RHYS BOWEN: My friends and family know not to call me on Sunday evenings during January. That is because I'll be watching Downton Abbey, of course. I've never actually watched any soap opera in my life (except for the odd episode of Days of our Lives when I was visiting my parents) but I have to confess that I find Downton completely addictive. When I analyze the ;plot I can see that it's over-the-top and full of holes. The bad characters are so evil, the good so noble. Poor Anna and Edith. They endure one bout of suffering after another, rather like the suffering women in Telenovelas in Central and South America.
And yet I am hooked. I have to keep watching. Will Edith ever find out what happened to Michael? Will Bates be accused of pushing Green under a bus? Will Mary find happiness and with whom? Will Thomas ever become sweet and lovable and abandon his evil ways? (And is he on drugs or trying to cure himself of his homosexuality?)
When I had a personal blog a couple of years ago we used to dish on Downton every Monday morning and a couple of thousand people joined in the dishing. They were the most popular posts ever on my blog. Everyone had an opinion. Everyone cared!
So I'm wondering, Reds, are you addicted to Downton? And why do you think we find it so fascinating? Is it because we are fascinated by lives in such a different time and place? Or are the story lines so emotionally compelling? Has Julian Fellowes raised the emotional bar so high by killing off two favorite characters that we cannot be sure of the safety of anyone?
So let's hear what you think? Who do you think Mary should marry? Please not Charles Blake! What should Edith do about little Marigold? (If I were her I'd buy a little cottage and hire a nanny for her daughter and go to visit her when I wanted). And if I were Bates I wouldn't come across as so guilty. I'd say "Yes, that man annoyed me the one time I saw him, but I don't run around killing everyone who doesn't behave as I would. More offence and less defense). And poor Anna--will she finally have to reveal the rape?
And does everyone else loathe Miss Bunting. She's just plain rude and if she cared about Tom she wouldn't embarrass him.
And who absolutely does not like Downton? Even if you don't,you have to watch this wonderful Downton Christmas spoof..
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh. SO much to say. But briefly: Gillingham, no. Creepy. Marigold? PROBLEM. Bates? Boring. And still I am beyond hooked. Miss Bunting? Predictable. I'd love to have Mary swept off her feet--that'd be fun, right? And Edith;s what's-his=name should come home and they get Marigold. And change her name. (Hmm. But that wouldn't work, would it?)
HALLIE EPHRON: First, yes, I love Downton. And I will be watching.
Isn't Edith's lover (whats-his-name) dead, and didn't she inherit a newspaper that she's supposed to be running? Or is that a plot in MY head? And she's gotten so pathetically needy after having a nice spurt stiffening backbone.
I am tired of he Bates/Green murder story. And of course someone's going to find that missing diaphragm(?) Mary asked Anna to get rid of for her ("No one looks there..." Yeah, right.) Mary and Gillingham? Obviously not. But that other guy that's sniffing around doesn't seem right, either. We'll surely find out why Thomas nipped off to see his "dying father"-- poor conflicted soul.
I think thematically everyone is going to marry UP or DOWN. Because how many times can you get hit in the head with that theme? So that means Mary might marry Branson (even if there's no chemistry, at least he appreciates her smarts). And Isobel's got to end up with Sir Whatshisface.
And of course, someone's got to die...
I swore off Downton after Season 2, and didn't watch but a few episodes
of 3 and 4. But I have found myself strangely hooked again--really
against my will! I love the music, and the setting, and the clothes!
Although the plot is over the top, and I think Rhys is right--the plot
lines are suitable for a Telenovela... I like Branson better than any of them, Upstairs or Down... and don't understand why he doesn't just bugger off to America:-) Maybe someone will murder Miss Bunting???? (She certainly deserves it!)
RHYS: So did you like the ways things were going last night? I think Isobel should marry Lord Whatsit. He's nice AND he's rich. What more does she want? AND she could be superior to Violet.
And in case you want a good laugh, take a look at the Downton Christmas spoof! it's priceless.