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  1. #1
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    Downton Abbey -- Season 3 on PBS

    Yes, yes, I know there's already a thread going, but I'm very much afraid of spoilers from our friends in the UK or those folks on this side of the pond who used other means to watch earlier. So if you'll indulge me ... can we have a separate thread here for those of us watching on the North American/PBS schedule?

    So.

    I did enjoy the season opener, especially of course the much-anticpated arrival of Shirley Maclaine. I did expect more verbal jousting between her and Maggie Smith, but that's okay -- they each shone in their own rights. (And Maggie yet again got off the best line of the night: "Can I trouble you for a drink? Oh, I do beg your pardon, I mistook you for a waiter! )

    The show morphed from "drama" to "soap" after season 1, but I don't think it slipped any further here. At least not yet.

    Anna continues to be absolutely adorable, even if almost too good to be true. I am very worried, though, that she'll find the evidence she needs to overturn John's conviction ... only to have him get into some very bad trouble while in prison.

    I didn't quite understand Robert's objections to Sir Anthony. Was it really just an age thing? For someone so steeped in tradition that seems odd -- there's plenty of "tradition" re: older men and younger women in wealthy and titled families. I'm glad it resolved itself, I don't think I could bear for Edith to have yet another romantic let-down.

    Roll on the rest of the season, and the development / resolution of Mrs Hughes' breast cancer scare and the looming financial ruin of the estate. (Re: Robert's failed investment: Blame Canada! At least one good thing should come from that, he'll probably be less likely to jump into such investments again come 1929!)

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    I don't get why Robert, Cora, and Violet are so down on Edith and Sir Anthony. He's rich, titled, and a gentleman. Considering Sybil ran off with the chauffeur, how is Edith's choice so awful or controversial?

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    I think it's because Sybill ran off with the chauffeur--they don't want any more marriages that would be possibly held up for ridicule. And Edith is fairly ridiculous anyway.

    I'm glad this thread is here. The doom and gloom in the other one was depressing, but I really enjoyed the opener.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

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    I thought they knew he was gay or something. Edith was right, her generation lost it's men so what is she to do? I guess there's always that married farmer from last season.

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    I think Sir Anthony himself started the objections last year and Edith's had to bull her way back in with him. Not so much the age as age + invalid (he's lost the use of his arm and unlike Thomas's hand, it seems to be more than a scar, and unlike Matthew's back, it probably won't spontaneously get better.) BEFORE the war, he was acceptable, until Edith's revenge plot and Mary's revenge for the revenge short-circuited it.

    You would think, though, that they'd just be glad to see Edith happy and realize that, yeah, between the war and the influenza it's not like they're spoiled for choice any more. Though it's pretty clear Edith's the unfavorite, mostly for reasons beyond her control. She had Mary ahead of her and the focus of everyone's attentions and always the number-one priority, and Sybil the baby right after her. It's like they feel the need to kick her for not being as pretty as her sisters.

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    I too think that Edith deserves to be happy and am bothered by how Robert, Mary and others are bothered by her involvement with Sir Anthony. No one seems to care that she appears destined for spinsterhood otherwise.

    But I've seen all of Season already and can only say this about that:


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    I'm rooting for Edith to marry Sir Anthony and for them to purchase Downton Abbey away from Mary and Matthew.

    I think that would be awesome, if it happened. Mary would be so mad. lol!
    Last edited by skategal; 01-10-2013 at 07:23 PM.
    I'm not spoiled...I deserve all my stuff.

  8. #8
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    Thank you Artemis for starting this thread

    Although I have to say I was hugely disappointed with the first two eps last Sunday. For context, let me say that I'm a huge fan of this sort of thing going back to Upstairs Downstairs and the Duchess of Duke Street, and Gosford Park is one of my all time favourite movies, and I loved season 1 of DA especially. However, a lot of things bugged me about what I saw last Sunday:

    * Agree with those who don't get everyone's issue with Sir Anthony - including Sir Anthony. It just makes no sense at all. Wasn't the newspaper dude much older than Mary?
    * Felt really ripped off on the wedding - we've been building to this for two years now, and all we get is the walk down the aisle? No vows, no reception (although I was very happy to get a shot of the feast being prepared ) no dancing? And for that matter, no honeymoon? I really wanted to see them having a lovely time in the South of France, sort of like the de Winters, before they had to return and face reality.
    * Could not wait for the Shirley vs Maggie smackdown, and it was surprisingly mild - only saved by two great actresses IMO.
    * Really perplexed by the relationship between Matthew and Mary. Sure, I get where he's coming from re guilt over Lavinia, and I get that Mary wants to save her father/Downton (although this is rather new too - a few months earlier she was all set to set up house elsewhere), but the way they argued/made up/argued/made up without ever resolving the issue just didn't seem realistic to me.
    * Plus, where is Matthew's sense of duty (which he had so much of toward Lavinia) as the heir of Downton Abbey and the Earldom? And why didn't Mary appeal to that angle instead of focusing on saving her father? It should have been more about the big picture, and Matthew's rather large place in it.

    Finally, I was most annoyed with the script this time - I know, blasphemy, but I really thought it was not up to standard at all. It felt like every character had one thought, and they simply kept repeating it, especially Mary, Matthew, Edith, Sir Anthony, Daisy, and unfortunately, Cora's mother.

    Sigh. I wish I had loved it more, and I hope it gets better.

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    it's not like sir anthony is ever going to look for a job or anyone else is interested.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skategal View Post
    I'm rooting for Edith to marry Sir Anthony and for them to purchase Downton Abbey away from Mary and Matthew.

    I think that would be awesome, if it happened. Mary would be so mad. lol!
    Serve him right, too, for being such a self-rightous git about the Squire money...
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    * Agree with those who don't get everyone's issue with Sir Anthony - including Sir Anthony. It just makes no sense at all. Wasn't the newspaper dude much older than Mary?
    To be fair, I don't think they were really thrilled to pieces with HIM, either (and ironically he bows out at the end like a gentleman.) At that point, Mary's other option, thanks to the rumors Edith's letter started, was said to be trying to go to America and find a husband there. So he wasn't a GREAT fiance, but at least he was halfway respectable and willing to take her despite her not standing to inherit much of anything, relatively speaking. With Mary the oldest the pressure to get her married off was heavier than with Edith (where in something like episode 1.1 or 1.2, I think, her parents are talking about how she'll probably be the one to care for them in their dotage and isn't thought to have any prospects.)

    * Felt really ripped off on the wedding - we've been building to this for two years now, and all we get is the walk down the aisle? No vows, no reception (although I was very happy to get a shot of the feast being prepared ) no dancing? And for that matter, no honeymoon? I really wanted to see them having a lovely time in the South of France, sort of like the de Winters, before they had to return and face reality.
    I could live without a play-by-play of the wedding and reception, but especially after Bates sets it up by telling Anna to go with Mary and Matthew and see France for him, we jump-cut to...they're back? That was it? The production was broke or something?

    * Could not wait for the Shirley vs Maggie smackdown, and it was surprisingly mild - only saved by two great actresses IMO.
    I don't know, despite having no dialogue other than singing the "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" scene was worth the actresses' weight in gold. (Game, set, match, winner: Cora's mom!)

    * Really perplexed by the relationship between Matthew and Mary. Sure, I get where he's coming from re guilt over Lavinia, and I get that Mary wants to save her father/Downton (although this is rather new too - a few months earlier she was all set to set up house elsewhere), but the way they argued/made up/argued/made up without ever resolving the issue just didn't seem realistic to me.
    I agree. It felt somewhat contrived, or like they're TRYING to set it up as a bad match, that they NEVER talk about it that we can tell. It's just "Take the money, save our family" versus "No, I'd feel guilty", repeat. I do understand Matthew's guilt to some extent, though considering he was only Heir Option #3 and is apparently the last one on the list, what else is he supposed to do? Let the estate revert to the Crown out of a sense of nobility? And I can see Mary changing her position from last season--when she was ready to move out marrying Sir WhatsHisName, that was a necessity. She COULDN'T stay at Downton then unless she and her husband were willing to trespass on her parents' generosity, and even then, when her father died, Matthew would be the new Earl and they would still have to move out or have the most awkward living situation ever. Now, Mary WILL be the next Countess Grantham and her husband will be the new Earl--they can stay at Downton forever, assuming they can pay for it. That makes it a lot more immediate for her to want to save it.

    * Plus, where is Matthew's sense of duty (which he had so much of toward Lavinia) as the heir of Downton Abbey and the Earldom? And why didn't Mary appeal to that angle instead of focusing on saving her father? It should have been more about the big picture, and Matthew's rather large place in it.
    On the one hand, I see Matthew not entirely being as devoted to the concept of Downton (though I would think it would more take the form of paring down the servants and selling off lands, which is historically appropriate and what actually happened with Highclere Castle to boot) but on the other, it does seem like a reversion to Season 1 Matthew, who insults Molsely by not letting him do his job and who finds the whole concept a little silly.

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    Honest to goodness, I wept for Edith. Her pain was awful and what's worse, her complete belief that she'd always be alone. I've never wanted to hug anyone so badly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by centerstage01 View Post
    Honest to goodness, I wept for Edith. Her pain was awful and what's worse, her complete belief that she'd always be alone. I've never wanted to hug anyone so badly.
    I didn't cry but I felt so, so sorry for her, with her wedded, happy, pretty sisters standing there. Aggghh. I hope she gets the Crown Prince or somebody....
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

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    I'm hoping that she travels back to America with her Grandmother. Get her away from the British family. Let her marry a super rich American & be happy ever after. I'm glad Mrs. Hughes is ok. I'd begun to think drama surrounded all the characters & it was getting to be too much for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I didn't cry but I felt so, so sorry for her, with her wedded, happy, pretty sisters standing there. Aggghh. I hope she gets the Crown Prince or somebody....
    Lol, I really don't think that would be much of an improvement at the time, given who it is....but girl needs a rich husband with a big estate (rewatching season one and two, remember how into farming and management she is, and how that worked with Sir Anthony before the war?) who worships the ground she walks on....move to America, find a rich Westerner with a big ranch or a huge farm or orchards, and move away! She has worse luck with men than Thomas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by merrywidow View Post
    I'm hoping that she travels back to America with her Grandmother. Get her away from the British family. Let her marry a super rich American & be happy ever after. I'm glad Mrs. Hughes is ok. I'd begun to think drama surrounded all the characters & it was getting to be too much for me.
    I didn't see grandmother Levinson in last night's episode at all...
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    I must have missed something last season. Why are O'Brien and Thomas at each other throats. They used to be partners in crime together.

    Felt bad for Edith, (loved her wedding dress by the way, much more stylish than Mary's gown which I thought the fit was unattractive on her with no shaping at all) what a creep Sir Anthony turned out to be. Is he just a wimp or is he hiding something from his past. IMO Edith is better off without him.

    Matthew has had 2 moods, frustration over his inheritance and the obvious guilt he still feels about breaking Lavina's heart or the syrupy love struck mood he portrayed in episode one, sheesh what happened to him.

    Loving Maggie Smith, Congrats to her for picking up a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actress.

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    Wow did Edith's family ever get in the way of her happiness. It's bad enough that she has gorgeous sisters and mother and may be the classic middle child. I think I'd want to take off on a year long cruise.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kittyjake5 View Post
    I must have missed something last season. Why are O'Brien and Thomas at each other throats. They used to be partners in crime together.
    O'Brien and Thomas haven't been buddy-buddy for a while now. Thomas was chastising her for "going soft" about her ladyship (O'Brien has been dealing with her guilt about causing the miscarriage for a while and Cora's nearly dying from the flu made her come back to her side completely). I think Thomas has really gone against O'Brien this season since she managed to get her nephew employed as the new footman -- and seems to be trying to give him a bit of a push to train as a valet (presumably to at some future date become valet to Matthew). Also, O'Brien wouldn't loan Thomas any money when he was investing in the black market after the war. Thomas played a dirty trick on O'Brien's nephew, O'Brien returned the favor (by hiding Sir Robert's dress shirts), and most lately Thomas spread the lie downstairs that O'Brien planned to leave Downton -- and now it's O"Brien's turn to strike back. They definitely have their knives out for each other now.

    Felt bad for Edith, (loved her wedding dress by the way, much more stylish than Mary's gown which I thought the fit was unattractive on her with no shaping at all) what a creep Sir Anthony turned out to be. Is he just a wimp or is he hiding something from his past. IMO Edith is better off without him.
    I, too, liked Edith's gown much more than Mary's. About Sir Anthony, I half expected someone to speak up during the ceremony and reveal he had a secret wife, a la Bertha Mason
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    i dont feel sorry for edith. writing to the embassy over kemal could have ruined the whole family, not just mary. edith needs to run off to bloomsbury and try something else.
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