Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Downton Abbey: understated hilarity

You know, people who don't care for costume dramas like us would think we are quite mad for
finding Downton Abbey as funny as we do.

This week was a perfect example of this.

As I watched it a second time I thought the whole radio discussion was very clever.

It's a fad.  Never catch on.
(This was me and the internet, I confess)
Miss Patmore wondering if the King could hear them.
(No, he can't)

Lord Grantham is being especially silly and I don't mind it
while I wonder if you all think it is a flaw.
The whole flirting with his dog part was funny but made him seem
very unaware and rude.  They have made him loving from time to time and when he is an aloof Brit it make me sad.

Violet is a big tease.

Mary and Lord Gilliam (sp).  I liked him less this week than
every before.  Why is that?

Oh yes. And the unspeakables that Anna had to go buy.
I loved that she told Mary she felt so judged she wanted to go back and buy a dozen.

I really do adore Cora's maid.  She is a fine actor and written well.
Cora shoved her robe at her this week and that bothered me.
Now I better learn her name.

Anna was sweet to Barrows.  I wonderful if that will come in handy.

I like Rose and Tom.   Together.  But don't see it happening.
I want Tom to be content at Downton.

That Edith's family does not catch on is ridiculous.  But they rarely
pay any attention to her.

Mary telling Edith that she was an idiot was just plain nasty.
Poorly done Mary.

Carson and Hughes.  Sweet.  Carson does not like to be at odds with her.
Mrs. Hughes is wise and steady.  I like that quality.  I want to be like her.

I'm a fan of that.

Oh...and the big cliffhanger....
Not funny.  Dramatic!

What did you think?
Does Downton make you smile like it does me?



  1. Violet is a big tease. - Oh my WORD we love how she is written. We guffawed at every line. And when they pulled up to Lord Merton's home and Isobel complimented it, he replied, 'Well, we do our best.' I almost hurt myself laughing - scott says this ALL THE TIME, as learned from one of his dearest ANGLICAN professors in Seminary.. so see? We come by it naturally. Man, that was funny.

    Mary and Lord Gilliam (sp). I liked him less this week than
    every before. Why is that? - because he was encouraging them to LIVE IN SIN for the weekend. What an unattractive quality. [I know, I know. But to be so blatant about it was SO unattractive. And I like him!!

    I really do adore Cora's maid. She is a fine actor and written well.
    Cora shoved her robe at her this week and that bothered me.
    Now I better learn her name.-- Baxter! I like her. And I think Moseley is rising to the occasion with her - he bugs me SO MUCH that I'm grateful whenever I can see some good in him. :)

    Anna was sweet to Barrows. I wonderful if that will come in handy. - Here's hoping. Stinker.

    I like Rose and Tom. Together. But don't see it happening.
    I want Tom to be content at Downton. - She's too much of a caricature. I think he'll find someone who can speak both languages.

    That Edith's family does not catch on is ridiculous. But they rarely
    pay any attention to her. - Drewes' wife is catching on, I think, but I think she assumes something is up between Edith and her husband. And Edith would do herself some good if she would pay a little attention to the OTHER Drewes kids, too!

    Carson and Hughes. Sweet. Carson does not like to be at odds with her.
    Mrs. Hughes is wise and steady. I like that quality. I want to be like her. - I think they'll marry. I really do. I hope so!

    Thanks for giving us a place to chat about it, Donna! I love it so, so much!

    1. Steph...I had written that Lord. G was too fresh. I see I am not alone.
      Baxter. That's it. Moseley is a fool. I suppose he is the broad comedy in the piece.

      So glad to read your remarks! Love them.

  2. I love the show. Thanks, Donna, forgiving a place to talk about it.

    The thing that struck me about this episode is all the "casual" lying. Edith is lying to her parents about the child. The adoptive father is lying to his wife about Edith. Mary is lying about her trip. Anna is lying for Mary to her husband. Mrs. Hughes just easily lied to Carson about "infecting" when he questioned a conversation. "Oh, the tangled web we weave" and all that for the story lines, but still, I really hate lying.

    1. Very good point!!!

    2. Lying in shows like this brings more drama, intertwined plots, and usually confrontations. Which is interesting, although not exemplary.

      Bring it on.

  3. I love your recap, Donna. I missed it. :( Does anyone know where I can watch it online?

    1. I think you can watch on pbs.com

    2. Yes! I found it and watched it. I loved it! Even laughed outloud a few times!

  4. Anonymous11:34 AM

    I agree. But, as I ask my Grandson when I catch him embellishing, Are you just making the story more interesting? However, the outcome is often a good lesson for us. I hate lying too.

  5. I confess that there is not much I don't like about the show. I am a sap over Downton. I relish each episode, whether jam packed or not. The production values just keep getting better and better. The characters more beloved.

    Having said that, Robert often bugs me, and I wish they would write better scripts for him. And I would be happy to never see Sarah Bunting again.

    I love any scene with Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, or the DC and Isobel. They never disappoint in my book.

    Edith is really overstepping with Mrs. Drew and it's cringey. C'mon Edith!! You're a smart gal ... use your head.

    I totes agree about spunky Anna, after being judged by the snarky clerk. Anna wins most loyal servant at DA- think of how she helped carry the dead Turk down the hall and around the place! No wonder she is worried about Mary's sketching trip. Sketchy more like it.

    I may be alone in my affection for Molesly, but I love rooting for him, and Baxter is really growing on me. They are good together.

    I hated the scene with Tony leaning on the door way, like he was posing for GQ. ew.

    I loved it when Violet stood during the speech by the King via wireless. Sweet.

    Thanks for the recap, Donna ... youdabest !

  6. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Susan, I love your sketching trip/sketchy comparison. So true! I agree with all of you that Tony Gilliam is much less attractive now that he is purposely leading Mary into a sinful situation. And she is less appealing, too, because she seems to be very calculated about jumping on board with the idea. Come on, give us something to admire instead. And I love Stephanie's point that Edith should be paying attention to the other Drewes children too. If she isn't careful Mrs. Drewes will begin to think Marigold is a love child between Edith and her husband. And finally, Baxter. I love her character. She is being totally honest (unlike a lot of the people in the house) and hopefully Cora will reward this and keep her on. Forgiveness and trust are in order.

    Debbie Z.

  7. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Gingerly, I am going to dip my oar in this discussion.

    My husband and I have been leaning towards giving up Downton. I think the most recent episode pushed us over. It seems to me that so much of the writing is 2014 thinking with 1923 clothes on. The Lord G - Mary storyline seems designed to titillate.

    It's discouraging. I really want to like it. I really want to watch it. Sigh.... Carol in Oregon

    1. I would gently add: give it time, these plot lines have a way of evening out. And that's all I will say about that. Don't want to spoil anything.

      I am sorry that the discouraging is out-weighing the enjoyable.

    2. I understand what you mean, carol, and scott and I have had the same conversation. But hearing the actors and writers talk about the shift in culture and the roles of women and what was "proper" has given it a bit more of a breath of authenticity in our book. So we carry on, more convinced than ever that, as we first declared, this show is nothing more than an upper class soap opera with great costumes and accents. :)

  8. I love Downton, but this episode overflowed with characters behaving in modern or base ways and the writing tripped over itself time and time again to justify the stories.
    -Robert, truly a Donk, is arguing non-stop with Tom and threatens to take Sybbie away from Tom if Tom leaves Downton (Cora says no, thankfully). Donk is also worried that the art appraiser is trying to flirt with his dog. *snort* And Donk is insulting "You're just an American" or ignoring Cora at every turn.
    -Miss Bunting tells Tom he needs to think for himself, but she's really doing the thinking.
    -Edith gives away her child, takes her back, and gives her away again. And since this is Downton, we can all guess there will be a "happy" ending with Edith bringing Marigold to live in the Abbey. Meaning she'll take Marigold away from the Drewes. She's hurting that family and probably Marigold all for her own interests and to avoid a scandal.
    -Blake returned and is rather smug and know-it all. Seriously, Mary's petri-dish of suitors is boring and 1-dimensional as characters; I don't want Mary to marry either at this point. Could Mary please have a story that wasn't about her suitors?
    -Lord Gillingham, aka Gilly, convinces Mary to go away for a sexcapade week because she'll then want to marry him. He's an expert at lying ("the more truth in a lie, the better") and at paying off hotel managers. He drapes himself on the door jam like a Chippendale model and assures Mary a week of romping and she'll be floating down the aisle...but dinner first. Mary's drooling so much she can't see what a mopey, boring, drip he is.
    -And Mary. Gee. By herself she was able to buy a book about sex and contraceptives, but she has to use her position as employer to force Anna to buy the contraceptive. Luckily, the sales lady is so awful, even Mary shines in comparison...so all is right, class-status restored between Mary and Anna. Bleh. Mary, like Edith, is behaving in a self-centered manner, modified only by fear of scandal...not morals, self-worth or ethics, which makes them all the shallow and boring, I think.

    Thank heavens for Baxter and Mosesley who are respectful and cautious with each other...never demeaning. And for Mrs. Patmore's love for Daisy and getting her tutorial help.

    Downton is one of my favorite shows, but episodes like this irritate me...as you've probably guessed. Sorry for the rant. I'll return to my Twitter-hole now and shut up. Missy

  9. I feel that Moseley isn't so much a fool (about Baxter, anyway) as he adores her and has come to her rescue several times but now he just needs to make sense of it all. He's so black and white and would never do wrong (although his very silly hair dye was SO wrong!), that he just can't seem to understand why someone as endearing as HIS Baxter would steal. As she said "I was just a common thief. That's not who I am now." I hope he can find a way to believe her and continue loving her. Fingers crossed.

    Mary Z

    1. Ooh! I was so excited that I was able to post two days in a row that I forgot to say that I love so much about the show, but the Edith/Marigold storyline is really troubling. Someone called it cringe worthy and I agree. C'mon, Edith, take an interest in the entire family! The other kids would certainly benefit from someone else to love on them. Is there any such thing as too much love?? Miss Bunting seems to be too much of a bully with her ideas -- she's trying to ram them down Tom's throat. But I like her a bit more for her work with Daisy. And Mary needs an entirely new gentleman to show interest. I'm tired of Tony and Charles. Someone more "Matthew" needs to be introduced. And did anyone else find it funny how much the family remarked on the art dealer's tan? Tee hee.

      Mary Z

    2. I must be a horrible person... I didn't ever consider the other children. I just want Edith to get her girl back. The end justifies the beans.

    3. P.S. I can comment from my kindle fire only - tapping away is slower but my laptop (Windows 8) is completely uncooperative.

      Good to see you here! Glad someone else is on team Molesly!

    4. I really don't want her to get her girl back, I don't think. I want marigold to thrive and the adoption to go through. I have OPINIONS about all of this,for sure. :)

    5. Because they're REAL people, after all ;-)

  10. Cyndi K G4:56 PM

    I missed/chose not to watch the last season of Downton: I hated the changes that Matthew's death had brought. This year, tho, I watched the "Manners at Downton" special and decided I was ready to give it another go. I am a week behind (not worried about spoilers, tho) but I am enjoying it thoroughly. Yes, it is a bit anachronistic, but highly entertaining. I will grade a set of papers, then go watch this week's (recorded) episode and I am very much looking forward to it, faults and all!

  11. The part I keep thinking about is the eyewitness thing too. It made me wonder if Mrs. Hughes had something to do with the murder or its just that she knows Bates did it. I can't remember her "alibi" during the time of that awful man being pushed into the street.

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