Thursday, February 16, 2012

It never rains in southern Downtonfornia, for example

Last night we caught up on last Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey.

In case you've not seen it, I'm going to warn you now not to read further. I thoroughly enjoyed the episode, as over-the-top as it was. They could perhaps have added an earthquake, Banquo's ghost, and a plague of locusts, but aside from that, I can't think of anything.

Nick said, "You know, this is pretty unrealistic."

"I know. They live in fucking England, and they wear sleeveless dresses and it's always sunny."

Seriously. The two times I've been in England that it was warm and sunny for days in a row, they were experiencing major drought. But anyway.

Also, I covet their dresses. I truly do. Not, you know, how repressed women were back then. Just the pretty pretty outfits of the very rich.

The truth is, I'm not looking for realism in my entertainment. I don't care that Mary, Edith, and Sibyl never age, even though it's been, like, seven years since the show began. Or that Matthew felt some tingling (when he first mentioned it I was all, tingling? down there?) and then all of a sudden stood up and lo, without really any rehab, was walking!

I don't even care that the evil characters are so nearly purely evil. Although once in a while you do see the glimpses of humanity in them. And as one of my gay friends pointed out, Thomas is gay in the early 1900s. Think about the lack of social acceptance and the amount of self-loathing he must have.

Which helped me loathe him marginally less.

Nonetheless, we need him, and we need O'Brien. Which is why he can steal from them and dabble in the black market have pretty much everyone including his employers hate him, and still keep living there because suddenly he's helpful in a pinch.

The evils keep the level of intrigue high and move the plot forward.

And we need Sir Richard just as self-serving, hateful, and smarmy as he is. Personally, I think he killed Mrs. Bates. There's no way she committed suicide. She's a Voldemort. Plus, wouldn't it be a tidy way to get rid of him down the road?

As for Lavinia - was she seriously that selfless? And did the Spanish flu make people gasp like that? I know that tons of people died from it, but did they sound all consumptive as they were giving up the ghost and choking out their final wish for their fiance to find happiness with another?

My ass, is all I can say about that.

Also, why wasn't she buried in London?

Oh! And Nick wants to know - doesn't Sir Richard ever need to work? Personally, I think that his empire to the point where he doesn't actually have to. Plus they have the modern telephone. He can telecommute if necessary.


All this said, I do not care. I eat the Downton drama up, and I wish it would go on and on and on.

Life has plenty of realistic grimness; I don't seek it in entertainment. I like my dramas dramatic, my romances romantic, and above all, I want a happy ending. I don't care how contrived it is. When all is said and done, I want it all wrapped up in a shiny red bow.

Which I thoroughly expect from Downton in the very very end.


  1. Wow...this is spot on. Thomas is gay, isn't he!? And yes, I do loathe him less. And what WAS with the gasping??! Ahhhh - and the dresses...GIVE ME ONE! My absolute fav is Violet and her classic one liners...giggles... Thanks for this lovely review....

    1. Yes, the gasping! Honestly! Cora's nosebleed totally seemed realistic, though I don't know if that's a flu thing or not. But the gasp gasp I love you gasp be happy gasp with another gasp sputter perish. Please.

      And Violet is incomparable.

  2. Our life at Downtown Abbey is very similar, what with all of the lovely weather, flashy fashions and intrigue. In fact until recently we had the same plumbing that they did.

    1. That is true - about the plumbing anyway. Also the same wrapped-in-cloth-modern-electric-fire-waiting-to-happen wiring.

  3. Oh, hey, since you mentioned you liked the Twilight series, I should tell you about Eden Kennedy's hilarious Downton wrap-ups. She has the cast of Twilight interview various people about the latest Dowton episodes. And in several of them, she featured Robert Downey Jr. It sounds absurd, but they're a riot.
    She hasn't done one yet for Sunday's two-hour humdinger, but here's a link to the one from the week before (the episode I hated):
    Also, it goes without saying, that I agree with ALL OF YOUR POST (I too covet Mary's dresses) and shall go into mourning after this Sunday's final episode.

  4. A couple of things. 1. I tried to read this post while at work and working. I got annoyed bc I couldn't devote all my attention to the post so I had to stop reading and finish the task. So thank you for the increased productivity, I work much faster with an LG post waiting. I'm impressed I chose to complete the work task then read. 2. I don't watch Downton but enjoyed this post. Your candor and commentary is hilarious. I should tune-in because I like shows set in a specific time period and the costumes sound divine. 3. Totally agree - realism in entertainment is overrated. I love authentic, real characters but good stories and outrageous characters more.

  5. It didn't occur to me that Thomas is gay. That does make him just a tiny bit sympathetic. Self-loathing is poison.

    I agree that Sir Richard is involved in Mrs. Bates' murder. If he didn't do it, he had it done. She was not going to accept that double cross and had to be dealt with.

    I loved the first night scene with Anna and Mr. Bates. It was worth waiting for.

  6. All I can say is OHMYGOD JUST WAIT 'til the last episode. I don't know how all you people can wait to legitimately watch the show in one week intervals with the UK version recorded and sitting out there in the internet ether just teasing you with its loveliness. I know I couldn't. And I didn't.

    Also, I completely agree with your assessment of Mrs. Bates. That woman is vile. As vindictive as she is, there is *no way* she would have done something that would keep her from being able to watch and enjoy her husband's misery. She is too vindictive for that.

  7. I love Downton Abbey! Its so much fun to watch and go "Oh my God" did that just happen. And to cry for Anna and Mr Bates, together, not together, together again. And oh yes the dresses, GORGEOUS!!! But I HATED Lord Grantham and the maid kissing! I loved him as a character, but now he pisses me off. And with his wife almost dying, he still goes and kisses the maid good bye. Ack! Saying that, I still can't wait for the finale!!!!


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