The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.

Downton Abbey

Films, TV shows, and books of the 'modern' era

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby kingrat » January 15th, 2014, 4:01 pm

I am most disappointed that the show took the turn it did with Anna, although Joanne Froggett certainly played the scenes well. This kind of theme is too heavy for the show, in my opinion.

They are also missing the mark with Moseley. His comments in public were not believable, given the character and the reined-in society. I suppose they are building up to something dramatic--suicide, perhaps--but frankly, two episodes are too much for this storyline, with obviously more to come.

Edith actually had more chemistry with the wounded older man who jilted her on her wedding day. The current storyline is interesting, however.

On a brighter note, the young lord who's taken with Mary seems like a good addition, and Mary is now clearly the center of the show.

Mrs. Patmore has had some good lines this season. I do miss O'Brien as much as I miss Matthew, however.

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby JackFavell » January 15th, 2014, 6:02 pm

I'm not crazy about the young man with Mary, for extremely shallow reasons... I just don't think he's very good looking or upper crust-ish, though they had very nice moments and he acted the part well. The show has a habit of dropping the new characters and storylines I like, red herring style, in favor of not so interesting characters in no win situations (for instance Edith's manly, warm-hearted and extremely married farmer in favor of the wimpy jilter). I liked Rose's young townie boy who showed up at the house looking for her (back entrance), but I think they won't take that any further.

I don't want to dogpile on the show, though I've said what I don't like... I still enjoyed watching this season, and will continue with the show. I'm hoping they hit their stride again soon. I like how Maggie Smith is softening a bit, though I miss her bite, but she and Penelope Wilton could act the phone book and it would be good.

User avatar
knitwit45
Posts: 4720
Joined: May 4th, 2007, 9:33 pm
Location: Gardner, KS

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby knitwit45 » January 15th, 2014, 10:41 pm

Anne, I haven't posted,because I haven't seen all of episode two yet. I wasn't going to read any of the previous posts, but it sounds like I'm in for another awful shock...won't be able to view the rest of the episode until late Sunday afternoon...geez! I am now bracing for the worst... :shock: :shock: :shock: :cry:
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8175
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby moira finnie » January 16th, 2014, 11:51 am

I have been catching up with the first few episodes, and think that the show is going fairly well. The self-absorbed Rose finally may have realized that her actions have an impact on others after her second encounter with the sincerely concerned young man of lower class origins. I think that Edith's reserved manner--while perhaps very English--does not translate well into romance, especially since her married suitor seems more ardent than she. Going to Germany to get a divorce seems a bit odd, since many well-to-do people seem to have flown off to Paris in that period to obtain a decree nisi in a salubrious, fairly stable and legally flexible atmosphere. Of course, we can all see where German citizenship is likely to lead in the '20s & '30s. I like Anthony, Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and think that he and Mary could be an interesting pair. Both need someone to confide in who has experienced life in their own class and is aware of their choices as well as their low key angst. Besides, more time on horseback in this show can only be good, esp. since it allows us to see the panorama of the lush English country parkland surrounding Downton.

Did not see Anna's problem coming, but hope that she and Bates can weather this event, which may have been more common below stairs and between master and servant than we know. The show needs a couple with some stability besides the Granthams. Speaking of which, Hugh Bonneville's character seems to have been drained of much of his restrained sensitivity and playfulness this season--and must Cora be colorless to be a conscientious wife and mother who is occasionally appalled at the "Englishness" of her brood? I am hoping both recover from this bout of blandness. Best moment: Cora catches the black-hearted nanny unawares!! It was funny when Thomas the upstart valet found himself puzzled when being praised for making her wary of the caregiver after he planted a false charge against her. Nothing will keep that Thomas down. Now if only "Pharoah" (or is it "Isis"?) the yellow lab could tell the Earl that he was shut up in a shed that time by the duplicitous Thomas to gain Robert's fealty.

Tom, Tom the Irishman! I am ashamed to say that without Sybil to give him some zip and Matthew to inspire him creatively, he has begun to annoy me. Believe me, with over 700 years of dealing with the Brits on every level, there were Micks who made their way in high society a bit more nimbly than this ex-chauffeur, former Irish revolutionary, and would-be socialist. Besides, as the Estate Agent, couldn't he have found an important seminar in forestry methods or crop rotation to absent himself from the house party since it was bound to be an awkward occasion? The subplot with Edna, the returning troublemaker, didn't make him more sympathetic to me (or her). Shouldn't he be a wee bit more concerned about his daughter and her position in the Downton Universe?

Mary's slow recovery from the shock of Matthew's death has been very satisfying. I love the moment when she comments on how he changed her, making her much less tougher than she once was. It was very touching when she spurned Carson (her champion above and below stairs) and later reconciled with him. Favorite scene: Mary and the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) meet in Mary's bedroom. Mary expects a lecture, but gets only a much-welcome moment of tenderness.

Here's hoping that once the family finds itself feeling a bit more alive now that they have had their first house party since Matthew's death, Maggie Smith will get off a few nice barbed remarks again.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

User avatar
mrsl
Posts: 4220
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
Location: Chicago SW suburbs

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby mrsl » January 20th, 2014, 9:28 am

.
Julian Fellows is playing with his characters character an awful lot this season. Suddenly Isobel is a whiny self, effacing cry-baby. She's always been much stronger than she is being. I don't mean to be hard hearted, but six months is quite long to stay in such a funk. Hopefully the doctor is getting her back into life. She's always needed to work, and this should be just the right medicine for her. Mary has already learned through Matthew what happens when you let the right guy get away - sometimes they marry other people and you have to stand around and smile through it. Now she's leaving herself open to the same torture with this fellow whom she obviously likes a lot. He implied he would give her more time, but he did want some sort of promise.

I wanted to kick Anna throughout the whole hour. After helping Mary and Cora get rid of that Argentinian guy who died, I expected she would go to one of them for advice if nothing else. I understand her worry about Bates losing his cool, but the guy is gone now and Mary could have let his master know what had happened. Anna fought so hard for Bates and now she's throwing it, and him away because of what some moron did, in addition to letting the moron get away with it. Maybe Tom and Mary should get married and have a fulfilling comradely union. Neither one seems to want to find a new love and they certainly get along well enough, plus they each have an heir, so they can form a very nice little family unit.

What am I missing in all of this?
.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8175
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby moira finnie » January 20th, 2014, 11:14 am

*Spoiler Alert*

I think Anna is behaving in a culturally-apt way for the time and for the deeply rooted emotions of any woman who has had this kind of experience. Her pain is rooted in shame and her (erroneous but common) belief that she "asked for it" from the visiting valet by being a friendly person. The anguish that she is experiencing is augmented by her knowledge of her loving husband's idealization of his cherished wife, as he repeatedly termed her sudden coldness as his fault since she is "by nature blameless." I believe that Anna feels that she has somehow failed him and is now unworthy of his love.

There's been considerable foreshadowing in the plot of last night's episode: we have seen Lord Gillingham mention that he doesn't really like his valet; Mrs. Hughes is urging Anna to tell Bates the truth of what has happened; Bates has said that he will eventually find out what is wrong while pleading with Anna to confide in him; and even Cora and Robert Crawley have noticed Anna's disturbingly quiet behavior. Due to this build-up of suspense, I think we will have to see some resolution of the matter soon. Once Bates learns of what is troubling her, I think their marriage may be shaken by her fear of what her husband would do with this knowledge. I suspect that he will ultimately behave in a way that is a.) not violent and b.) will not blame the victim, but will do anything to see some kind of justice done. Bates might be deeply hurt by his wife's lack of faith in his love to endure.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

User avatar
JackFavell
Posts: 11946
Joined: April 20th, 2009, 9:56 am

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby JackFavell » January 20th, 2014, 6:24 pm

I completely missed Downton last night, don't know what i was thinking except that we have a long weekend! I hope I can watch online now...

kingrat
Posts: 2207
Joined: August 20th, 2009, 2:46 pm

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby kingrat » January 21st, 2014, 6:15 pm

I thought that Sunday's episode was the best of the new season, with significant advances in the Tom/Edna Braithwaite subplot and also in the Edith/Gregson subplot and Rose's desire for independence.

User avatar
knitwit45
Posts: 4720
Joined: May 4th, 2007, 9:33 pm
Location: Gardner, KS

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby knitwit45 » January 22nd, 2014, 11:15 am

This is an interesting video interview with Joanna Froggat, I can't get the whole link to imbed, you'll have to click on it
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIDZhMPJEws[/youtube]
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

User avatar
mrsl
Posts: 4220
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
Location: Chicago SW suburbs

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby mrsl » January 27th, 2014, 9:24 am

,
Sometimes I find it hard to understand Joanna Froggart because she speaks in such a prim and quiet voice, along with the English accent.

Well, Bates knows, and Anna was right, I don't think he will chance prison again, but he will get the valet some way. It could make for very interesting episodes.

I sincerely wonder if the guy who plays Moseley is related to Julian Fellows in some way. Fellows seems to be keeping him around with very little for him to do, unless he will be the one to help Bates in his revenge, otherwise, why does Felows keep writing him in?

Actually with such a large ensemble of main characters, there are too many new characters being written in. It's confusing to try to keep them all straight both below and above stairs. I can see how Cora needed a new maid after the fiasco with Braithwaite, but the guy who came in last night confused me because he looks so much like the guy who plays Gillingham, with the same shock of dark hair, and ruddy complexion. Then there was the tenant farmer. I'm sure they will all get straightened out in my mind, but it will take time.
.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8175
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby moira finnie » January 28th, 2014, 9:19 am

I wondered if Moseley is meant to embody those who were caught in the post-WWI dislocation experienced by so many men and women of all classes. Here they were, brought up to believe implicitly that their position in life was determined by their birth and circumstance. Suddenly, forces beyond their control (war, death, taxation, mechanization) make their lives far more different. Many of them were already in mid-life without enough education or the needed social flexibility to land on their feet once change overtook them. (Come to think of it, it's not all that different from now). I think that Moseley would elicit more interest from viewers if he could be less self-pitying and more appealing. Since the poor man's character is so bland, without enough humor or malice to make him interesting, maybe he is almost too realistic for such a sweeping drama as Downton.

I was rather frustrated by Mrs. Hughes' disclosure of what had happened to Anna. Why couldn't she have been honest with him and said that his wife didn't tell him in part because she feared his visceral action against the perpetrator? That might have made Bates think more deeply about his own behavior and consciously restrain himself from claiming that the man who hurt his wife "was a dead man." At least the pair are back together again!

I really liked the subplot of The Earl of Grantham helping the heir to the tenant farm to catch up with his father's debts rather than turning him out of the land that had been tilled by his family on the estate since The Napoleonic Wars. Mary really has a lot to learn about handling such a shambling, human institution as the land her family controls--her innate frostiness and her desire to be involved in the place might create more problems as she seeks to make things a bit more modern and tidier than in the past.
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

User avatar
mrsl
Posts: 4220
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
Location: Chicago SW suburbs

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby mrsl » January 28th, 2014, 4:26 pm

.
Moira:

You're right about Mrs. Hughes telling Bates the whole truth. It was very frustrating to listen to the admittance without the reasoning behind the delay in explanation.

You could also be right in your evaluation of Moseley, because he seems to feel that he's better than one position, yet not good enough for others. And what's your take on Matthews mother? Why does she all of a sudden think she's being tossed aside? She's invited to all the parties, has dinner at the Abbey often, and is definitely accepted as the baby's grandmother, so what's her beef?
.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

User avatar
moira finnie
Administrator
Posts: 8175
Joined: April 9th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Location: Earth
Contact:

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby moira finnie » January 28th, 2014, 4:51 pm

mrsl wrote:.
And what's your take on Matthews mother? Why does she all of a sudden think she's being tossed aside? She's invited to all the parties, has dinner at the Abbey often, and is definitely accepted as the baby's grandmother, so what's her beef?

She puzzles me, but maybe this is part of her losing her way after Matthew's death. She appears to find the Crawley family's moving forward after son's demise to be so painful. Since she is socially and politically more progressive than the Downton crowd and clearly grew up in a comfortable but not aristocratic middle class home, perhaps Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) has understandably mixed feelings about being lumped in with them. I am more surprised that The Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) is being so chummy with her, aren't you?

I wonder if Isobel and the doctor, who is encouraging her to use her skills in the clinic, are going to become more than allies in aiding the less fortunate? They certainly have quite a bit in common. Wouldn't you think that Isobel would want to spend more time with her grandson as a way of assuaging her grief? This quote from the Downton Abbey character page for her seems to sum up her dilemma:

"But you see, when your only child dies, then you’re not a mother any more. You’re not anything, really. And that’s what I’m trying to get used to." – Isobel Crawley at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/pro ... awley_s517
Avatar: Frank McHugh (1898-1981)

The Skeins
TCM Movie Morlocks

User avatar
mrsl
Posts: 4220
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 5:20 pm
Location: Chicago SW suburbs

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby mrsl » January 29th, 2014, 1:11 pm

.
Regarding the quote, I remember hearing her say it, but it was in the context of a full paragraph I believe, so I didn't pay it a lot of heed. Seeing it by itself though is different. I've sat here for 2 or 3 minutes trying to think of a word that would encompass stupid, foolish, self-serving, and self-pitying all in one and can't quite think of anything. I wonder about the chumminess too, yet between Maggie, the doctor, the baby, and the family rallying around her, she just seems to want more attention, like a child would. I haven't had trouble understanding the characters before, but this year several of them have me in a quandary. Some have already been taken care of but Isobel, Moseley,Tom and a couple others are still making me think twice. Actually Isobel and Tom are similar in some ways. Both seem to think that with Matthew gone, they are no longer needed or wanted. I guess I just have to hang in there and hope that they each figure out an outlet for themselves.
.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

User avatar
knitwit45
Posts: 4720
Joined: May 4th, 2007, 9:33 pm
Location: Gardner, KS

Re: Downton Abbey

Postby knitwit45 » January 29th, 2014, 1:40 pm

This is one we'll have to agree to disagree on, Anne. Grief, to me, doesn't have a schedule, like, "ok, it's been 3 months, time to move on". (Plug in any number you want). The Crawleys all have each other, all have varied and outside interests, whereas Isobel lives alone, has already lost her husband, and now her only child. Even though she has always been somewhat independent, women of this era were always family oriented first. When you no longer had that anchor, your identity in the world would be shaken to the core. I think she will find her feet (and re-assume her annoying ways). As to the Doctor situation, didn't she have some expectations on that part, only to find him not interested? Or was it the other way around?

We didn't really see the whole conversation between Mrs. Hughes (who I am coming to think is the glue that holds the entire household together) and Mr. Bates. Maybe she did tell him Anna's reasons for not telling him. His grief and pain were heartrending in that short moment between leaving her offices and finding Anna.

I hope Tom will stay on, perhaps he will find being the estate agent is what he wants to do.

Really enjoying this season..how many episodes are left?
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard


Return to “General TV and Media”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests