Monday, January 31, 2011

Live-Blog the Fourth! "Downton Abbey"

Here we all are for the last -- *snifsnif* -- installment of the wonder, beauty, and majesty that is Downton Abbey. (Have I been watching too much MST3K the last few days? Why, yes, yes, I have.)

With us here this evening we have Michael J. Nelson, Tom S---wait, wait. Sorry, folks, sorry. Minor confusion there.

We have Anna (A) of The Feminist Librarian, Minerva (M) of Hypomnemata, and me (H) of here!

Pre-episode conversation topics this evening include: Sherlock fanfic, M's grad classes, health care policy, and...Sherlock fanfic. :) And glancing up at the Aretha Franklin R&B special and goggling at 1970s clothes. And horror at Twitter commentary on picture of a pregnant Natalie Portman: apparently she is no longer the "thinspiration" for these girls. I'm sure she's heartbroken. O_o Lord love the folks who came back with, "Idiots. She's pregnant." And chatting about Gavin and Stacey and perception of body image.

9.01: Laura, Laura. Change is our theme this week. Change is apparently faster now than it used to be. A: Uh -- uh -- uh -- H: Seconded. Uh--uh.

9.02: H: It still is a lovely opening sequence though. A: Yes. M: I was wrong about Elizabeth McGovern, by the way. She is American. A: Her accent sounds like she's trying so hard!

9.03: A: Suffrage rally, must be. H: There's more men... A: But he said about votes for women... H: Have you met Lloyd George?

9.04: [Sybil and chauffeur] A: I like her hat. M: I like his gloves. 

9.04: [Thomas and Bates] A: These two people believe in politics! All the time! [O'B and Thomas]

9.05: [Lord and Bates] A: Uh -- uh -- your daughter. H: No-one! Oh, Bates...

9.06: [family dinner] H: Ohhh... A: Oh, god, man. M: She's canvassing for a husband! [Maggie Smith on husbands] M: Fuck! A: Wow! Maggie, your smarter than that! You never let your husband tell you your opinions! M: Maybe her husband was silent. [General laughter]

9.07: [Daisy and Thomas] H: Are they supposed to be sweet! A: 'Cause they're just creepy. [laughter at Maggie Smith expression]

9.08: [Carson and Ladyship] A: Oh. [as realisation dawns] M: Letters were so tiny.

9.09: [Ladyship] A: Good point. 

9.10: [Thomas and O'Brien] A: Again, why? [Lord and Lady] M: She sounds simpering there... A: Way to write the middle daughter off! H: That was what the middle daughter got.

9.11: [Carson and Thomas] M: How can he have any credibility left? H: Maybe he doesn't. [faces being pulled at re-advent of Sir Antony] M: She needs to reintegrate all of these personalities! H: I like her coat. Oh...and he thinks that's a win. A: Oh....that was really sad. M: *groan*

9.12: [Sir Antony and Edith] H: This is very boring.

9.13: [O'Brien, Daisy, Thomas, and Carson] A: And they've got whatshername in to back them up... H: Of course they do. M: *sigh* A: Carson is smarter than this. I hope he hangs them. H: Literally? A: No, not literally. I want to see them hoist with their own petard!

9.14: [Sybil and Lord] A: What a lovely skirt. M: Yes. H: And our short scene is over! A: Yeah, this is a bunch of short scenes! [Mary and Matthew] M: I think this is that scene... *pulls face* A: That was... M: That was...that was a good line. Not so bad. A: It was a good 'lets start again' kind of...

9.16: [Sybil] A: Someone's got something up her sleeve! M: Someone's not going to a charity. [Lady and Maggie Smith] M: This is that scene! A: The voice cracks... [as Maggie Smith rationalizes house geography] H: It's the delivery... M: It's fantastic... A: I could watch that scene over and over for hours. M: She's all about practicalities. A: Well, it's about image, right? Whatever you do is okay so long as society doesn't find out. M: I wonder if Grandma's going to back Mary so much now.

9.18: [Anna and Bates, 'I'm not sure the world is listening.'] A: Good point. [William and Daisy] A: That's...a stunned look. M: I'm surprised people can't read Daisy like a book!

9.19: [chauffeur and Sybil] M: Yeah, but he loses his job, honey... [Sir Antony] M: Edith. [and so it goes.] A: You don't want him, honey... H: It doesn't matter... M: Although, to be honest, I'm a big devil's advocate here: who knows what Edith wants? Maybe she'd be happy with a comfortable life. I mean, not comfortable, but not the grand passion Mary seems to want.

9.21: [Sybil at election] H: 1913...I'm trying to remember. A: Yeah, you know more about this than me... H: I'm trying to remember. There are some really contested, really violent elections. Oh, like this...[as men come out with bottles; as Matthew and Sybil go down] H: That wasn't your brightest move, was it sunshine!

9.22: [Harriet Jones and Sybil] H: Go, Harriet. [Matthew and Sybil] H: Oh, well, there's that, then. Oh, poor old Mary. 

9.23: [Daisy w/housekeeper and Carson] General awed silence. H: That's a moral leap! A: It is. M: Daisy was workin' hard on that. A: It took her awhile! But she got there!

9.24: [as Branson asks after Sybil] H: And Lady Mary's goin', "My sister has beerflavored nipples, what the fuck!" A: I'd be really disappointed if this was what Mary's story turned into: slept with a Turk, turned into failure. 

9.25: [Matthew by fireplace] H: And Matthew's like, "am I here, should I go..." A: The mother needed reviving? How so, exactly?

9.25: [servants] H/A/M: The silent enjoyment of humiliation. H: Oh, bugger

9.26: [Mary and Matthew at dinner] H: Okay, that was... M: Pick a personality, honey! A: Yeah...

9.27: [Bates and Carson] H: Is Bates going to be all confessional with no need? Yes, yes, he is. A: Is this why he isn't free to marry? H: It shouldn't make any difference... A: Canny housekeeper! Oh god! Jesus, man! M: Get off the fucking cross! A: Indeed! Carson!

9.28: [Mary and Matthew] A: He's looking a little stunned. M: He's like, which personality is this? Their hands are very close together...He said "Don't play with me!" H: Are you sure about that? M: Ooohh... ['pay no attention to the things i say'] A: But pay attention to this? Don't listen to me but fuck me?

9.30: [Bates and Anna] A & M: Ohhhh... H: Damn it. [general cheering at peck] H: *cheering* M: There was touch! there was touch! A: Yes, yes, yes... M: I mean, there was no tongues...

9.31: [Lady and Mary] M: There was some smexin'... ['what did you put in them'] General laughter. ['what we want doesn't matter'] H: Rubbish! A: You've been saying it does for the last year. M: One of my personalities does... H: Oh, rabbits... A: *sigh* general baaing noises. M: Fucking barf, lady. 

9.33: [Lord, Lady and Mary] M: That was....awesome. A: *laughter* I love the fact that the daughter is like sitting there and comments on it. Like "Everyone knows you're doing it with mom..." H: "...and that's just tacky!"

9.33: [Mary and William] M: What...what was that? H: She's trying to be sweet to everyone? 'cause she's going to get laid?

9.34: [Lady and Maggie Smith] A: With my awkward cane! ['the strength...mentally or physically..'] H: Oh, Maggie. Yes, you could. A: She's so fixated on this -- the carrying of the corpse. [and then the delightful suggestion of assassination!]

9.35: ['she reads too many novels] M: Laughter. A: Literature is the downfall of all young ladies. ['an Italian who isn't too picky'] *laughter*

9.36: ['Mary is family'] M: Ah. [Lord and Lady enter] M: What is she wearing? ['the murder of the Austrian archduke'] H: There's that. 

9.37: [Rosamund and Mary] H: Hey! It's! *smacks A's leg repeatedly* It's Mrs. Bane! 
The muffin on the left isn't in Downton. Mrs. Wormwood,
on the right, is. Mary's probably lucky to have escaped.
9.38: [Lady's pregnancy: "i don't understand what we've done differently"] *hysterical laughter* A: It'll be a son -- it'll be a son. M: Either that or it's...cancer. H: Oh, you miserable thing. M: I'm sorry! A: I did think of that. But they would be able to tell...yes? H: Not necessarily. ['the child will be healthy?'] M: Well...

9.40: [Mr Napier] M: Uh... A: Hah! H: Gosh, really? M: *general looks of confusion and bafflement* M: ooohh. [Napier disclaiming gossip] H: That's kind of...nice? A: was Edith. H: Yeah, not so much with the hard to believe.

9.44: [Mrs Byrd] M: *wicked laughter*

9.45: [Mary and Rosamund] A: Might be more scope? Than what she currently has?

9.46: [Mary's arrival at home] A: Aha...that will be delightful. [as Maggie Smith outlines men of principle] A & H: Yes, she has a point. 

9.48: [servants chat about war] A: He'll be off [William], first to go. Bates won't be able to go, because of his leg. And the lord is too old. And Carson is too old. Everyone fair game. 

9.49: [general laughter as cook asks permission to sit as if in presence of royalty]

9.50: [Mary and Matthew] H: Good point. 

9.51: [Anna and Bates] H: Good for you, Anna. [housekeeper goes off to ref cooks] A: She needs a whistle. And those cards...the soccer cards. M: Bates is being all -- let me sacrifice myself! 

9.52: [Lord and Lady and O'Brien] M: Oohhh.... 

9.53: [Sir Antony and Edith] M: Ooh.... H: And Carson pronounces 'telephone' to rhyme with 'scum.' 

9.54: [admitting doctor] H: Right then. Mr Sympathy and Good Humor. A: The era of tell the patient as little as possible. M: The era of informed consent what? As I like to say, your uterus makes you stupid! You couldn't possibly understand.

9.55: [huge gold statue] H: Fuckin' hell... A: Ohhh.... H: Are you going to go see the Brigadier? [as Daisy scrubs soap into soup] M: She's sabotaging them! H: *claps hands* A: No-one told them? H: Anna would have told them!

9.56: [Edith and Mary] H: And here we go. H/A/M: Whoa! M: Yeah, yeah...them's be fightin' words. 

9.58: [Maggie Smith and Harriet Jones] A: I"m surprised she knows who HG Wells is! M: This shot... A: This really sums up the entire film. ['put that in your pipe and smoke it'] H/A/M: laughter, applause. H: Look at Carson's face!

9.59: [servants dinner] H: Oh, god, wrong soup. 

10.00: [Daisy crying] A: Oh, grow up... [admission of crime not committed yet w/other soup] A: They're all trying not to laugh! M: She's daft but she's honest.

10.02: [Lord turned away from library] M: The sigh of the longsuffering...

10.03: [discussion of phone] H: Given that they have phones stuffed in their back pockets... A: They're having fun with it.

10.05: [Thomas talking to doctor] H: What? M: And buggering the patients... Oh. A: Is he trying to become essential staff? Even so... M: He's trying not to be in the front lines. A: So would I!

10.06: [Bates and Carson arguing about Thomas; 'i hate this'] H: I don't! Make him go! A: A lot is hinging on this garden party. M: It's going to be the big denoument. A: She's got little spectacles. H: Whoa! A: You didn't see? 

10.07: [cooks outnumbering housekeeper] A: Aha! Well done. H: That was neat. A: Mrs. Byrd knows what she's up to. M: That was well-played. [Carson playing with phone] H: Maybe it will explode! M: He's practicing! A: Yes, he is. M: He's fucking adorable. 

10.08: [O'Brien listening to conversation] M: She's going to act like an animal in a fucking corner. H: Yes, she is. [O'Brien kicks soap] H: She wants her to step on it. M: What the... A: I don't understand these characters. M: I don't either. [thump and squeak] M: She'll have miscarried. H: Yup. ['it was a boy'] M: Oh, Christ... oh, dude. H: Oh....

10.10: [Bates and Lord] M: And then...kiss like it's going out of style. 

10.11: [Thomas chatting] A: I don't get it... H: What the fuck... [William and Thomas] A: Oh! nice punch, man. H: I notice no-one's really hurrying to stop them... M: No...except when...William starts to get it... [Carson pats William] H: Good on you, man... A: Yeah... H: We all wanted to do it!

10.13: [doctor and Thomas] M: Something happened. A: Are the two of them involved? M: I think that's what just happened? A: That lilt? M: Yeah...

10.14: [cooks] A: Wow, they're like best buddies. I think they're making out. [phone rings] M: They're like deer in headlights. [Sybil runs off with Branson] M: That'll cause tongues to wag.

10.15: [Branson and Sybil are broken up] A: The two of them are so cute...

10.15: [Mary sees off Sir Antony] M/A: Ohhhhhh.... H: *applause* Nice. Nice. M: That was rough! A: Slide the knife in and twist it!

10.16: [Edith and Mary] M: They're cutting off their noses to spite their faces! They're still relations! A: They're going to end up with each other.

10.17: [O'Brien and Lady] H: She's going to end up in the lake. M: She's going to sew stones in her clothes, that one. [Maggie Smith and O'Brien] M: Oh, yeah...bottom of a river. H: Oh, yeah. M: Oh, shit. A: Or maybe just a shotgun.

10.18: [Bates and Anna] A: Oh... H: Oh, fuck off...[as Bates tries to be self-sacrificing] A: *whimpering noises* M: Oh, you kill me. [Bates and Molesley] H/A/M: General laughter and approving expressions.

10.19: [Mary and Matthew] H: You walked right into that, sweetheart. ['so i've ruined everything!'] H: Yeah, more or less. A: But she was trying to do what everyone expected of her... M: Shit. No-one's ending up happy in this picture. A: As you say, the two sisters are going to end up side by side. 

10.20: [Rosamund and Maggie Smith] H: What do you expect, she's an alien!

10.21: [Mary and Carson] A: Oh... M: Oh -- oh -- oh -- ohhh....

10.21: [Harriet Jones and Maggie Smith] A: So the two women are going to end up conspiring... H: Well, the wanted the same thing from different ends... M: Can I just say in retrospect...Harriet Jones' outfit...for the win!

10.22: [telegram] A: War? H: August. Could be. M: Yup. 

A: You called it. [to H.] The beginning of the war.

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