Author Topic: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012  (Read 112413 times)

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2012, 10:22:21 PM »
 

Masterpiece Classic 2012 brings back favorite authors and introduces new authors and programs. See the complete 2012 MASTERPIECE CLASSIC schedule.

NOW DISCUSSING

      April 15, 2012
      The Mystery of Edwin Drood
      An adaptation and completion of Charles Dickens' last novel left unfinished at the halfway mark at his death, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood is a psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster's obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud and the lengths he will go to to attain her. Cast includes Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters) and Julia MacKenzie (Miss Marple).

COMING

      April 22 & 29, 2012 at 9pm
      Birdsong
      An adaptation of Sebastian Faulk's novel about lovers torn apart by World War I. Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth) plays Stephen Wrayford, whose pre-war affair with Isabelle Azaire (Clemence Poesy, Harry Potter films) has an enduring effect on him as he fights in the trenches.


ALREADY DISCUSSED


      April 1 & 8, 2012
      Great Expectations
      Widely considered one of the greatest novels by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations tells the story of Pip the battered orphan boy, who rises from blacksmith's apprentice to gentleman under the patronage of a mysterious benefactor, who assures him of "great expectations." Starring Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Ray Winstone.



February 26, 2012
One 90-minute episode
     The Old Curiosity Shop
     A teenage girl and her grandfather lose everything to a maniacal moneylender and flee his relentless pursuit. Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius) stars as Grandfather, with Sophie Vavasseur (Northanger Abbey) as Nell and Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Quilp.


January 8 to February 19, 2012
      Downton Abbey Season 2
      Downton Abbey season 2 resumes the story of aristocrats and servants in the tumultuous World War I era. The international hit is written by Julian Fellowes and stars Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, and Hugh Bonneville, plus a drawing room full of new actors, portraying the loves, feuds, and sacrifices of a glittering culture thrown into crisis. Watch all episodes online through March 6 at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch/index.html


The Primetime Emmy Award® winning Downton Abbey season one returns December 18 & 25, 2011 and January 1, 2012. (Check local listings.)



marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2012, 10:22:42 PM »
Jeanne,

Wikipedia says: "Upstairs, Downstairs is a British drama television series originally produced by London Weekend Television and revived by the BBC. It ran on ITV in 68 episodes divided into five series from 1971 to 1975, and a sixth series[1] shown on the BBC on three consecutive nights, 26–28 December 2010." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstairs,_Downstairs

MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2012, 06:34:41 PM »
Color me nasty or something, but I do not much like Lady Mary or Lady Edith.  I am rooting for Lady Sybil to wind up with Matthew Crawley.  It would keep the money and the title in the family, albeit through the female line, and serve her older sisters right for being such vicious pieces of work.

Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2012, 07:52:14 PM »
I agree with you, MaryPage. I don't care for those two either. Although I do sympathize a little with Lady Edith. Middle Child Syndrome is real, and Edith is showing some of the more nasty symptoms in her attempts to one-up or return, tit for tat, Lady Mary's attempts to sabotage her. It did not help that Lady Edith overheard her mother telling Lady Mary to go easy on her because she (Edith) didn't have Mary's "advantages". I forget how she worded it exactly.

I also would like to see O'Brien and Thomas get their comeuppances.

serenesheila

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2012, 08:10:26 PM »
I have a new "toy", called a Roku.  It works with my TV.  It has many "apps", including Netflix.  For $7.99 per month I can watch numerous movies and programs.  I just love it!

Amoung my choices is a section called PBS programs.  I just watched the first series calld "Downton Abbey".  I watched all episodes of it over two days.  What a treat! 

Now, I am watching a series called "Grand".  It has 18 episodes.  I have watched 6 episodes.  There are a number of other offerings in the PBS section.''

There are also many other movies, and TV programs available.  I am really sold on my Roku, and wanted to tell all of you about it.

Sheila

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #45 on: January 05, 2012, 08:03:37 PM »
I think that the Downton Abbey writers must have to balance presenting sympathetic characters with creating conflict that peaks our interest. I wonder if any of the sisters are going to do an "about face" and show a more appealing side in the future of the series.

Sheila, that Roku sounds like fun. It's great to be able to watch those programs on your TV, rather than on a computer.

MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2012, 05:52:49 AM »
Yesterday, The Washington Post really panned Downton Abbey 2.  Ripped it up one side and down the other.  Disappointed and saddened me.

But I settled down in my easy chair at two minutes to nine and had a grand two hours. Enjoyed it!

I still like Sybil best.

Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2012, 10:15:14 AM »
I enjoyed it too. The two hours flew by.

I am still hoping that Edith finds someone with whom she can be happy. She so desperately wants the  love and attention she feels she isn't getting at home.

I've seen the woman who plays Vera Bates before. I'll have to look her up.

Thomas is up to his old tricks, but I do see some tiny hope of a change as a result of his stint working at the hospital.

Did you think Cora is looking more tired and pale in this episode, or is it just me?


marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2012, 10:28:18 AM »
MaryPage and Frybabe, it's good to know that  you are enjoying season 2 despite some negative reviews in the papers. I have a bad cold so didn't stay up to watch it last night but will definitely catch it "on demand" on my cable. The episode is also available online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch/index.html for those of you who might have missed it.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2012, 11:22:15 AM »
what a choice last night but I went with Downton Abby - the new season of The Good Wife started last night. The show is often delayed by about a half hour because of the earlier football game but by that time I was glued to Downton -

I am remembering the first show of the first season was not the blockbuster of the series and I am suspecting the same this season where the first show is setting up the dynamics while adding a few characters. Hadn't read any critique of the show one way or the other but something about the time in history and folks trying to adhere to older tradition, especially Richard Carlisle reminded me of parts of Major Pettigrew.

MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2012, 11:38:35 AM »
Yeah, Frybabe, I knew instantly that I'd seen her before also.

I still dislike Edith because she KNEW that farmer was married and his wife had welcomed her and cooked for her and been SO nice to her.  Edith, like Mary before her, was being a slut.

pedln

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2012, 12:04:39 PM »
I didn't read the Washington Post review, but it wouldn't have made any difference anyway.  I loved it.  Carson seems to have a special place in his heart for Mary.  He really spoke out, not what one would expect in the butler/family relationship.  I vaguely remember something in the first season that made me wonder about Carson and Mary.  Anybody else?

I still think Thomas is slimy, but think he was also grieved, and lost someone he cared for and who apparently reciprocated his feelings.


Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2012, 12:59:05 PM »
Yes, Carson is unusually defensive and protective of Mary.

Edith is reactionary. She reacts without thinking too much about the consequences. In the case of farmer Drake, she is reacting to his praise and attention which she apparently didn't get at home. Mary is not much better. The sibling rivalry is intense. Mary seems to feel it is her duty to take Emily's suitors or at least chase them away. Edith reacts with spite. Sybil has a much better sense of herself and what she wants. Notice her causes seem to have substituted for the lack of suitors. Ah, but now she has one, and she discourages him herself.


MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2012, 02:42:21 PM »
On the day of the garden party at the end of Downton Abbey 1, Mary confides in Carson, something she has always done.  And he confesses that while he has watched all three girls grow up from infants, he has a special place in his heart for Lady Mary, who was the first baby girl.

His feelings, of course, are not romantic, but paternal.

mabel1015j

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2012, 06:48:37 PM »

BBC ruins Dickens !?! One guy's opinion.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/06/charles-dickens-bbc-howard-jacobson

Brian Williams on NBC news tonight is discussing the popularity of Downton Abbey.

Jean

BarbStAubrey

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2012, 07:56:15 PM »
ah yes, the economy will be used as the rational for all the interest in a period piece and we will have a plethora of period TV dramas and movies. Abundante de palavros

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2012, 01:18:21 AM »
Jean, that's a very interesting article about the BBC and Dickens at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/06/charles-dickens-bbc-howard-jacobson. It makes me glad that we'll be reading one of Dickens' books together in February.

jeriron

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2012, 08:53:46 AM »
I watched my DVR of Dowton Abby last night and loved it. I hated to see it end. I know I will buy the DVD because I bought the first one.


MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2012, 11:02:05 AM »
I have already preordered the DVD from Barnes & Noble and it is due to ship out to me on February 7.  Yippee!

BarbStAubrey

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2012, 01:01:58 PM »
I think it goes on for a couple of more evenings - something about Thomas gets himself in trouble at the Abby and they track down Bates. There is also a problem of control between the women when  the house becomes a convalescent hospital.

MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2012, 08:15:05 AM »
Series 2 or Season 2 or whatever, is TEN hours long, and we have seen only 2 hours.  So we have 8 delicious hours to go.

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2012, 02:06:18 PM »
I agree with all of you. I've watched the first episode and I'm hooked. Mary is becoming more likable now that she seems to truly care about Matthew. She was going to tell him but didn't go through with it, presumably because his fiance was going on about not wanting to live if anything happened to Matthew. Mary seems more considerate now. We're given some clues that there is something in Matthew's finance's past that could hamper their plans for marriage.

Poor Bates! How did  he come to marry that dreadful woman!!!

pedln

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #62 on: January 11, 2012, 10:08:26 PM »
From today's NY Times -- Downton Abbey's effect on the publishing business.


If You’re Mad for ‘Downton,’ Publishers Have Reading List

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2012, 08:14:27 AM »
And the effect on Highclere, too.  When I was there in 2010 and knew nothing of this series (and there's nothing in the house about it, or wasn't then, unlike Castle Howard and Brideshead Revisited) the rumor was that neighbor Andrew Lloyd Webber was attempting to buy it and they would "never sell." But apparently it was struggling. No more. :)

Now that they begin filming the 3rd series in February the tour business at Highclere alone has astronomically increased, hopefully they are set for life.

I watched it just last night, because I had taped also Ab Fab in the 20th reunion and watched that first, in fact I watched it twice last night: what an absolute hoot that thing is.

Random thoughts:

I'm really liking the butler this time, what have we seen him in before? We've seen him in something.

 And I do like the new cook, too. Lots of little subplots. Looks like the farmwife was not as negligible as the middle daughter thought she was. She's just playing, the farmer's wife is not.

I'm sort of glad to see WWI portrayed, because even in its horror, you never hear anything about it any more. The war to end all wars. The Military Channel (which was on because my husband likes it)  ran a spectacular documentary on it the other night with the assassination which started WWI, of, was it, Archduke Ferdinand?   I never realized his wife was also killed. You never hear anything about the wife.

Lord Grantham this time around seems kind of blustery and ...redundant, I think Bonneville is playing that part brilliantly.

Bates, what a sweet thing that romance was, and I agree, what a monster his wife is, where tho has she BEEN all this time? Why can't he just divorce her? Obviously he should have, why did he not,  previously?

I'm not quite honed in suddenly to Bates.

I do realize that she's come for the money after his mother's death and now she can blackmail the Granthams.  I did think (was he actually going to hit her?) that was possibly not a good sign, in him.

I'm somewhat confused over Maggie Smith's character this time (who does not love Maggie Smith? That cackle alone is worth rewinding the movie for), but I sort of sympathize with her for some reason. She is the mother of Lord Grantham, right? So it was her house? So now that he's married she...moved out? Lives in a dower cottage on the estate? Lives...elsewhere? And tho she thinks of the house as hers (naturally, wouldn't you?) Lady Whatever, the American, in a strangely flat tho sweet performance, whose money when she married is what is keeping the house IN the family, has stood up to her on the issue of turning the house over into convalescent or recovery care. That little interaction is a nice plot twist, but suddenly  Maggie Smith's character  seems less a quaint funny meddlesome old busybody than  a displaced person with reason for her opinions. She can't give up her position, a little unexpected depth in the movie. There isn't much?

But then she swerves again and we have the issue of the servant, and the machinations to keep him out of the war  or get him in the war. An early "What did you do in the war, Daddy?" issue. That's a nice touch.

And then there's Lord Grantham's  sister? Where has she come from? I missed something here, how does SHE know all about Mary's prospects, and her "blotted copy book?"  My gosh when you think of the real skeletons in the closets of some of these great houses,  and you read about what the house parties were really like, that's hardly worth mentioning, especially since our noble Matthew probably wouldn't give a fig. Or would he?

Hopefully not because it seems "Sir Richard" has a secret on Matthew's fiance.

Lots of nice subplots. I am enjoying it, very much.  This episode however seems more flat to me than the first series,  the characters more  stereotypical,   almost cardboard. The only one who seems to be enjoying herself flat out is Maggie Smith.




Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2012, 09:15:27 AM »
 
Quote
the characters more  stereotypical,   almost cardboard

Ginny, I too notice a subtle shift, but not enough to keep me from enjoying the show.

Lady Cora seems more subdued, more pale, older looking. O'Brien seems to have quieted down since the soap "accident" for now. Roselyn was in last season, briefly, when Lady Mary stayed with her in London. I don't recall that it was ever stated, other than rumor, where she got her info. She sure is an opinionated piece of work and is confusing Mary with her advise.

Lord Grantham is out of sorts about not being called up to go to war and be a part of the real action. Perhaps the bluster, Ginny, is part of an attempt to bolster his bruised ego/morale in regards to that. He certainly wasn't happy to be called upon for "mascot" duty with the regiment.

I read a spoiler before the season started so I know where things are heading with a few of the characters, especially Lady Cora and Bates. 'Nuff said.

Both Sybil and Edith have moved forward in interest and actions toward what? Independence, avocation, vocation? Lady Mary is the only one of the three that doesn't seem to have a great outside interest (except maybe her riding?) to occupy her. She apparently has "bought" the old idea that her only avenue as a woman is marriage to the right kind of person. She is at home, reading and riding and waiting. The other two are doing. Sybil with her nursing and Edith with her interest in driving and agriculture. They are gaining knowledge to be successful in their own right.  

BarbStAubrey

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2012, 02:07:02 PM »
hmmm I know we are given to understand Bates' wife is a monster and the show is doing a good job of helping us see how immoral is her character however, I feel like giving her a break when you look at what her life must have been - no I do not think blackmailing and stealing are OK but I wonder what choices she had.

We know that Bates was in the army and not an officer - according to what I found that meant during the second Boar War which would fit better the time frame of this story his salary would be one shilling and one pence a day - in today’s value converted to American money that amounts to a months earnings of $155.04 plus he gets free bread, vegetables and meat provided since the revamping of the Army in I think 1885 and while he is stationed in England they both, husband and wife have quarters - when he is on campaign she fends for herself.

We know from reading the French Lieutenants Women the vast number of prostitutes during the Victorian era because women had to earn a living without work opportunities. (Queen Victoria died 1901)  As far as we know Bates' wife does not turn to prostitution, instead she steals. Shades of Dickens...

We also know Bates was a drinking man - even today, families are beside themselves and resort to all sorts of behavior trying to live with a drunk. Attend any Al-anon meeting and you get a picture of what family’s experience.

The army is so demoralized during the early twentieth century before WWI because of crowded un-healthy living conditions and little medical help. The army is considered very weak because they have had to let many soldiers go because of health issues and wounds from the Boar War. They know something is brewing in Europe. Bates would be one of these soldiers let go - without any skill except being a valet for officers in the army.

Remember the first session and how Bates was the butt of the staff because of his handicap - even I remember as a kid to be anything but full of health with all physical facilities working you were really ostracized as bad as being of what was then considered an inferior race and worse than being of the inferior religious persuasion. As a crippled man, you had fewer opportunities than a woman did and so Bates leaned on his knowing the Earl of Grantham in order to keep his job.

Bates' wife must have been beside herself with fear when she had her husband return to her a cripple - and then not even to have the protection of the army that she probably blamed for his condition - she could either feel victimized by it or become angry - it is easier to see a woman be victimized by her circumstances even if it means living in squalor or on the street. What her choices were I do not know - she did have her back up against the wall and having been living with him as a drunk and then the separation because of war the marriage could not have been close.

Then finally we have Bates cleaned up - no more drinking - a job that pays better than anything he experienced in his earlier life - acceptance by the staff and the kindness of Mrs. Hughes the housekeeper and the love of a young woman.

Loyal Anna is in my mind his fantasy of starting fresh - he looks like a cradle robber in that when you look at Bates' wife, take away her character and immorality she looks like she should be his wife - she is a handsome women closer to his age - a marriage and a life that went south and probably didn't have much of a chance because of circumstances, both of the times and career of Bates and his ability to handle his life were against their contentment.

jeriron

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2012, 02:49:17 PM »
Barb

Wow! Most of what you wrote was just an assumtion of what you think Bates and his wives life was like. I think he comes across as a decent man who had to prove his worth to the household staff. I felt sorry for him at the beginning but he has become well liked by the people he works ane the people he works for.

As for his wife I don't think there is any excuse for her behavior. And again I feel sorry for him being stuck with her. From what I remember didn't he say he was going to give her the money his mother left him just to be free of her. But I guess she wants .

CubFan

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2012, 03:20:09 PM »
Greetings -

I want to comment regarding the girls and their roles.  I think that in many families regardless of of when they lived, there are/were different rules & standards for the children based on birth order.  I think Mary represents what was expected of her as the oldest daughter at that time and she's functioning in that role. I see her somewhat enjoying seeing her sisters doing things that she doesn't envision herself doing and we know she's not happy with society's role for her. She represents the society that she was raised in.  

Even though the girls are close in age, things have changed in the world & society as Edith and Sybil come along. They have to make their own way in life because they are not the first born and don't have to conform as much as Mary does and they have other opportunities - i.e. driving a car, and experiences brought about because of the war.

Also, in many families as we raise our own children we change our priorities & expectations. We learn from raising the first child and learn to pick our battles. We also have less energy when it is spread among more children and often become less strict with the younger children as witnessed by the whole feeling of the older siblings that the youngest child is always spoiled.

I think that actually the script writer has done a good job of depicting traditional  family dynamics.  It is a shame though that the animosity between Mary and Edith has resulted in being cruel to each other. Of course, since it is a story, we have no background on what their upbringing was prior to the "young lady" stage. There are many parallels between these three sisters and the three sisters in "Gone With the Wind".

Mary
 
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MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #68 on: January 13, 2012, 06:32:39 AM »
WETA, our supposedly Washington, D.C. public television channel, which is actually located in northern Virginia, while the Howard University channel is in D.C., reran last Sunday night's Masterpiece Theatre last night and I watched it all, all over again.  Bates had not been able to get a divorce previously because after he got out of prison they could not find his wife.  She showed up and surprised him just before his mother died.  He went back to Anna after the funeral elated because now he could get his divorce.  What a sad shock Mrs. Bates gave him.  This man always takes the pathway of honor.

Babi

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #69 on: January 13, 2012, 08:26:38 AM »
 It does seem to me that Lady Mary is showing changes. For the first time,
I see her putting others ahead of her own interests, as when she decides
not to threaten the happiness of Matthew's fiance by telling of her love
for him.
  Also, working with the handicapped soldiers seems to be having a very
positive affect on Thomas. For the first time, he really wants to help
someone else. I am quite pleased with some of the changes I'm seeing...and
I have no doubt whatsoever that something will happen to rescue Bates from
his evil wife and restore him to Anna.

 FRYBABE, my daughter Valerie has been watching "The Tudors", and she says
Vera Bates was the first Queen Catherine in that series.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #70 on: January 13, 2012, 08:32:23 AM »
MaryPage: They couldn't FIND her?  Who couldn't find her? Who are "they?"

What was he doing in prison? I need to find my DVD of Downton I  which I bought and have not been able to find at all.

Barbara, I admire your ability to spin gold out of straw,  the wife to me seems the personification of evil, it will be interesting to see how this plays out, after all, her threat here is to take an entire innocent  family down if she doesn't get her way.

Bates to me seems the powerless one here, the victim, not her. What an interesting discussion here, you all make such interesting points and saw different things.

Mary, how interesting on the family dynamics. I don't have any brothers or sisters, so I'm always fascinated to read about fraternal relationships. Gone with the Wind had sisters? I don't remember the first sister act there, who were they? (It's been a LONG time since I read that book. I remember Melanie (would she fit the oldest daughter syndrome) and Scarlett of course, but who were the three  sisters?) I may need to read that book again!

Frybabe, I thought (is Cora the mother) looked older too but I thought it was our new TV set hahahaa. That's an interesting point on Lady Mary and what she apparently has bought as her role. It comes back to what CubFan Mary said about family dynamics.  But I thought (and we see I have no basis FOR that thought, not having siblings) that the oldest of girls was something of a leader, Mary seems to sort of only lead when it comes to reacting with a smile, no matter what it takes, (and the actress really does that well), other than that, she just as you said rides and waits. There's something, to me, odd, about her character because she is not going to inherit, so why is she sort of cast as the one who is waiting to do so?

Something odd there, what a trap that character must be to portray. Smile. Do nothing. Smile. Do nothing. Certainly does not want to marry Sir Richard, who has enough money...for what? She's not going to get the house any way you cut it unless she marries (her cousin?) the heir.

How close a cousin is Matthew anyway?

Am loving the discussion here.




BarbStAubrey

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #71 on: January 13, 2012, 11:52:42 AM »
;)  :D Gold from straw - I do like to get the times understood -  :)

We hear so often how working in a country house during the Victorian era was a plum job regardless the long hours and very hard work - when you realize the options if you were not working for a family of wealth it was pretty grim in a town or city with poverty having a different face in the countryside.

I also have a great deal of trouble seeing folks as either black or white - I liked white hated cowboys as a kid as much as the rest of us but looking at most folks they are a mixture - if they were all good then they have no reason to live if you think of living as an opportunity to learn - and to think of someone as all bad denies us the opportunity to look into our own soul. Who wants to mirror back someone we have deemed beyond repute. In addition, I see the ways of a community, society or nation often lends itself to difficult choices so that like the ladies giving out white feathers with no understanding of the circumstances of those not in uniform I think it is easy for us when observing a character to do the same thing as we label folks without pulling out other sides of their character.

Ah so - to each his own - I like ambiguity in my characters and others here like to see good and evil - and so true to Senior Learn we have much input.

Mary is another character that I think takes more than liking or not - I saw her in the first season as acting like her life and feelings did not matter in the scheme of things and so she acted out like a young person who feels boxed in - she needed guidance and yet, she had the struggle of the families fortune in her choice - she saw this even more than her mother and father or at least she saw herself as a young marriageable women still wanting the best for her parents which meant sacrificing herself - her only privacy seemed to be in that diary that her sister secretly reads when Mary left it on her bed.

I think gradually with having realized life and men are not as romantic but want a real sex life and then the horror of her first lover’s death so that she now had a scandal to hide.  She was balancing two worlds - as she matured she became aware of her feelings and was no longer the paper puppet that she imagined herself when all she only saw herself as a tool for the future wealth and happiness of the family. With all her maturity her major role is still marriage - we shall see how this story unfolds but I am remembering younger daughters could not marry until the oldest was married and so she also has that on her head.

I think it would be hard for us to see growth and change if the character does not experience growth and change - I also think Mary is the character that is showing the change in society from the Victorian era epitomized by her grandmother, Dame Maggie Smith and her two sisters who have embraced the changes in a community, society or nation.

EvelynMC

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2012, 12:06:42 PM »
I think Bates went to prison because he was falsely accused of stealing.  It was his wife who was the thief and he took the blame and so went to prison.

I am enjoying Season 2 very much.  The writing seems to be sharper and not as dragged out.  Or is that to portray the changing times and faster moving life due to the war.

All your comments were so interesting, I am looking at some of the characters in a different way.

Edith fooling around with the farmer...  Has that girl no conscience or does she feel entitled to anything or anyone at any time?  Was it because she was thwarted in love in the Season 1 closing episodes by vicious lies??  Makes you wonder.

Evelyn

CubFan

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2012, 01:59:11 PM »
Ginny -

Scarlett had two younger sisters - Suellen was the middle daughter and had some of Edith's characteristics. She and Scarlett did not get along at all. Scarlett  bad mouthed Suellen to Frank Kennedy her sister's beau, and then she married him because she discovered he had money, which would help her save Tara.
Carreen was the youngest and was kind, patient etc.

I think Matthew is referred to as a 3rd cousin. 

Mary
"No two persons ever read the same book" Edmund Wilson

MaryPage

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2012, 10:36:00 PM »
In season one, Anna is sent to London to accompany the cook when she goes for her eye operation.  She takes advantage of the time there to look up Bates's personal information and record with the War Office.  Bates, you may remember, had been the earl's batman during the Boer War.  A batman is an enlisted man assigned to an officer as valet and general servant.  He shines all his leather and buttons and keeps his room tidy and so forth.  Well, Anna found out he had had a blameless career and then had been accused of theft, which the serviceman giving her the information doubted very much was the case.  Then, armed with his home address, Anna went to see his mother and found out he had not done the theft but had taken the fall for his wife rather than have her go to prison.  And when he got out, he wanted a divorce, but she was no where to be found.  You cannot serve papers on someone who cannot be found.

With his prison record and war wound, Bates was all but unemployable, but the earl wanted to give him a chance for old time sake.  He liked Bates.  Remember, the staff kept giving him grief and the butler finally persuaded the earl to let him go.  Bates actually cried.  Then, when he was riding away from Downton, the earl ran after the carriage and gave him another chance.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #75 on: January 13, 2012, 11:09:47 PM »

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #76 on: January 14, 2012, 02:24:53 AM »
This discussion is great. I appreciate the details that you are bringing up that I've forgotten from the various episodes; also the speculation about what makes the characters tick.

Thanks, Barbara, for that link about Bates and the actor who plays him. I didn't realize that he was such a sex symbol!

Babi

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #77 on: January 14, 2012, 08:40:04 AM »
I lost my post!  To repeat...I echo that thanks, MARCIE.  I had totally forgotten how the truth about Bates was discovered and that Anna was responsible.  I found
myself really disliking the butler, but it has become apparent he is a man deeply
devoted to his duty and faithful to the family he serves.  His motives were sincere,
if misguided.  One can forgive that.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

jeriron

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #78 on: January 14, 2012, 09:42:39 AM »
That was a great article on Bates +. As the article said he's a decent man both in real life as well as Bates.

BarbStAubrey

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011-2012: Downton Abbey
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2012, 12:16:29 PM »
Decent and loyal at his own expense, but many sided - As a drinking man during his marriage she had to be filled with hurt, anger, inner rage and disappointment. Not justifying her acts - not everyone in her situation chooses to steal but still wondering what where her options - what did women who had to fend for themselves while their husbands are off to war do to survive plus the pressure of their drinking and what that does to your own psyche.

There was a lot of negatives that neither of them were in control of even if he had not gone to jail being wounded meant he was not easily able to secure a job and, unless both are hired at a house even if he got a job as a valet without the jail time that he took for her she would still have to fend for herself. So what does a women do at this time in history?