Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat’s son interviews him on YouTube.
Archive for the 'Anglophile' Category
- You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. As a book lover the loss of the book store adds poignancy.
- Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn, William Holden and Humphrey Bogart. A perfect Cinderella story.
- When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. Just perfect. I loved the scenes with the older couples.
- Notting Hill, with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
- My Fair Lady, a musical based on Shaw’s Pigmailion, starring Audrey Hepburn and Harrison
- Roman Holiday, Audrey’s break out film with Gregory Peck.
- French Kiss, with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline, you get to see France and Ryan. The film’s not terrific but the setting and Ryan make it worthwhile.
- Annie Hall, a Woody Allen classic, starring Diane Keaton. Sometimes moving on is the happy ending.
- Something’s Gotta Give, Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson show that even those over 35 can find new love.
- Philadelphia Story with Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.
I admit I like any romantic comedy with a smart heroine.
- 20 Best Rom-Coms To Make Your Valentine’s Day Complete (923now.cbslocal.com)
- 10 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time! (thenew1037.cbslocal.com)
Can we already be at week 6 with only one more week of Downton?
Believe it or not, yes.
The black of mourning for Sybil has been replaced by violet by the second hour. My very well read aunt said that after they wore black, mourners could change to gray or violet. Yet, I’m not sure why Edith was wearing whatever color she wanted, creme or red while Cora, Mary and I think Violet stayed in black.
Sybil is baptized Catholic against Lord Grantham’s wishes. He does attend the baptism and manages a forced smile when photographed with the baby, his mother and the priest. Tom’s brother, a real Irish rebel, who’s a bull in a china shop, comes to Downton and plunks himself down to hold court in the servants’ hall until Tom drags him upstairs.
The big story was with Thomas who falls into O’Brien’s trap and creeps into James’ room and makes a move on sleeping James, who wanted no such action. All hell breaks loose. No matter what your orientation sneaking into someone with whom you have no intimacy with and kissing them is not welcome, cool, or smart. Thomas learns that the hard way.
Alfred catches Thomas with James and soon Carson’s told. Dismissal with a good reference is the plan till O’Brien convinces James he better insist that Thomas get no reference, which means no chance of future employment (unless he goes to North America or Australia). I was surprised by how accepting all the characters were of this validation of Thomas’ sexual orientation. Only Carson was steeped in conservative thinking. But at the end all’s well and Thomas will stay. Considering how disloyal and plotting Thomas was, I felt they lost an opportunity as a staff. If Carson and Lord Grantham were wise, they’d let him go with a good reference. I really couldn’t believe that Bates went the extra mile to save Thomas, a man who’s plotted against him time and again. Given time, Thomas is sure to pay him back with deceit.
Edith’s editor flirts with her so just a few months after Sir Anthony has jilted her, Edith already has a good occupation and the possibility of love. Well, poor Edith’s cursed and she learns that the editor is married. He explains that his wife is in an asylum. Since she’s read The Scarlet Letter, we can assume Edith’s read Jane Eyre. How I hope she has the good sense to send him packing. Be strong, Edith! Be the first young woman who’s sisters outshine her who actually has the gumption to distance herself from a flirtatious married man who’s spun a good tale.
Robert eventually agrees to implement Matthew’s ideas for improving the management of Downton. It wasn’t easy, but everyone except Jarvis, the manager who wants to run everything as he did when Victoria reigned, join Matthew’s camp.
Rose, a cousin from London, is sent to stay with Violet. Violet’s happy to have a new project, I mean guest under her roof. However, Rose soon tags along with Edith and Matthew to London. She slips out and meets up with her married lover at a dance club. She’s a handful to put it mildly. She’ll no doubt replace Sybil as the lively young beauty, but while Sybil was into social justice, Rose just wants to be social. Here comes trouble. Soon after arriving, Violet’s figured out how to get Rose to leave early.
I was glad that Tom has decided to stay on rather than to go up to Liverpool.
For those nerds out there:
Bedikian, S. A. (2008). The Death of Mourning: From Victorian Crepe to the Little Black Dress. Omega: Journal Of Death & Dying, 57(1), 35-52. doi:10.2190/OM.57.1.c
N.B. Victorian era predates Edwardian when Downton Abbey is set.
- Downton Abbey, 3 Episode 4 (mbbsmkmedia.wordpress.com)
- Downton Abbey, Season 3, episode 1 (mbbsmkmedia.wordpress.com)
- Downton Abbey Season 3; Episode 6 – A Recap & Review (austenprose.com)
- Downton Abbey, Episode 4 (smkelly8.com)
- ‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: ‘A Miasma Of Scandal’ (socialitelife.com)
Waking the Dead is a British reliable, sturdy police procedure. While it’s not in the same league as Luther, it entertains. Waking the Dead depicts a cold case police unit and each crime is solved in two hour long episodes. Episode one and two revolved around solving the case of a teenage girl who was abducted, raped and murdered.
The hero is Det. Sup. Peter Boyd who was on this case the first time. He wants to make up for botching the case. We get a little, but not much of his personal life. Mainly the show is about solving the case, which is fine. Boyd’s not flamboyant, very no nonsense. The drama lies with the situation with the occasional conflict amongst team members.
There was enough here to keep me watching and to watch again.
If Thomas (a.k.a. Mr. Burton) cries during an episode of Downton Abbey, you know there’s tragedy. I happened upon news of Sybil’s death last fall when I did a search for some other Downton matter and a British site popped up.
So I was actually all the more rapt as Sybil lost her life in childbirth. Any viewer could tell the city-fied, modern Sir Whatshisname, was wrong and that Lord Grantham should listen to Dr. Clarkson. It was odd, but believable, that this tradition-bound lord didn’t. I kept thinking, “Listen to the women. Listen to Cora on this, Robert!”
The tone of the emotion was just right. Characters were devastated, but there was some reserve. This is not a telenova. And that’s why we viewers feel all the more emotion. When I see say a Malaysian soap opera everyone’s screaming, crying and flailing about in hysteria. I feel nothing because that “works” been done by the actors. When you witness tragedy and there’s been restraint because the situations so sad that words and actions won’t suffice, that’s when the audience feels the most.
One of the most beautiful scenes in this season so far was when we saw Branson at the window holding his daughter. No words and it just lasted a minute, but we knew (or projected) everything his grieving husband must feel. He’s got to be strong and committed to his daughter in spite of his own grief.
We’re in store for a lot of drama. Branson’s role in the family is even more tenuous. He’s still connected by a female the Grantham’s love, but she’s a baby and can’t act as a mediator. Where will they live? What work will Branson, who can’t return to Ireland, take on that won’t humiliate the Grantham’s?
Bravo to Isobel for hiring Ethel. I can see why Mrs. Bird left, but it’s a shame she didn’t try to stay and work through her prejudices. I think Isobel’s great sacrifice isn’t going to be her reputation, but rather her palate. It’ll take Ethel a while to learn to cook.
Congratulations to Edith for the newspaper column. I hope she surprises everyone with her insights and writing. Edith, yes your father and granny disapprove, but don’t flee the breakfast table each time he does. Women need their rights, but they also need to learn to stand their ground.
Daisy, listen to Mrs. Patmore. You’re becoming too much of a grouch.
Robert, it’s true you didn’t cause Sybil’s death, but to get back into Cora’s good graces, you ought to blame yourself as much as possible.(The trailers suggest you won’t.) If you descend into depression than Cora would probably consider rescuing you her mission. If you aren’t huber-contrite and grief-stricken you’ll be sleeping solo ad infinitum.
- Downton Abbey, Season 3, episode 1 (mbbsmkmedia.wordpress.com)
- Downton Abbey Wiki
- Shocking Downton Drama
- Michael Hogan: ‘Downton Abbey’ Recap, Season 3, Episode 4: Doctors’ Disorder (huffingtonpost.com)
- ‘Downton Abbey’ is hit with tragedy (theclicker.today.com)
Whether it’s at the elegant dining table or in the servants’ hall, we see characters disagreeing with wit and intelligence and a touch of restraint that at least indicates that they know they should respect each other. I think this is an overlooked virtue of Downton Abbey and the British of the era. I like to think this virtue is alive and well in England, but I haven’t visited in years, so I’m not sure.
How I wish contemporaries in America and perhaps other places could show more respect and civility. There are zingers but no one is so openly aggressive or mean, while reality TV on other channels seems to compete for new lows. Some sitcoms
O, mores; o, tempora.
Ahh, the house was abuzz as everyone quickly prepared for Edith’s wedding to the older Sir Anthony. What are my thoughts? Well, there will be spoilers below, so don’t say you weren’t warned. Here’s my 2 cents on an episode that kept me rivetted:
- I’m wondering if Mrs. Hughes really is well or if she just hated all the fuss and told Mrs. Patmore she was.
- Why didn’t Mrs. Levinson stay for Edith’s wedding? Was there some previous engagement? Isn’t she aware of Edith’s feelings of inferiority to Mary and therefore sensitive to the fairness of staying on? If she doesn’t like Downton, she could have gone to London or the Lake District to take in the sights and then returned to see Edith wed.
- I did think Shirley MacLaine was poorly used last week. She sparred nicely with Violet, but that could have been better and she was one dimensional as the Yank who believes in change. She had few scenes with her daughter, which was weird. I wanted to know how Cora could be so different from her mother Martha. They seemed like acquaintances, not relatives, let alone mother and daughter. Very odd.
- I’d glad the money issue will work out. I wasn’t ready to give up Downton and I’m like Mary in that I see the Countess of Grantham as living in Downton Abbey.
- I hope someone divests Daisy of her fascination with fast women. It’s not her character and so she’s on thin ice. Trouble looms, my dear, when you stray from your true self.
- There was a fair amount with the prison and Bates. It’s not looking good, but at least he was tipped off about the knife his cellmate planted.
- What will O’Brien do to Thomas? He best be careful as she’s shrewd.
- Edith will need to find something to do, something noble. Stop all this spinster talk. Mary was older when she married.
- Sir Anthony, how could you? it’s one thing for a hobbledehoy to jilt a bride at the altar with all her family and friends watching, with thousands spent for delicacies and libation, and quite another for a grown man. You’re no school boy and we all expect more character from a gentleman!
- Violet’s Best Line: “Vulgarity’s no substitute for wit.”
- Kudos to the Golden Globe voters for choosing Maggie Smith.
- Downton Abbey, Season 3 Begins (meetcute3.wordpress.com)
- ‘Downton Abbey’ Recap: Lady Mary Plots To Save Downton (hollywoodlife.com)
- Thoughts on Downton Abbey, Season 3, Episode 1 (smkelly8.com)
- Downton Abbey Recap: No Way to Treat a Lady (tvline.com)
- Downton Abbey Season 3: Episode 2 on Masterpiece Classic PBS – A Recap & Review (austenprose.com)
- Downton Abbey Cast (todaysmama.com)
- Want To Get Married Downton Abbey Style? It’ll Cost You (refinery29.com)
- Downton Abbey Season 3 premiere: Lord Grantham paying the price for … – Toronto Star (thestar.com)
- Downton Abbey for newbies: A primer ahead of the Season 3 premiere (arts.nationalpost.com)
- How Lady Edith Could Get Her Groove Back (marycastillo.wordpress.com)
I can’t recall anticipating the return of a television show more than I have Downton Abbey‘s Season 3. Perhaps Sherlock, when it comes but that’s way off in the distance. I’ve re-viewed several of the episodes from the previous seasons when they were re-broadcast and noted little details that I’d missed.
At last on the 6th, we got to meet Cora’s mother, the brash American, Mrs. Martha Levinson, played with great panache by Shirley MacLaine. Talk about a bull in a china shop and someone to set Violet’s teeth on edge. How did Cora develop such grace? Her father must have been more reserved.
Julian Fellow’s story drew me in as I wanted to tell Branson, the ex-chauffer to lighten up, put on the Downton clothes and make his case by drawing on people’s sympathy rather than jumping on a soap box every chance he got. I did feel sorry for him when Sybil’s old suitor sneered at him and slipped him a mickey.
Another great story element was the announcement that Lord Grantham has lost his fortune, well, Cora’s fortune. That news, hushed up as it has been, charges every scene with tension. What will all the characters do when they find out? For now only a few know.
Thomas never ceases to devilishly plot and this time he got on O’Brien’s bad side. By making her nephew get in trouble by marring Mathew’s dinner jacket, Thomas became the victim of O’Brien’s prank of hiding all Lord Gratham’s good shirts thus adding to the ruin of the episode’s most significant social event and making the Lord look like a waiter or a Chicago bootlegger, take your pick.
We got glimpses of Bates in jail and Anna trying to do a bit of detective work to get him out. We also see that if he doesn’t keep his cool with his cellmate, Bates may get himself into further trouble.
As usual, the two hours went fast and tantalized fans with great character development and plot points. It looks like Edith’s going to marry Sir Anthony, the old geezer she’s so fond of. He’ll treat her well, it seems, and she is keen on him, but generally when the groom’s so luke warm, that doesn’t bode well for a marriage. Time will certainly tell.
- Downton Abbey Power Rankings (bluestockingsmag.com)
- Downton Abbey (npr.org – blogs)
- Shirley Maclaine Battled Through Wintry Weather Shooting Downton Abbey (contactmusic.com)
- Cookbook celebrates ‘Downton’ cuisine (seattletimes.com)
- Up With ‘Downton’! – Philadelphia Inquirer (philly.com)
I enjoyed The Hobbit when I read it for the first time last November. I’m not a fantasy fan normally, but I liked the characters and wit in The Hobbit.
I saw The Hobbit’s 3D IMAX version and it was the first time for me to see a 3D film, which I found kind of cool, but not necessary. In fact as the story progressed, the 3D aspect was rather distracting.
As I watched The Hobbit, I wondered about the frame with some old guy I didn’t know since I haven’t seen The Lord of the Rings going about writing and explaining why he was writing the story of Bilbo Baggins. I’d have cut that as I don’t think Peter Jackson needed this extra link to his first trilogy.
I thought Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage, old “friends” from Sherlock and MI-5 respectively, were good. All the actors were. What I had problems with was the extras stuffed into the film. I didn’t need the high octane fighting scenes and the drawn out CGI effects. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
Jackson’s imprint is bold in this film as the tone differs from Tolkien‘s novel. I thought the best parts of the film were Tolkien’s wit and gentle narration. The scene where the mountains and rocks came to life to do battle was just bizarre. I left the theater rather worn down by the clamor and epic, slick action. Again, I often felt I was watching a computer game.
I’m glad I saw The Hobbit, but don’t feel I need to see two more films in this trilogy, that could easily be one film. I think Peter Jackson just wants to milk the story and beef up ticket sales. I agree with Salon writer Ilana Teitelbaum who thinks “Hollywood” has stripped The Hobbit of its poetry.
- Where Tolkien’s roots won’t get to middle-earth (thehindu.com)
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) (pilgrimswatch.wordpress.com)
- The Hobbit: Why Are There No Women in Tolkien’s World? (ideas.time.com)
- The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey at top of New Year box office (telegraph.co.uk)
- MTV’s Steven Smith On ‘The Hobbit’: Insert Bad Tolkien Pun Here (geek-news.mtv.com)
- 34 Hobbit-Inspired Designs – From Hobbit-Inspired Face Warmers to Mini Hobbit Homes (TrendHunter.com) (trendhunter.com)
- Of Hobbits and Contracts (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- THE HOBBIT – Freeman and Cumberbatch Discuss Smaug (geektyrant.com)
- ‘Hobbit’ film technology a bit much? (sunnewsnetwork.ca)
- The Hobbit (thefibernest.com)