Live-Blog the Second! "Downton Abbey"

Good morning! Welcome back to part two of the Feminist Librarian (A), Minerva (M), Crowgirl (H) (this is a totally transparent pseudonym, but it amuses me) liveblog of Downton Abbey!

And here we are again.

9.01: Laura Linney again. Going on about…careers for servants? I’m not quite sure. Something about the typewriter. Don’t blame me — we were talking about Doctor Who! A: We don’t have any secretaries yet? M: Ah — we’re foreshadowing.

9.02: M: Well, there’s far more interesting shit going on downstairs. We still need a maid in the family way. A: And the gay footman. We’re 2 hours into this shit and she hasn’t gotten pregnant yet!

9.03: M [referring to logo]: That was very Alan Ball! H: Oooh! That was lovely!

9.03: H: Concerned butler is concerned! [As Carson opens letter…] H: Concerned butler goes to pub! A: And concerned valet follows….

9.04: [as doctor ignores Harriet Jones] H: Well, that was interesting… A: Well, you’re just a woman

9.04: [as boy coughs up blood] M: Stop lying to your patients! H: It was popular.

9.05: [as Crawley’s butler describes his habits] General laughter. M [quoting butler]: “I feel useless.”

9.06: H: Why are we talking to Bates about this? M: Bates would be a better valet for him.. A: Yeah…

9.06: M: Suspicious butler is suspicious!

9.07: [as O’Brien “sails close to the wind”] A: She’s of course Irish. H: Yorkshire. They came across to work in the mills. Two strikes.

9.08: [as doctor lectures Harriet] M: Whoa… A: Yeah, ’cause you just trained for the Crimea… H: South Africa. If she actually went to the Boer War…nasty. Lots of ew.

9.09: [as Harriet describes medical treatment] M: It’s actually…actually right. H: Her bit or his bit? M: Her bit. It’s more than reasonable; it becomes standard medical practice in 20 years.

9.09: [as Carson talks to Anna] A: He’s just compounding his mistake…

9.10: [Maggie Smith: “You amaze me.”] General laughter, applause. H. Oh, God, I love everything she says. M: She is made of win!

9.11: [as Mary pokes Matthew] M: Did I just detect a slight on masculinity? A: I think you did. M: And class. [as butler picks up small silver item] H: Oh…oh, that was unfortunately shaped… A: Oh, yeah… M: What was it? A: I don’t know… it… it was dildo-shaped.

9.12: [as Mary tells Perseus story] H: What? M: Oh, shit…wow…cue the silence. H: What the fuck? A: Even Maggie Smith didn’t have an answer! M: That wasn’t very subtle.

9.13: [as Daisy and Thomas dance] A: Oh, is the footman… M: Well, they’re both frustrated. H. And here comes the cook again. M: [laughter] [as cook commands Daisy back to bed]

9.14: [as O’Brien and Thomas mutter] A: What does she want? Her only upward mobility is to be the housekeeper, right? Who’s nowhere near retiring? M: Maybe she wants to be the daughter’s housekeeper?

9.15: [as Lord and Matthew talk] H: Yup, the conversation about land. Lord sees a complete system; Matthew sees a business. Sort of.

9.17: [visitor at door] A: And who is this? H: What merry chappie is this? [“Charlie Carson”] H: Again, another accent. Oh, what fun the BBC does have… A: What does he think he is?

9.18: [Lord returns!] M: Oh…this isn’t going to be good. M: Whaaat? [“You were on the stage?!”] Hysterical laughter at Lord’s reaction. H: Um…whoa! M: Whoa! This just got maudlin.

9.21: [as Lord refuses resignation] H, A, M: Thank you! A: They’re like, “Oh my God — he’s in a chair!” H: And class confrontation ends. [“I think it…because it is true.”] H: [whistle] M: Oh…snap. And a look on his face that he didn’t like saying that. H: No. M: They’re really setting him up to be the good man. H: Well, this story desperately needs one! M: True!

9.23: [as Bates and Anna giggle] M: Kiss. Each. Other. Please, honey! Make him drop the cane! I’m sorry; I need some smexy times! A: Yeah, he needs to grab her ass… M: There’s a table right behind you!

9.24: [Harriet shows up] H: Go, Harriet! M: Oh, I like you!

9.25: [as Maggie shows up] M: Oh, Maggie — I don’t like you now! M: [as wife defends procedure] Oh, good for you! A: She’s so good at that “What? People are contradicting me?”-look.

9.26: [as procedure continues] M: Whoa — that so ain’t right! H&A: Hush!

9.27: A: Is this something they’re going to have to repeat? M: No.

9.29: [as Lord lectures Matthew on servants] H: Go, Lord You! You tell ’em! A: You could possibly find other things to do… H: Yes, but a couple of the menservants are a little old for retraining.

9.30: [as daughters chat] M: I don’t like you… [to Mary]. A: The younger one is quiet all the time — what’s going on in her head? H: She’s watching. All the time.

9.31: [as butler and housekeeper chat] M: These two. H: Oh..distressed butler is distressed. M: Sad eyes! A: No tears! We’re British! [as Daisy and William chat] M: Oh — stupid, stupid girl! ‘Cause I’m Dumb! A: ‘Cause I can’t tell when someone’s gay even when it’s smacking me in the nose.

9.32: [Matthew and Molesley] M: Oh…you’re trying! H: Oh, that’s so sweet. M: It’s like you watch him visibly propping up the other man’s ego with teeny little pieces of silver. H: There. You did the right thing. It’s stupid, but you did the right thing. M: It’s almost there — smiiiile! You just made your valet smile!

9.33: [at hospital board investiture] H, A, M: Ooooooohhh — burrrrrrrn! M: Maggie Smith is doing like ‘ticky angry’ so well! A: I’m surprised sparks weren’t flying out of her eyes!

9.34: [as maid mails package] M: What’s with everything being tension filled? Like you can’t tell what’s vaudeville past and what’s important?

9.35: [“What’s he writing about?”] H: Your coat, Mom, and how disturbing it is! M: Was that — let me teach you how to be manipulative?

9.37: [as Mom, Lord, and Maggie Smith talk] M: It’s like a conversation in non sequitors.

9.39: [“It corrects limps.”] H: Ta. M: For someone who works with the disabled, he’s really crotchety… M: Whoa… [demo of gizmo] H: Endless pain! M: And loss of circulation and…shit’s fucked.

9.40: [as Matthew and blonde daughter talk] M: She’s also being incredibly manipulative…and inevitably the good end up with the good in those stories. H: Their coloring matches.

9.41: [as servants admire typewriter] M: God, I hate this lady [O’Brien].

9.42: [“I want to leave service.”] Laughter at servant blinking.

9.43: [mother reads letter] M: Then you’d best learn to say his name right. H: Oh, and international politics clash with class politics. Oh, God, lady…shut up. M: I like how they’re trying to simulate these kind of Grecian flowing dresses…with a corset underneath!

9.45: [as Gwen has collapse] H: Well, she gave up easy. [as Bates clearly gets pain’y feeling] A: He’s gonna fall downstairs or something.. H: He’s going to lose his fucking leg.

9.46: [Harriet reads letter] A: She’s got the score at least. H: Harriet is smart!

9.47: [as hunt begins] H: What is that? Fruitcake? Gingerbread? Fruitcake? A: Chocolate? H: She was cutting  it with a serrated knife. A: Oh, dear, someone’s going to break their neck. H: That’s fine. M: At least the tension will be justified.

9.48: [as Turkish diplomat shows up] M: Oh…and, Lady Mary — “Pardon me while I close my legs tighter! Maybe I’ll ride in front of him and give him a good view of my bottom!” H: I know that theme! That’s from The Piano! Stop it! H: Is she going to get all dramatic and fall off her horse showing off? M: We do need a wounded young lady! A: We’re nearly three hours into this! M: What do they call it? We need some hurt/comfort — I’m sorry… [laughter]

9.50: [Mary and diplomat] H: Hunting and metaphor for sex. M: How much more cliche can you get? H: That horse did not take that jump in one go! M: You will take the jump and you will fall and you will have a Marianne/Willoughby moment…what a dismal end…

9.51: [as middle daughter and Matthew explore church] M: Oh, God…you’re not doing this — you are! This is why men are dumb! H: Oh, how boring…

9.52: [as Thomas scopes out guests: “Is that one mine?”] Hysterical laughter. A: Once again we have footman and eldest daughter in competition for the same man…they really need to coordinate their schedules! M: She’s positively breathless. Everyone in the room wants to shag him! A: He’s not that tasty! H: He’s pretty damned tasty.

9.54: [as Thomas dresses diplomat] M: My God, this man… A: Could we just not have…ugh. H: Oh…poor Thomas, though. [“I’ve always been attracted to the Turkish culture.”] M: Oh — you don’t come on that strong, little buddy! [after deal is cut] M: Wow…that just got really fucked up.

9.55: [Maggie Smith talking about service] H: Do you think you’re pleasant? M; Youngest daughter is awesome. H: Go, Harriet! M: Oh, nostalgia…it will kill you.

9.57: [as diplomat propositions Mary] M: Okay, that was creepy! H: Yeah — it was! M: That was “I like to tie you up and flog you” and not in a “You will enjoy it” kind of way. H: Well, she’s not gonna marry him; he’s not English; we’re not doing that kind of story. M: But she can be disgraced by him.

9.59: M has left the room momentarily.

10.00: [diplomat stalking Mary] A: It was a mistake to make this the one foreign guy. Could we not make this the one Turkish guy? H: Yeah…. oh, she’s gonna be talked into it… She isn’t being very…fierce in her resistance here. A: [long sigh] H: Oh, dear… A: Like heavy, heavy coercion here… H: This is not ‘sweet funny romantic music’ moment. A: That is not a happy face. Ugh.

10.01: [approx.] And M has returned. 🙂

10.02: [someone wakes Anna] A: You go to the maid ’cause the maid always knows what to do. Uhhhh… H: The fuck?! He’s dead….! Someone went to get Mom! Whoa!

10.03: M: Did he do a lot of cocaine? [as they carry body in sheet] H: They’ve got him in a sheet! M: But…the footman knows. H: And Daisy knows!

10.05: [Mary with body] M: Beautiful things — not always good! A: And he tried to rape you — would have! It was just the fact that he wasn’t in the room and wouldn’t leave. M: God…that mother just…like loses points in my respect scale. Like…by moments. A: And it’s very unclear what she’s expecting to get. H: And — Thomas has a nasty moment.

10.06: [as Evelyn propositions Mary for garden] H: Does she have beer-flavored nipples? [manic laughter] M: She must have beer-flavored nipples — she has a horrible attitude.

10.08: M: Watch it, Daisy; if you think too hard, it might hurt. [3rd daughter brings ad to Gwen] M: Third daughter, yes! A: Oh, yes…

10.10 [Mom and Napier] H: That was…nice. About one of the most civil ways that conversation could have gone. [Lord and Carson discuss death] Laughter and applause. [“They are finer and more fragile than our own.”] M: [laughter] They moved the body!

10.11: [“No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house.”] H: Oh, Maggie, you are gold. M: Something makes me think that Grandma was a lot like Mary and she gives Mary a lot of slack. A: And she has a great deal of interest in getting Mary to have the money.

10.14: [Carson and Mary chat] H: And Mary gets philosophical… A: They must have gotten further along on more amiable terms than either of us thought. M: Either that, or she’s happy she’s alive. H: She’s just having survivor glee. [“I don’t feel it.”] M: Just wait ’til your breasts start sagging, honey…

10.16: [Bates and Lord] H: Could we…fix him…please? M: Take. It. Off. A: Yeah, really… [Housekeeper closes the door] A: Yeah, she’s like… H: Oh, I don’t want to see this… M: This I can look at. H: Oh, fuck…oh, God… Oh, yeah, he’s fucked it up — he’s fucked it up real bad. Please get a doctor.

10.18: [housekeeper and Bates to lake] M: Yes, go, you. Go you, little buddy! H: Now throw that fucker. There! You got a good overarm! M: Yeah! That was a cricket swing — I mean a cricket throw.

10.20: [new chauffeur] H [snorking desperately: Oh….and the new Irishman would be interested in history and politics! M: God, I love those little outfits… H: My soul hurts…

10.22: [Maggie Smith on foreigners] M: …What? I…what? A: We can’t worry about foreigners otherwise we’d collapse every time we opened a newspaper.

And we’re done!

I do have to say that I got sick of typing “Dowager Lady,” and it was just quicker to type Maggie Smith — I do not believe the Dame believes any of the nonsense she spouts here! I am not attributing opinions or attitudes.

Harriet Jones being awesome.

Plus, if you’re wondering why I continually refer to Mrs. Crawley as Harriet Jones — and that is who I mean — then look here and learn: “Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North.” 🙂

A: If we end up with Mary marrying the lawyer — we’ve just come full circle. M: Yeah, if the youngest daughter marries him, then she travels… A: And she would have the imagination he has to look at the manner in a different way.

Halfway through the show! Guesses all ’round…

A: So the little redhaired girl is going to go off to be a secretary.

M: Bates and whatsherface need to come to some kind of agreement. Understanding.

A: Yeah.

H: Thomas needs…a shagging or a comeuppance…

M: Thomas is going to blackmail his way out of that house.

A: He’s going to use that information to get himself leverage somewhere, somehow.

M: I do think it will backfire.

A: Yeah, he’s going to try. I don’t know what O’Brien wants…but she’s going to be there with him.

M: Her motivation, other than being spiteful, is…

A: If she was acting as if the family was under threat…but she hates everyone!

M: I think she just wants to see people ruined.

A: It’s a very malicious sort of…youngest daughter needs to find some sort of voice.

M: She’s gettin’ close. Middle daughter — all middle daughter is going to end up a little shafted in this story.

A: Which is sad. But yeah. I want to see Maggie Smith and Harriet Jones…

H: Go at it. Oh, god, yes.

M: …preferably in that little cottage parlor. Epic.

[General agreement and headnodding]

Okay, if you desire more, bug them or me! Goodnight and see you next week!


2 thoughts on “Live-Blog the Second! "Downton Abbey"

  1. Fun! I finally got to see this one. Maybe Thomas will get both a shag and a comeuppance? So annoying how everyone kept referring to Pamuk as such a “nice” man, including Mary. I guess Thomas knows the truth, but he himself is of course not above rudeness. Still felt bad for him.

  2. @Elleoneiram: Nice to see you back! I'm in favor of a two-fer for Thomas, I have to say — it would seem a real shame if he's only there to serve as a whipping-boy for the plot. Still, pretty much everyone different in the story so far is a whipping boy — also a shame.

    It was really annoying that Pamuk was the “nice guy” even after the audience got a clear eyeful of how not nice he was! Still, I have to say the room rang with laughter when Mary dragged Anna out into the hallway: “He's dead!” Uh — what was it the two of you did exactly?!

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