Monday, January 7, 2013

Wherein I Obsessively Talk Downton Abbey

The last time I fell head over heels for a tv show there were cylons and spaceships involved. My husband and I were unabashedly fans of the show Battlestar Gallactica from the very first robot-infused episode. At first, we didn't know of anyone else remotely interested in the show, but over time friends would admit to being just as hooked.

Then, along came those charming Brits. I can't say that my husband is as much a fan of Downton Abbey as I am, but I will say that when we were re-watching past episodes in anticipation of last night's season 3 opener, he would request that I wait for him before watching a new one.

Find more Downton Abbey paper dolls by here
When we were watching Battlestar, we would speculate about the plot-lines far longer than any sane person should. My husband won the wife lottery in that respect. I may compulsively watch British historical dramas for hours on end, but Jackie Chan, kung-fu movies and most space themed science-fiction shows have the same effect.

All that to say, when I tried to discuss plot details about Downton with my husband last night, it fell on deaf ears, which was less than satisfying. What fun is a soapy-drama without being able to talk about it endlessly?

If you haven't watched episode one, look away now!

FREE BATES! Creepy, brooding, threatening Bates? Not my favorite. DIS-LIKE. I really hope his storyline doesn’t go south. Unjustly convicted Bates is way more interesting.

(KINDA) NICE O'BRIEN... LOVE her as Thomas' foe, but I hope they don't make her all soft and nice and fluffy. Where's the fun in that? She lost her edge in Season 2, which was good for character development, but I hope she keeps a little of that sass. She's always good for a spunky one liner.

SYBIL AND BRANSON - Ugh. Not a fan. I never have been. For such a liberated woman, Sybil sure lets Tom boss her around. "I love you and I know you love me, too you just don't know it yet!" Wow. Swooning here. Then in the season opener when poor, hormonal, pregnant Sybil just wants to have a nice, peaceful visit with her family, Tom chooses to pick fights over dinner jackets. When she calls him on it he says something like, "Sybil, don't disappoint me!"

Because there is nothing better to bring awareness to the injustices the Irish are dealing with under British occupation, than by highlighting the idiocy of formal dinner wear. (Sidenote: the emphasis gentry placed on dinner wear was ludicrous and the mishaps that occurred for Matthew and Lord Grantham were pretty funny.)

EDITH AND SIR ANTHONY - I have hope that the "ugly" sister has her fun this season. Yay for her, for going after her (old) man.Sure, he's a tad geriatric, but he's sweet, she clearly digs him, he clearly digs her. I'm glad they will have their day, even if he's a million years old. Also, he is one classy, classy dude. I may think Tom Branson is arrogant and annoying, but I loved Sir Anthony for calling out that jerk Larry for his antics against Tom. I also applaud the whole family and Larry's family for calling him out as the jerk he is. Well done, well done. Three cheers for Sir Anthony!

"HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL." -  If you don't think Cora and Robert are adorable, I don't know what to do with you. Let's pretend the insanity surrounding Jane the maid never happened. Cora is a gem of a wife and I just want to see them be happy. Please don't mess with my their happiness, Julian Fellowes.

THE OLD HENS - I. LOVE. THEM. All of them. They are amazing. They are funny as heck. They say exactly what they think, even when it makes no sense. (when trying to get money, Dowager spends a TON of money and then says "Nothing says sucess, like excess." Hmmm, nothing says "give us more money" like spending money we don't have!)

We all know that Martha is laughing at the whole lot of them. The fact that it seems Isabelle is deluding herself into thinking that she and Martha are of the same view on things is endlessly hilarious to me. Whatever happens Dowager is going to get her way. This is inevitable. Isabelle is walking the line between entertaining and annoying, though. They need to tread carefully with her lest she become intolerable.

MARY AND MATTHEW - Not much to say here, yay they got married! Drama to ensue! Will Mary wear Matthew down about the inheritance? Should she even be putting the screws to him about this? Is he being to holier-than-thou about the whole thing?

Claire's BIG Prediction: They will take the money, saving Downton Abbey from ruin (the horrors of a smaller estate!) and the other Swire heir will magically re-appear making the proverbial, um, "stuff" hit the fan. I think a trip to India relating to this will happen and that will be the end of Matthew.

But that's just me.

Please, do me a solid and tell me your thoughts.


  1. Claire, You are such a good writer, I totally agree with all of your points. I was so excited the show was back on, I must have checked the DVR 3 times to make sure there was enough room to record it and then I stayed up way too late watching it and am paying the price today. I wish I was in Cali so we could watch together. I look forward to your future posts about Downton. Don't you wish we could go for a visit? I read somewhere that they do tours for a ridiculous price, and then there is the flight, of course. I will keep dreaming. Miss you, Becky

    1. Miss you too!! I told Aaron about the tours a few days ago. I think it should be on our life list to go do that some day. We should go together, obviously, seeing as Aaron could never possibly appreciate it properly.

  2. Hah! love this!!! see my other addiction was Alias with the fab Jennifer Garner as a bad you know what CIA agent Sydney show ever...until now!! And my funny confrssion is that one of my wii characters is Sydney Bristow! Anyways, totally agree on most points...although for Anna's sake, I would rather Bates be free....I don't like dark Bates... Also I think they could have done sooooo much more with the wedding!! It was rather anti climatic if you ask me! However I loved her quip at the altar about her not being predictable. Finally...I think Matthew is being honorable by not wanting to keep it. As much as I love the Crawleys it's not matthew's fault that Lord Grantham invested badly. Money aside...being able to live with yourself is way more important...but not so good or ratings..... That's my 2 cents anyway!?

    1. I am totally team (nice) Bates. I was thiiiis close to making myself a Free Bates T-shirt to wear last night. All by myself. Just no more mean Bates, please. And I agree about the money, but like you said, without the money for them to fight over their story wouldn't be very interesting. And I could have used a sweeter wedding moment, but in its absence, I definitely appreciate all the cuteness after the wedding. I'm a romantic at heart, I like my happy endings!

  3. I love this show, but must confess, I have not seen episode one of this season yet. My daughter and I will sit down tomorrow at 2 and have "Tea Time" and then watch the show. When I homeschooled her we had tea time on Tuesdays and that is what we will do this week. She will be leaving in a few days for her last semester of college and I wanted to bring this special time back, at least for one day.
    Thank you for sharing all of this. I found your site at Tuesday Link up with FLT. I am now following you.
    Cynthia at

    1. Fun! My daughters are still too young to watch with me. Someday! I hope nothing I said spoiled it for you! I tried to be vague just in case. :) Thanks for coming by!

  4. Hi Claire :) I found you from the Fancy Little Things Link up. I am head over heals for Downton Abbey, and like yourself I have convinced my husband to watch it too :) lol Unfortunately he couldn't stay awake for the 2 hour season premier. I really don't have any expectations for where the show will go this season, that's one thing I enjoy about it..not being able to figure out the plot every time. I did get some good gigles form Grandmamar's visit from America :) What a character. I'll be looking forward to the next episode. Have a great week!

  5. Does it make me a dirty dirty girl to have wanted some dirty action? Some heavy petting, heavy kissing...something other than a "we got married in 30 seconds and now look at our new car?!" Damn damn damn.

    Anyway, love the show. Granny is my favorite by far, she slays me with her one liners. When she told Robert she was sorry, she thought he was the help when she asked him for a drink I just about died. Matthew will get broken down, I too found Tom very annoying and Sybil is just sitting on the sidelines having babies now. I also really don't want Bates to be a bad guy!!

    1. Stacey, you crack me up! The absence of sex is fine by me, because that means in a few years I'll be able to watch it with my girls without blushing ;)

      And when Granny said that she thought Robert was a waiter we laughed so hard! I am so glad you are with me on Tom and Sybil. Though, I think there an be tons of funny of Granny "makes" him into a respectable politician or writer type, though I don't see how that will happen. Sidenote, their kid is going to have the deepest raspyest voice, EVER!

  6. I didn't like the perfunctory shots of the wedding: walking down aisle...& cut to honey moon return. WHAT?! I want the vows, the kiss, the fan faire. Sigh.
    Was thrilled Sir Anthony stood up to that sod. (originally, I thought he has stolen something, but drugged him! Yikes!)

    Mathew better cough up the money--his duty is to save his new family. He'll have to suck up his honor on that one or be doomed to lose Mary, our beloved traditionalist. :)

  7. Claire,

    I've heard so many people talking about this show and have yet to watch it! I think I might have to catch up now!

    Thanks for linking up with the Tuesday Link Up with Fancy Little Things! I'm your newest follower!


  8. I really want to comment on this post because I LOVE Downton Abbey (I called it Downtown Abbey for a year), but I don't have PBS and have to wait for it to be on Hulu. So thank you for the spoiler alert- I averted my eyes from the rest of the post.

    I did the Hulu Plus free week trial solely so I could watch season 2 over Christmas break and it was certainly a highlight of the break. Do you watch New Girl? And if so, did you catch the Downton Abbey reference on the show a few weeks ago? I love when tv shows reference other shows. It's like all my friends getting together.


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