actors in this one have caught my attention. Not as much fun as the Tudors but still a good substitute. And ITA with mlp about the younger sister’s attractiveness versus Mary’s – but nevertheless, the actress playing Mary has “it”. My eyes are drawn to her on the screen. That she doesn’t come across like a sissy twit makes her worth watching.
     
    Cyn and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,654
    Being of Italian descent, I wasn't sure whether to feel insulted or honored. :rofl:
     
  16. Lorac

    Lorac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,553
    Maggie Smith is absolutely one of the finest actresses that the UK has ever produced - I have loved her ever since I saw "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" when I was a girl. She can take any role and run with it.

    I loved when the Dowager Countess was sitting next to Mrs Crawley at tea and said "OK what have I done wrong now" - when the latter sighed and rolled her eyes when Mary was in a quandry at accepting Matthew - classic!!
     
  17. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,954
    ^ My favourite Dowager line was from a week or two ago, at the flower show, when she made some sarcastic remark to Mrs Crawley. Mrs Crawley responded archly "I'll take that as a compliment." To which Dowager replies, in the patented butter-wouldn't-melt voices, "Oh, I must have said it wrong!" :lol:
     
  18. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    15,154
    That was hilarious! She's quite the character. :lol:
     
  19. Civic

    Civic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    6,262
    Being a history buff I can think of two potential changes to come to Downton Abbey:

    1) The deaths of so many young men in combat will result in Downton Abbey's young women having fewer potential suitors from which to chose a husband. This will be as true for Gwen, Daisy and Anna as it is for Lady Mary and her sisters.

    2) The war will accelerate social and economic trends that had already began by 1914. These trends will result in young people like Daisy, Gwen and Thomas having more employment options than domestic work. As a result it will get increasingly more difficult to staff big country houses like Downton Abbey.
     
  20. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,284

    Actually, I must correct myself; I had the wrong Emma. Shame on me. He was Mr. Weston in the Romola Garai/Jonny Lee Miller version. My apologies.
     
  21. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,747
    That's OK, you just reminded us of Jeremy Northam's Mr. Knightley. :swoon:
     
  22. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,808
    The queue for Downton Abbey on Netflix is way too long, so I went ahead and bought the series on ITune. It's only $9.99 for standard def unless you have to have hi-def (which is 14.99). Either way, not a bad deal
     
  23. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,402
    Cora: She was very upset by the death of poor Mr Pamuk

    Countess: Why? One can't go to pieces at the death of every foreigner...We'd all be in a state of collapse every time we opened a newspaper.

    Me: BWHAHAHAHA!

    Also, her reaction to the swivel chair had me in stitches. I can't remember her line, something about being good at sailing.
     
  24. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,654
    And "No Englishman would ever die in someone else's house!" :D
     
  25. Civic

    Civic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    6,262
    :lol:I thought the same thing. Let her marry the guy and get out of Downton Abbey so the rest of the family can have some peace.

    It finally occured to me during this last episode why the Earl's sister looks and sounds so familiar. It's the same actress who played Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond films with Pierce Brosnan.
     
  26. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,402
    I don't know if this is true or not, but wasn't it considered a big deal if a younger sibling got married before an older one? In that era, how much would that have influenced Mary's derailing of Edith's prospects with the dull dude?
     
  27. Fergus

    Fergus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    7,586
    AFAIK, as long as the younger sibling has made her debut/been presented at Court, she's officially on the marriage market as much as her older sister.

    However, considering the social conventions of the time, a younger sister getting married first might exacerbate fears of spinsterhood for the older girl.
     
  28. sk8sue

    sk8sue SHERLOCKED

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    452
    With the 2 big weeks of skating over, I finally watched the last 3 episodes over the weekend and I found these charts that show the family tree and the staff structure to be most helpful to me, as well as this page with character introductions. I don't know if they'll be of any help to anyone else at this point as I was probably the last to finish watching.

    In my meanderings, I came across the information that not only will there be a second season, which will be 8 episodes this time (as shown in Britain), but there will also be a Christmas special afterwards. The series is supposed to air on ITV in the fall leading into the Christmas episode, but so far PBS doesn't plan to show it until early 2012. I'm unclear on whether the Christmas episode is the eighth one or if it will bring the total to nine. According to the wiki article that was linked earlier in the thread filming will begin in March.

    I hope we'll continue to follow the characters that left the household at the end of this season. I suppose it's inevitable that the scope will be more opened up with the war being on and the characters getting involved in various ways.

    eta Well I might not mind not seeing too much more of Thomas, but I'd at least like to hear that his plan to escape military service didn't work out nearly as well as he'd hoped.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  29. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,808
    I've just finished watching the Itune version that is the original one. Now I understand a bit better--the poor footman didn't know his mom was dying because she wouldn't let people tell him, so Mary finally suggested he pay his mom a visit (without telling him she's dying). Also Thomas and Obrien trying to frame John Bates for the disappearance of snuff boxes.
     
  30. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,468
    I thought they were very helpful!