Downton Abbey 2.01-2.03

Dec 15, 2011 21:27

I am happy to report that Downton Abbey remains as gloriously excellent as ever.

* I was so glad to get rid of Thomas, y'all. Grr.

* MARY/MATTHEW, Y'ALL. I mean, I quite like Lavinia, and YAY for not villainizing The Other Woman. But I ship Mary and Matthew more now than I ever did last season.

* I'm fascinated by all the different perspectives we're getting on the war. In soldiers alone we have Thomas, Matthew, Mosely, Lang, William, Branson, and Lord Grantham providing context. This isn't the world war that usually gets all the narrative attention, but I've always understood it to be, from a soldier's perspective, one of the most miserable. All the scenes in the trenches, sanitized though they are, are terrifying. I'm really enjoying seeing drama set within and against that backdrop.

* Yet we make it clear, too, that this war is not just the men's story. Edith driving, Sybil working as a nurse, everyone, male and female, making do and dealing with grief and loss and inconvenience however they have they have to.

* Related: y'all, there are so many wonderful female characters on this show, I don't even know what to do with myself.

* Fascinating, too, to see all the ways aristocratic privilege is still working in this world. Lord Grantham wants to go to war, but not give up his house. He pulls strings to keep William safe, bring his friend Evelyn Napier to convalesce at Downton, and find out what's happened to Mrs. Patmore's newphew. Lady Violet lies to keep Mosely and William at home. Lady Cora brings Thomas to Downton.

* OH EDITH. So lost in so many different ways. Chasing after the farmer? It doesn't even compute. It seems she might be finally finding her feet, though, working with the patients in the house.

* Maggie Smith continues to be a joy every single moment she is on screen, and her scenes with Penelope Wilton are priceless.

* I love Mrs. Hughes with every fiber of my being.

* Also I love seeing this new leaf O'Brien has turned over.

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entry: ep notes, tv: downton abbey

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