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Old February 17 2013, 12:30 AM   #37
The Borgified Corpse
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Re: Downton Abbey - Am I Missing Something?

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
The servants are not always good examples; they can be as judgmental and hierarchical as the aristocrats, or more so.
Oh yeah. Compared to Mr. Carson, Lord Grantham is practially a hippy.

Kosh Naranek wrote: View Post
I also love Mrs Patmore and Mrs. Hughes.
That's been the most pleasant surprise for me during Season 3. Patmore & Hughes have such contrasting personalities, it's really great fun to see them be such great friends. The scenes with them going to the doctor's office together are comedy gold!

Kirby wrote: View Post
We're also recording season 3 so we can catch up. I'm trying to stay spoiler free, but that isn't working out so well.
Yeah. Sometimes that's harder than it should be. A few weeks ago, I was on Youtube looking for Lost Girl fanvideos and one of the "related" videos that they included was a pretty blatant Downton Abbey spoiler. WTF?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
J.T.B. wrote: View Post
Gov Kodos wrote: View Post
Edith is a great character, whom I hope will grow to see what a harpy Mary is.
She's certainly more fun to watch than Mary; Laura Carmichael tells volumes with her face while Michelle Dockery has about three expressions: arch, self-satisfied and cross. Edith did pull a nasty trick on her sister in S1, though. Of the sisters, Sybil is the only one I'd rank alongside Anna or Mrs. Hughes.
I know people who say they can never, ever root for Edith because she wrote the Turkish ambassador about how poor Kemal died.

The things I point out -- That was seven years ago (in the chronology of the series), Edith was 19 at the time, and 19 year-olds do rash, immature things for pointless reasons. That's not to excuse her behavior, just to point out that we've all done rash and stupid things when we were 19 that years later we wish we hadn't.

For me, the difference between Mary and Edith can be summed up in two scenes from this season:

On Edith's wedding day, Mary offers a one day truce in their hostilities. (Which, to be frank, don't seem particularly hostile any more.) Edith accepts the one day truce.

On the day Sybil dies, Edith offers Mary a permanent cessation of hostilities. Mary rejects it outright.

Edith is flawed. She's not the dutiful elder child, nor is she the rebellious younger child. She doesn't have a role in the family. She's not quite sure what her role in life is. She often behaves as if she were starved for affection. But she also recognizes that she's done mean and horrible things -- and she wants to stop doing them.
This is kind of awful to say, but I think Edith is starting to flower a little more now that Sybil is dead. It gives Edith the opportunity to be the rebellious younger child, although her rebellion seems to be far more conservative than Sybil's.

While it was kind of nasty the way that Edith told the Turkish embassy about Mr. Pamouk, I kind of understand why Edith would do something so petty. Plus, Mary got some pretty swift revenge when she sabotaged Edith's romance with that older guy. So, by my reckoning, they're even. So, I do think Mary has been kind of a bitch the way she just rejects Edith's recent olive branches.

Not that I'm anti-Mary by any means. I'm quite fond of her as well. It's just that sometimes she needs someone to smack her and tell her to put herself in someone else's shoes for a moment. I thought she was awfully dense about Matthew's understandable desire not to take any inheritance from his dead ex-fiance's father. She's just such a snob and I keep hoping that some of Matthew's middle class values will rub off on her. (Sometimes, I'm very afraid it will end up the other way. There are times where I swear I can see Matthew slowly turning into a younger clone of Robert right before our eyes.)

I agree that Laura Carmichael has a much wider range of facial expressions than Michelle Dockery. Edith just has the best facial reactions to things, often in very subtle ways in scenes where she doesn't have much to say but you can clearly read everything that's going through her head.

You know who else has great facial expressions? Amy Nuttall as Ethel. Not only does she have a great face, but she also has this amazing way of moving her limbs when she gets excited or startled. She's like Olive Oyl. I also love those big, floppy hats of hers.

SiorX wrote: View Post
I think Julian Fellowes is a writer with a genuine interest in what life was like for all different kinds of people - not just as stock character, but as personalities. And a refreshing belief that most people are basically decent and want to do right by each other.
I think that's why I love the show so much. Thing is, I usually HATE shows like this and I never really watch Masterpiece otherwise (except for Sherlock and occasionally Inspector Lewis). But I'm a total Downton Addict! And I think that comes down to how well sketched the characters are and how they're all, deep down, genuinely decent people (except for Thomas & O'Brien). The characters are so well done that you can do a scene where they only say a single line and you instantly get a snapshot of who each one is. Now, that's down to acting as much as writing, but it's all awesome!

So far, the only character I really can't put my finger on is Jimmy. I'm not sure what his deal is. Mostly, he seems like he only exists to be eye candy for the girls and a pawn in Mrs. O'Brien's schemes against Thomas. It's like, he's constantly flirting/playing-hard-to-get with Daisy, Ivey, and any other skirt in view but doesn't seem to have any genuine interest in any of them.
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