Posts tagged Maggie Smith
Downton Abbey Season 4 Podcast

69 PodcastThis podcast has been up at iTunes for awhile.  We discuss all of Season 4 plus the Christmas Episode.  So only listen if you have seen all of Season 4.  We discuss what happens to Anna (the low point of the series) and how they have brought out Mrs. Hughes (the high point of season 4)  You can listen here or go to iTunes and down load it.  We are still very much in love with this wonderful series.  Listen to our full discussion of season 4.  Press Play:

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Review of Downton Abbey Season 3: Podcast

I thought this was the best episode of the season.  I know that they have had some major events happen through out the year, but this episode really reminded me of the early days of this show.  It was normal, small, human behavior that creates major ripples.  A stolen kiss, a date at the movies, a catholic service, a brother that visits, an add in the paper and a new job for a daughter and that was only the first hour.  This show handles them well, doesn't feel rushed and moves forward. One thing I have forgotten to mention each week is the way that they score the show.  I have never seen a show that abruptly cuts the music with the cut of the end of the scene.  It really breaks me out of the show.  The violins will be playing and all of a sudden the music is gone.  On every other show or movie, you fade out the music as the next scene begins.  I really do not remember this happening in the other seasons.  To me, this makes the show seem like a student edited it.   I am not sure if this is a British television thing, or what?  Does anyone know?

This episode also had some great Maggie Smith, one liners.  They have been keeping her part limited this season but in this episode, she really excelled.  She can do more with one disapproving look than my very own mother.  (And that is saying a lot)  Also, I have really missed Isobel and her interacting.  I love when Isobel wants to the right thing...no matter who it hurts.  She wants to be the one to help Ethel, whether it helps Ethel or not.

I found it fascinating to watch Carson be politically incorrect with his feelings towards Thomas.  I am glad that they are not shying away from what people thought about homosexuality back in the 20's.  It would be totally unbelievable if anyone accepted his lifestyle.  It is a good commentary that we need to see now as people still fight for the rights that others have.  Although I am not sure kissing someone as they sleep is protected under any law.  It was nice to see O'Brien and Thomas back at it with each other.  I  loved everything about this hour.  Now on to the next hour...

Cricket will solve it all.  Although, now that i think of it, they didn't tell us who won.  I guess we know who won, the viewers.  Season 3 of Downton Abby was almost perfect.  Had it not been for the awful story of Bates, it would have been the best season yet.  I have a feeling that over time, Bates going to jail will be compared with the James story on Twin Peaks.  I found it very odd that they brought on the young girl in the season finale.  That seemed much more like a story line for a season Premiere, where they would bring on the youth.  Part of watching this show for me is how they just don't do things like they do in American Television and that is why I like it.

Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

The Thomas story really worked well.  I love how it reflected different opinions of homosexuality in our time and theirs.  We love Carson but he is of a time when that was a crime.  Hopefully people who are still prejudiced against it today, will rethink their points of view, but probably not.  Also for how awful of a season it was for Robert, it was nice that he got to be on the right side of the Thomas story, and save the day.  This episode actually was picked by Josh to be one of the best episodes of all time.  The idea of putting this rough season behind us all with a sporting event, is a great season wrap up.

To hear more.  Listen to our podcast about this season. A recap and discussion about Downton Abbey Season 3.  This podcast does NOT include Journey to the Highland. MP3 File Read a review of Last Weeks Episode 3.5 Read my review of Episode 3.1

Read my review of Episode 3.2

Read my review of Episode 3.3

Read my Review of Episode 3.4 (Sybil)

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Downton Abbey: Season 3 Episode 4 (spoilers)

NOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Not Sybil.  Why not Edith?  No one likes her anyway.  So last week, I asked for them to do something big.   I am afraid that I killed Sybil.  I shouldn't have said anything.  Why not kill Branson, like we care about him?  I think this was a bold and good choice for the show.  The main point of the show is Lord Grantham losing the power and peace he once had.  When the series began, everything was going his way.  The Titanic hit an iceberg and his lifeboat has slowly been taking on water ever since.  Now, his stodgy behavior has cost him his daughter.  I also do not think his wife is going to be very interested in him for quite awhile.  The more Carson and Lord Grantham lose control of their world, the better the show is. Order The Book: Watching Maggie Smith is a like attending the Actor's Studio on a weekly basis.  How many actresses can totally break your heart with just a walk?  Her walking across the front room of Downton was earth shattering.  They even filmed her from behind and you just felt the presence of a class actress.  Here is an actor that doesn't even need to use their face to show you they are acting.  I have heard rumblings of Maggie leaving the show.  They would be much better off limiting her role but keeping her on.  If you have to back up the money truck to keep her...do it.

OK, the Bates story.  I swear I don't give a rat's ass if that guard tries to mess up Bates getting out of prison.   I am not saying this in a "I love to hate this story line" way.  It is awful and dumb.  Let the poison, suicide, meat pie, get him out of jail and forget this awful story line ever happened.  We are over it.  This is also the longest running storyline they have ever done on this show.  I mean "Bates in jail" was longer than WORLD WAR I.  Come on!

Finally, I have been forgetting to mention Isobel Crawley's story with the whore maid.  I really like this subplot.  The reason it works for me is that I love when they show that the servants are just as stuck up as the people they serve.  This is exactly how the republican party gets poor people to vote for them.  The idea that people who serve people would judge another servant is totally human.  This is my favorite B Plot of the season.  I can't believe there are only 2 left.  I freaking love this show.  What about Thomas?  Why not kill him.  Not my Sybil?

Check out The Review of Season 5 of Downton

Read my review of Episode 3.1

Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

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Downton Abbey: The Red Room Podcast Episode 28

This week The Red Room hops the pond and goes to England at the turn of the century.  We discuss Downton Abbey from the Pilot - to the Christmas Special which ended season 2.  Grab a cup of tea, make sure you dress for supper and lock O'Brien and Thomas in the dog's shed and enjoy our podcast.

Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

Read the episode by episode review of Season 3.  Starting with Episode 3.1 here.

Read Our Blog on Season 1 of Downton Abbey "Just Like Sands Through The Hourglass"

Also a Blog about Missing Downton between seasons.

Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

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Downton Abbey - Just Like Sands Through The Hourglass

The way it works around here is that Josh or I suggest a show and then sometimes we watch together, or at the same time on our own, or just on our own.  He said he was going to watch Downton Abbey with his wife, I said I didn't really have an interest in some stuffy Masterpiece Theater thing.  But I had some free time and I was curious to know if it would be online for free at PBS.  It was.  Well I thought, I'll take a peek, just to see what the fuss is about.  The first thing that happens in the show is a telegraph comes through and the person is shocked at the news.  They didn't tell me the news.  And the information is passed from person to person without me knowing the news.  They kept me out of the loop.  One season later, I am still hanging on any twist or story they want to let me in on, or keep me out of.  The damn show is nothing more than a Soap Opera with an English accent.   I watched the entire season 1 in 2 days.  Just like when I was 14, I want to know if Bo And Hope are going to get together.  Although this time, Bo and Hope are called Lady Mary and Matthew.  And it isn't set in Salem; no, this Days Of Our Lives is set in Yorkshire and it is called Downton Abbey.

At first, I was only slightly intrigued by the two worlds this show provides.  The top level - the Lords and Ladies and the bottom level - the servants and maids.  I didn't care one bit if Mary found a husband.  Why would I be interested in if the Earl of Grantham gets to keep his precious Downton Abbey or not?  And like I am going to feel for this dude with a limp.  So Thomas and Miss O'Brien are a little mean to the man.  Oh, I hate those two.  They are so mean to Mr. Bates.  So he limps.  He can still do his job.  She kicks him.  Did I mention that mean old bitch Miss O'Brien kicks the war-hero-with-a-secret in front of a Duke and he falls down?  Yeah, he does the old pebble dive in front of everyone because she kicks his leg out.   Oh, I hate Thomas and Miss O'Brien.  And one more thing, Anna loves Mr. Bates and I know that Mr. Bates loves Anna.  But the two keep getting torn apart by that dour lower class lady's maid and the sneaky in the closet THOMAS!!!!  Ok...ok....ok.  I need to settle down.  And I am gonna think of Maggie Smith for a second so I can smile.

I would say anyone who wants to win a Best Supporting Emmy for the next couple of years might as well just stay away from Lady Grantham, Dowager Countess.  She is going to win the Emmy with the ease of winning a rose contest.  And this time, she won't dare just give the prize away.  I have a feeling that this show was created to make sure people remember that Maggie Smith has more to offer the screen than playing Professor McGonagall.  I could spend the next 3 paragraphs with the quips and profundities that this character has given us and it would be the best blog ever.  But, I will show restraint and share just this one.  Speaking to her rival, Mrs. Crawley, who has asked her to remove herself from the rose winning contest because she thinks her stature is what is gaining her the trophy, our Lady states, "You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal." To which Mrs. Crawley answers, "I take that as a compliment."  Lady Grantham mumbles as she walks away, "I must've said it wrong."  Any actress could read the lines but no one could have delivered it with such bite.  Maybe Elaine Stritch.  But only on this side of the pond.  You add the English accent and Maggie wins that contest too.  Also, I can't stop speaking in an English accent.  I now understand why it happened to Madonna.  Everything sounds better in their accent.  We should have kept it.  Although my family is ready for me to lose it.

OK, I have to stop gushing like a fan and become the TV snob I am accused of being.  There is no way around it, this show is a soap - plain and simple.  But to me, it's the politics that truly keeps me watching.  Revenge is also a soap but I grew tired of seeing rich people fight rich people.  It was out of any realm I could relate to.  Downton Abbey is truly showing the war between the classes.  The same war that our 24 hour news channels are telling us we are all in.  And you know what? Neither side of the war on the show are behaving half as bad as their counter parts are in 2012.  When the cook needs her eyes checked, her employer pays for her doctor bill.  When a servant dreams of being more, Lady Sybill sets up an interview for her.  And when tradgey befalls the Crawley's and that rat bastard Thomas revels in it, Mr. Carson and the other servants stand up for the family.  One side needs the other.  They work together to keep things moving for the society.  Both have perks and their place.  And both sides see that and respect it.  The two sides do not take advantage of each other but instead strive and thrive off each other.  Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I just want Lady Mary and Matthew to get married.  Heck with this, I am off to watch Season 2 and I hope Thomas dies in in World War 1.

Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

Listen to our Podcast on the ENTIRE series

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