Monday, February 20, 2012

In Which We Discuss All Things Downton

I finished watching the 2nd season of Downton long ago so some things are not fresh in my mind although I've kept up by reading the recaps and blog posts about it as PBS aired it. (P.S. One reason why I do not like waiting for PBS to air British shows is they always edit them. Region Free is the only way to live if you actually want to watch what the Brits watch.) What say those of you who just finished - better or worse than the first season? I've made a list of my favorite characters (after both seasons), the characters I'm neutral on (could take them or leave them) and the characters for whom I wish the Spanish Flu might make another try (in other words: I can't stand 'em)

Favorites:
  • Violet, the Dowager Countess. Maggie Smith is amazing and, generally speaking, the best thing about whatever it is she happens to be acting in (the Harry Potter movies, for example. Absolute rubbish except for Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman).
  • Lord Grantham. Yes, I was yelling at the screen during all that business with Jane. And yes, I think he had a bit of a hissy fit / midlife crisis this season. I still like him.
  • Lady Mary. This is partially because Michelle Dockery is just such a good actress. She really sells this role. I can't help liking her, even when she's not likeable.
  • Matthew. Sometimes he's annoying but I still want him to be OK and have a happy life. (Preferably with Lady Mary)
  • Carson - Mary's confidant and Downton wouldn't be the same without him
  • Mrs. Hughes - she just seems so sensible and helpful
  • Mr. Bates - should be called Mr. Honorable
  • Anna - although, yes, I could have done without the pillow talk. (My eyes!)
Characters to whom I have no strong feelings, whether good or bad:
  • Cora - I find her voice annoying sometimes but I don't really mind her
  • Isobel Crawley - too bossy by half and annoying at times but a nice foil for the Dowager
  • Edith - if you would have asked me at the end of Season 1, I would have said I didn't like her. I see possibilities with this character now but I wish the writers would make up their minds what they're doing with her. (And no more kissing married farmers, please.)
  • Sybil - at the end of Season 1 she was one of my favorites. Now I could go either way.
  • O'Brien - I ought to hate her but I find her entertaining. She can stay.
  • Mrs. Patmore - eh. Sometimes funny but otherwise a non-factor
  • Dr. Clarkson - he's nice enough but his actual doctoring skills leave a bit to be desired
  • Mosely - always the bridesmaid, never the bride (or something like that)
  • Lavinia - has there ever been such a non-entity love interest before? Plus, her (SPOILER) death bed scene was a triumph of passive-aggressive last words.
  • William - gone too soon, earnest and likeable but boring
And now, for the list of characters that I hope go the way of Lavinia & William:
  • Branson - It doesn't help that Michelle Dockery (Mary) does more acting in one scene with her right eyebrow than this guy ever does. He's not even - in my opinion - good looking. As I told my husband, "If you're going to run away with the chauffeur, he should at least be extremely good looking." I have no idea what we're supposed to think here because the actors who play Sybil and Branson have zero chemistry together and I find their story petulant and annoying.
  • Thomas - He's evil and it's not fun any more. I seriously have no sympathy whatsoever for this character.
  • Daisy - The whiniest over-grown child in the kitchen
  • Ethel - your problems are Mrs. Hughes' responsibility how exactly? Go away and stay away.
  • Carlisle - sinister and just in the way
  • Vera Bates - yes, I know, she's already dead. But I can tell you this - if they hang Bates over her death, I'll want to dig up her body and murder her myself. All this creature lacked was a mustache to twirl.
Did you know that many historic mansions (like Downton) were demolished to make way for modern life?
This blog has a neat series: Dressing Downton. One of the best things about DA is the clothes, I think.
A roundup of links about the second season.
Perhaps you need some Downton Abbey trading cards?

And now, for the fan videos that I love the best (listed by song title):
With or Without You
With or Without You (longer)
I See The Light
The Scientist
Come Home
Fix You
Stay
Um, yes, I am a fan of the Matthew & Mary pairing. I admit it. (Hopeless romantic, here.)

So, what did you think about Season 2? Hoping for anything special in Season 3? (I am - I'm hoping Shirley MacLaine doesn't ruin it. She is not one of my favorite actresses.)

6 comments:

  1. I actually preferred season 1 but I still enjoyed this one a lot. I agree on your character likes and dislikes except for O'Brien, I really like her. I know it seems strange, but she is such a complex character I always enjoy her scenes. I could do without Thomas as well, I find him creepy.

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  2. Don't you just love these blog hops where we get to find and meet new blog friends? Glad I found you. I'm a new follower and I would love if you stopped by and followed back, so we can stay connected. Don't forget to add the new Linky tool since GFC is going away. Lori

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  3. Thank you so much for linking up to the blog hop!! Wishing you all the best in your bloggy endeavors.

    Kelly
    www.livelaughrowe.com

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  4. Cora's voice is so, so irritating. Thank you for acknowledging this, and therefore validating my feelings. I do disagree slightly about Daisy. I feel bad for her and the situation she finds herself in. But we can still be friends even if you dislike her.

    And what is Region Free? I feel like I need this, whatever it is.

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  5. Hi! Stopping over via the blog hop! So nice to meet you! I'm a new follower. I'm so glad you discussed this, I haven't watched DAbby yet, but I just keep hearing everyone talk about it! You've convinced me... :)

    Lindsey
    outofalabaster.blogspot.com

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  6. Okay, now I need to know what a blog hop is, too. There are so many things in life I don't know.

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