Tuesday, February 19, 2013

M-m-m-m-mary's blind! And other fictional tragedies.

If there are any among you who haven't read the Little House on the Prairie series, I'm sorry, but now you know.

Mary goes blind.

She's been on my mind since I read this article about why she went blind, since apparently scarlet fever does not cause blindness.

Now, at this point I need to warn you that there are Downton spoilers ahead, so read no further if you haven't yet seen the finale and don't want to know.

OK. So.

I've always been a person who cries easily. You are sad, you tell me something sad, and odds are, I will tear up.

I'm not interested in realism for my entertainment. Reality has plenty of grim, thank you very much.

I like happy endings, no matter how implausible. I typically do not watch sad movies, and if I'm worried about the direction a book is going, I will skip to the end to make sure the characters I care about are still alive.

Nick thinks of this as cheating. I tend to see it as self-preservation.

Our dear friend Pat, (the other, first) Jordan's mother, tells stories of when I was a kid in Bangladesh. She'd come over for a visit, and my mother and I were sitting on the couch, me sobbing inconsolably.

The first time, she was sure something terrible had happened. "Betty! Lisa! What's wrong?"

I pointed to the book in Betty's hand, Charlotte's Web.

I hiccuped, sobbed, choked out, "Ch-ch-ch-charlotte died!"

And it was the same when Mary went blind.

"Lisa! What's wrong?"

M-m-m-m-mary's bliiiiiiiiiind!

These were my own personal tragedies. And still, they did not interfere with my ability to do good hair.

Which leads me to Downton.

I wasn't enamored of this season, as I felt like it had a weak start after so much hype, but still, I have been invested in these people for a while now. I wasn't going to just stop watching over some initial lameness.

And then they killed Sybil! What the fuckity fuck?! Sybil! Lovely, beautiful, sweet Sybil!

I was crushed! Oh, I cried, yes, I did.

But, you know, other good things happened. The lovely baby Sybil. Bates getting out of prison. Mary and Matthew deliriously in love. And so forth.

But! The season finale! Matthew! Matthew! Dead in a ditch Matthew! What is it with babies being born and a parent dying? Is Julian Fellowes all into that circle of life bullshit, I wondered?

I was pissed. I had a bone to pick with that Fellowes fellow.

So I went googling, because it was just so unfair! The world is a hard place! We need the Sybils and the Matthew-Mary love affairs!

What the shit?

Oh. The actors who played Sybil and Matthew wanted off the show. There was nothing Fellowes could do to keep them. Ah. Well, then.

So my bone to pick is actually with Dan Stevens.

Decided not to renew his contract. Wants to do other things.

How selfish can you be?

Oh, and PS I just realized that I stuck Little House Mary in the fiction category. When she was real. Unlike the abandoned-by-Matthew (ahem!) Downton Mary.


  1. Ha! Agreed. I kept saying "no, no, no, no" as he was driving along. Horrible!

    1. Ugh, exactly! No no no no! Pay attention to the road!

  2. "Oh, really? When I buy a new book, I read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side." - When Harry Met Sally

    I'm quite peeved with him as well.

    1. I desperately need to see that movie again! That, my friend, certainly IS a dark side!

      Peeved is the word, isn't it?

  3. Exactly! It's so upsetting when a beloved character is abruptly killed or otherwise taken away. I'm still upset over Charlotte's web and read the same article about Mary and was intrigued. When these things happen I tend to feel bad for the actor - what will they do for work?! - and then feel betrayed when it's the actor who wanted out of their contract. Sybil was shocking and then with Matthew, I was just mad. He was my favorite character. Besides the yellow lab - if anything happens to the pup I will lose it!

    1. Yes! Betrayed! I realize they owe us nothing, but I do feel betrayed! I loved Sibyl. I used to like just looking at her; she's so beautiful! As for Matthew, he wasn't my favorite, but I did quite like him, and I want to kick him in the shins for leaving! And they won't do anything to lovely Isis! No no no!

  4. I hated this season of Downton. I found the Bates storyline beyond boring (and totally convoluted), the whole Edith-jilted-at-the-altar thing bizarre (Sir Anthony was good enough to be considered a prospect for Mary in Season 1, but suddenly he's not good enough for Edith? WTF?), the Sybil storyline maudlin, and I couldn't give less of a shit about the love parallelogram between Ivy, Jimmy, Alfred, Daisy etc. Feh.

    1. I thought I would hate it, but I got invested. The Bates in prison thing was lame, it's true. And I can't remember...had Mary already ruined herself with poor Mr. Pamuk when they were suggesting Sir Anthony for her? Or was it just that he'd become a cripple that made him unsuitable for Edith? I don't care much about that love situation either, but I'm liking Thomas more now.

  5. Having seen this at Christmas in the UK, I knew this was coming for you. And every time you mentioned Downton, I was a little sad about the tragedy you were about to experience. Is that weird?

  6. I've a poor, unfortunate friend who just finished season one. She was gushing about wanting to dive into the rest of the series.

    "I like Mary, but the youngest one; she's my favorite!"

    I gasped a little on her behalf.

    I told her, if she truly loved Downton Abbey, she would quit with season one and leave them at perpetual war with Germany.


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