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  1. #501
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemba View Post
    Great perspective on Sybil. Although she was always so pleasant and kind, I never noticed that she wasn't the joyful person that Rose is. I guess this is due in part to the fact that, unlike Rose, she was very concerned with not hurting her parents. So I guess that restrained her a bit.
    Well that ... and the time period. Sybil came out just before the war started, and spent much of the war caring for the injured and dying. Coupled with her own innate compassion, that's bound to knock all the joy out of a girl. Rose, oth, gets to come out during the swingingest, most carefree time the western world has seen thus far. With her parents on another continent no less.

  2. #502
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    http://www.vanityfair.com/vf-hollywo...social-twitter

    Meet Julian Ovenden, Lady Mary’s Latest Suitor
    He can sing, act, dance, and woo the coldest heart in Downton.

    BY ANDREA CUTTLER FEBRUARY 19, 2014 1:14 PM

  3. #503
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    As far as why Mary over Edith up thread, maattheViking: Mary's strikingly beautiful soaked in pig mud, let alone dressed for the evening. Edith's pretty if you do her hair nicely and put her in the right clothes. (Though the one I never got was Sibyl. I guess she had a cute factor but she was never what I'd cal beautiful.)
    gasp! i think sybil is beee yoooo teee ful. poor edith looks a lot like a bottle opener to me.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  4. #504
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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    gasp! i think sybil is beee yoooo teee ful. poor edith looks a lot like a bottle opener to me.
    Totally agree. Sybil is someone who can pull off red lipstick for a change. Hawt!
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    I think Sybil was too much of a thinker to be happy go easy like Rose. She was questioning her privilege, her parents, and then came the war and Tom.

    I don't think Mary isn't pretty, but I just don't think she has so much else going for her (well, except the money).
    Check out my baking blog at http://morethandough.wordpress.com, and like it on facebook. Thanks!

  6. #506
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bostonfan View Post
    ... (By the way, how the hell did any of Cora's ladies maids keep up with the sewing before the invention of a sewing machine? Cora is a like sweatshop owner) ...
    I think a lot of that has to be fakework, put in to conveniently place Baxter in the centre of all the action (and of course to introduce another "modern convenience" into the timeline). Nothing we've seen of Cora has ever indicated that she's even remotely active or clumsy enough to warrant a lot of clothes mending, and aside perhaps from the odd nightgown I can't imagine Baxter is actually making any clothes for her ladyship.

    I'd imagine that the bulk of the clothing maintenance work required by a lady's maid, at least in terms of time, is cleaning, not mending. But that would put Baxter and Anna out the line of sight and conversation. We've seen various maids and valets in the "shoe cleaning room" a few times, but I don't think we've ever seen the Downton laundry room. Washing, drying, ironing ... all takes place somewhere hidden!

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    In season one, she needed a button sewn on her coat or something and came downstairs to give it to O'Brien. That's about it. Also the footman Lang I think was sewing his lordship's shirt at one point when O'Brien admired it. Remember?

    Mikemba, I saw your PM. Thanks.

  8. #508
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    ^ Oh yes, there's been a lot of sewing going on in that servants' hall over the years. That's the main set they've built for all the downstairs action, so it makes sense that they'd use it as much as possible. And sewing is quiet action that can be taking place while conversations are going on at the same time, so as a staging device it's very effective.

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    Exactly. This one is just noticeable because it's a noisy sewing machine.

  10. #510
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    I can see it for plot purposes, but it would be fun to see the servants performing other duties now and then. Gosford Park did a good job of showing a broad spectrum of duties in the space of one movie, and I know they had several retired servants acting as consultants to ensure accuracy.

    For those interested in such things, especially in the kitchen, if you can get hold of the old BBC series The Victorian Kitchen, it's fascinating. For the program, they found a relic kitchen and fixed it up to the period, hired a former cook (who also happened to consult on Gosford Park), and a younger girl as the kitchenmaid. There's also a book that accompanied the series, and it was a companion to the equally interesting Victorian Kitchen Garden series, in which they followed a full year in a traditional walled garden.

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    Random favorite things from this week:

    Isobel's bouquet from the gentleman being bigger than Violet's. Wonderful!

    Isobel now has a second gentleman romantically interested in her. If one of Mary's trio drops out of the race, Isobel will move into a tie with Mary for the number of suitors.

    I had thought that all of Edith's earth tone dresses of coral, peach, green, etc. couldn't be beaten, but the blue dress and hat she wore to lunch at Violet's were stunning.

    Two really beautiful scenes: The simplicity of the scene of Edith and Violet in their lovely dresses sitting among all the flowers in Violet's garden was a wonderful contrast to the grand beauty of the setting of Mary's lunch with Tony.

    Okay, I'm a sap: During the bazaar, my eyes filled up when I thought about the similar scenes from season one's garden party in which Sybil, William, and Matthew were all in attendance.

    I love any scene with Mr. Mason and Daisy.

    Likewise, the scenes with Mr. Molesley and Miss Baxter were very charming.

  12. #512
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    Further to our discussion about sewing and servant duties, I was inspired (and Olympicked out) to rewatch Gosford Park for the eleventy billionth time last night. I started with the BTS interviews etc and director Robert Altman explained something interesting.

    He said that the actors in the downstairs parts knew their roles far better than he did. They had all done their research, and were working closely with the on-set consultants (a group of 80somethings who had all been in service in the 30s). All he was concerned with were making sure the key plot points were captured, but otherwise they did their thing. He said he never wanted them to just "look busy" as we are so often seeing on Downton. Instead, the effect is rich with detail - while the dialogue and action are going on, we also see the multitude of tasks performed by each servant, as well as the details of their personal lives in the house.

    Interestingly too, as fans know it's essentially from the servants point of view - the upstairs characters are rarely seen without a servant present and watching everything, and the servants are constantly gossiping with one another. There's not a lot of that on Downton - the servants get all wrapped up in their own dramas, but aside from Barrow and a few other odd examples, they don't spend much time talking about what's going on upstairs (and really, would Carson and Mrs Hughes allow it? ). At any rate, it's like we have two separate stories running most of the time, and it would be nice to see more integration of plot lines beyond the upstairs men dallying with the downstairs women.

  13. #513

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    I think a lot of that has to be fakework, put in to conveniently place Baxter in the centre of all the action (and of course to introduce another "modern convenience" into the timeline). Nothing we've seen of Cora has ever indicated that she's even remotely active or clumsy enough to warrant a lot of clothes mending, and aside perhaps from the odd nightgown I can't imagine Baxter is actually making any clothes for her ladyship.

    I'd imagine that the bulk of the clothing maintenance work required by a lady's maid, at least in terms of time, is cleaning, not mending. But that would put Baxter and Anna out the line of sight and conversation. We've seen various maids and valets in the "shoe cleaning room" a few times, but I don't think we've ever seen the Downton laundry room. Washing, drying, ironing ... all takes place somewhere hidden!
    I'm more surprised that they didn't have a sewing machine around prior to 1922 (that's when this season is taking place, right?). Howe patented the machine in the mid 1800s, and home sewing machines had been available since 1889, and was in wide use by the turn of the century.

  14. #514
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impromptu View Post
    I'm more surprised that they didn't have a sewing machine around prior to 1922 (that's when this season is taking place, right?). Howe patented the machine in the mid 1800s, and home sewing machines had been available since 1889, and was in wide use by the turn of the century.
    Well, Downton has always been rather slow to embrace technology and progress. And after all, they'd only just had electricity installed in 1912 when the series began.

    But more importantly, while the machine would be an asset in a middle class home where they might make a lot of their own clothes, or in lower class homes where it would be a source of income ... how much use would it really have in a house like Downton? I could see it being used by the servants for their own clothing, but there's no way that any of the upstairs clothes are made by Baxter or any other maids or valets. Nor is it the suitable tool for most of the maintenance/repairs the maids and valets are needing to do -- that kind of work can only be done by hand.

  15. #515

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    Well that ... and the time period. Sybil came out just before the war started, and spent much of the war caring for the injured and dying. Coupled with her own innate compassion, that's bound to knock all the joy out of a girl.
    She had her moments, though. I remember her being all happy and chipper when she showed up in the harem pants.

    (I know I'm the only one in the world who thinks this, but the harem pants were silly-looking to me. )
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  16. #516

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemba View Post

    Two really beautiful scenes: The simplicity of the scene of Edith and Violet in their lovely dresses sitting among all the flowers in Violet's garden was a wonderful contrast to the grand beauty of the setting of Mary's lunch with Tony.
    I was wondering where they filmed that lunch scene with Mary and Tony. I was thinking it might by the Orangery in Kensington Gardens since they were suppose to be in London.

    DOes anyone know?

  17. #517
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    Twitter:

    Salon.com ‏@Salon 41m
    Watch Will Ferrell's figure skating routine, set to the "Downton Abbey" theme song. VIDEO http://slnm.us/iHcevuP


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    Masterpiece PBS ‏@masterpiecepbs 2h
    NEW #DowntonPBS video: TeamGillingham or TeamBlake? The cast take sides! http://to.pbs.org/1bsWd7f // @carmichelle @allenleech @lesley_nicol
    Last edited by dardar1126; 02-21-2014 at 05:44 PM.

  18. #518
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadingirl View Post
    I was wondering where they filmed that lunch scene with Mary and Tony. I was thinking it might by the Orangery in Kensington Gardens since they were suppose to be in London.

    DOes anyone know?
    That was my thought too - I haven't been there, but with the garden outside I thought it might be. Check out these Google images.

  19. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadingirl View Post
    I was wondering where they filmed that lunch scene with Mary and Tony. I was thinking it might by the Orangery in Kensington Gardens since they were suppose to be in London.
    It's certainly similar in proportions and the implied garden setting, but I don't think it has that dome / glass ceiling or the pillars like the restaurant used in the episode.

    I was thinking maybe one of those restaurants in Covent Garden but I'm not sure that's right either.

  20. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    That was my thought too - I haven't been there, but with the garden outside I thought it might be. Check out these Google images.
    Just called up the episode on my computer, and they don't match. The restaurant used has round white pillars interspersed throughout the room, and a glass ceiling.

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