Saturday, March 5, 2016

This Week on My TV: March 5, 2016

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(Downton Abbey, season 3) It's a good thing (sulky, whiny) Robert and his stubborn ego finally stopped clinging to the "old ways" in time for Matthew's Swire inheritance to truly save Downton, rather than simply keeping it afloat on the same path for just a little while longer. And the fact that he actually acknowledged it to Cora while they were all in Scotland shocked me. Perhaps Robert will become more likable again now? I do have to say that Cora handled the news that her money was lost with exceptional grace. -- Was there anything more uncomfortable than Tom Branson's first time back at Downton since he and Sybil married? Thank God for Matthew stepping in to ease the way as best he could. -- I could watch an entire episode of Cora's mother and Violet sniping at each other. -- Anna [to Mary, about Matthew]: What I see is a good man m'lady. And they're not like buses. There won't be another on along in ten minutes' time. -- Oh, Alfred, you awkward goofball. -- Sage advice from Violet: Never mistake a wish for a certainty. -- I keep trying to like Edith, but she just has the worst taste in men. First the wedding that wasn't with Strallan and now this "thing" with her married-but-not-really editor? C'mon, Edith. Have some self respect. I know how it feels to be the only one not married yet, but forcing it isn't going to help. -- Violet: Edith, dear, you're a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do. -- Top three favorite moment of the season: Mrs Hughes and her toaster. -- I was rocked by Sybil's death. I could feel it coming. All the bickering back and forth between Robert's "specialist" and Dr Clarkson was so foreboding. I still wasn't prepared for it. And Tom's grief about broke my heart, both in the immediate aftermath, and again later, when he fell apart with Mrs Hughes while the rest of the family was in Scotland. He may have been "below Sybil's station," but he loved her so fiercely. -- I about died laughing when they were taking the christening photos and the photographer asked the priest to get in with Robert, prompting Cora to ask: What's the matter, Robert? Are you afraid you'll be converted while you're not looking? -- Here's the thing about Thomas. I still think he's a real jerk, but they managed to make him far more sympathetic this season. I waffled back and forth, between when he was messing with Alfred and stepping into the mugging at the fair to save that little twerp, Jimmy. I suppose, like each of the characters (and really, all of us), he has moments that redeem him and moments he badly needs redemption. Nothing illustrated that better than when Mr Bates "encouraged" O'Brien to lay off her plotting and scheming to ruin Thomas' life. But that leads me to also ask: when and why did Thomas and O'Brien switch from being thick as thieves to plotting and scheming against one another? I feel like I missed something. -- My, but Mr Bates was a dapper fellow as her was walking out of the prison following his release! And thank God we're done with all that. The Bates in prison arc went on just a little too long for me. -- Speaking of Mr Bates, he and Anna are just the cutest thing ever. Their love and mutual admiration just resonates off the screen. I am also loving Anna's promotion to being a lady's maid for Mary. She's so sweet and kind. I feel like she's a good sounding board and balance for the, often times, chilly Mary. -- Matthew: Don't dislike him before you know him. ... This bit of wisdom is worth its weight in gold and something we easily forget. -- I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs Hughes on the carousel at the fair. I love that she is a balance between stern and lighthearted. -- Another top three moment of the season: Carson with Baby Sybil. He's such a curmudgeon...but there's a soft heart inside that crusty shell. -- Holy cow, what an unhappy group in the Scottish castle. I was uncomfortable every time they were on the screen. -- Matthew [on the birth of his son]: *I'm* dancing a jig. I feel like I've swallowed a box of fireworks. -- Which brings me to: Honest to God. Not Matthew too. ::sob:: Season three was not nice. NOT NICE. I fear that Mary will never get over this loss, once she learns of it. Matthew softened her sharp edges, made her feel loved even when she felt unlovable, saw the good in her that she didn't often show, gave her a place where she might feel safe expressing some vulnerability. This will douse the light she had whenever he was around (even when she was nagging him about the Swire inheritance and was cross at him). I know she's an unpopular character, but somehow, I have compassion for her. I don't think it's easy to shoulder the expectations placed on her, being the eldest daughter in a family with no sons. She can be cold and callous at times, especially with Edith (who often grates on my nerves as well), but I don't think that is *all* of who she is, and now she's going to stuff the broken parts even further below the surface, unless I miss my guess. Poor, poor Mary without Matthew. This is going to destroy her in a ways everyone else will never expect or understand.

**(Grey's Anatomy, 12x11 Unbreak My Heart) I have never been a fan of flashbacks (unless they are blatantly obvious, like in Friends, they often confuse the heck outta me). The format of this episode with the flashbacks and the rewinds and the telling the story backward and the jumping back to the present...meh. It was too much work for me to keep up with it. I *do* have to say that the bombshell of April's pregnancy was well-played, though. Excellent and appropriate twist. But it still doesn't fix the 43 minutes (not counting commercials) leading up to that announcement.

7 with their own thoughts:

april Tuesday, March 08, 2016 11:29:00 AM  

I will forever miss Matthew.

~**Dawn**~ Tuesday, March 08, 2016 12:05:00 PM  

April! I am so mad at this show right now. Sybil was bad enough. But Matthew?? Why, Downton, why??

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane Wednesday, March 09, 2016 6:20:00 PM  

Ahh, more Downton goodness! I can never ask you direct questions because I can't remember exactly when something happened, so this really helps! Matthew was so hard to take, because they worked so hard to be together and you are so right, he softens Mary's rough edges. Mary without Matthew is going to be a predominant theme for you for a bit now. Sybil was bad enough, but Matthew too made it a very hard time. And don't you love how much Tom (Branson) loved her? So sweet. Same with Anna and Bates. Never fear, you have more seasons and things will get better/worse and then worse/better :) And poor Edith, she really does not have the best taste in men!

I must admit, I'm at the end of the last, final episode, and I am in a totally different place. I've come to really enjoy so many of the characters and am only hanging viciously onto one that I refuse to be swayed on, no matter what Julian Fellowes wants me to think! They don't really grate on my ends any more, most of them do have redeeming points somewhere to come, and I'm just sad that it is over (and I'm slowly watching the last episode, just a few minutes a day, trying to make it last as long as possible! LOL!) :)

So glad you tried Downton and are liking it, I love reading your thoughts!

~**Dawn**~ Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:39:00 AM  

Stacy: Edith's downfall is her desperation, I think! I do feel badly for her, for that. But still..yikes. I am not over Matthew at all. I'm really annoyed with Fellowes for that one! I have season four in hand, now, from the library, so I'll be getting to that soon, and see how poor Mary takes it (this cannot go well -- cold as she may be, she loved Matthew, of that I am certain). I wonder, too, how Robert will handle it. He loved Matthew like a son, although there will be less to worry about, in regard to an heir, since Mary and Matthew had their son.

Gail,  Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:51:00 AM  

Ah, you got to the part about Matthew! I was so upset over that. Yes to everything you said about Matthew/Mary and how he softens her and yes to everything Stacy said about it all and the characters and the remaining seasons. I'm about halfway into watching the final show and can't quite bring myself to finish it. Sometimes I think waiting til it's all over and watching like you're doing is the better way to go.
I remember liking so much one of the shows right before that season ending where they were playing cricket.. it seemed the family was all coming together, they were getting along and seemed happy, Robert was accepting him as part of the family etc. I thought I liked the way it was all headed and then boom, Matthew was gone. Took me a while to get over that one...maybe that's the benefit of waiting a year between seasons!

~**Dawn**~ Thursday, March 10, 2016 9:58:00 AM  

Gail, there are definitely pros and cons to watching "live" vs watching later. Either way, though, Matthew's death is awful. I do know, that in season six, one of my favorite actors from The Good Wife (Matthew Goode) is a character in Downton. I'm looking forward to some more screen time from him since he left The Good Wife after last season.

gail@more than a song Thursday, March 10, 2016 7:13:00 PM  

I had to look him up because I don't watch The Good Wife! But I see who he is now, you'll like him on Downton I bet!

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