Tag Archive | Classic

Downton Abbey: Season 2, Episode 1

provided by Masterpiece/PBS

Wow, Downton Abbey!  If you don’t know already, this series is part of PBS/Masterpiece Theatre‘s classic genre about the goings on in the household of Sir Robert Crawley’s home around WWI.  Let’s jump right on in, why don’t we?

John Bates, Robert Crawley’s valet, was blindsided when his estranged wife insists that he comes back to her.  She knows he’s the knight in shining armor type so she doesn’t directly threaten him but instead she threatens his beloved friend, Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham.  Just when Bates had proposed to Anna, the head housemaid, made plans and laid out their lives too!  Did you see how happy Anna was??  Sigh. I just knew it wouldn’t last.

Carson, the butler, works himself up into a tizzy – literally.  He has to be put to bed.  He feels that standards should be kept the same even if they are shorthanded due to the war.  So we see the staff change a bit – William, the second footman, enlists; Carson’s down sick; and Bates leaves with his wife.

O’Brien, Cora Crawley’s maid, is up to her old tricks.  I can’t stand her.  She even plays a part in getting Thomas, the former first footman who went off to war, moved back toward home.  Thomas deliberately gets wounded to work his way back to the hospital set up near Downton Abbey.  Interestingly, the audience gets to see his softer side.  He’s really this tortured soul that just wants to belong.  I got the sense that the staff at D.A. was the only ‘family’ he had.  I still don’t like him.  Humph!

And poor Cora Crawley, the mistress of the house.  She’s like putty in O’Brien’s hands.  One day I hope she realizes who O’Brien truly is.

But, oh my! Lady Edith, the middle child of the Crawleys, has shot off as they say.  She is so desperate for a man that she falls for not only a farmer (shocking for her time) but a married one at that!  His wifey sends her packing though.  You could have bought Lady Edith for a nickel when her father read the wife’s letter.

Branson, the chauffeur, has got it bad for Lady Cybil, the third Crawley sib.  He actually proposed!  Lady Cybil is a little more pulled together than her sister mentioned earlier so she promptly turns him down.  She reveals that she’s not a total class snob though by promising not to reveal his proposal as this would be reason for dismissal for him.  Question is:  Why doesn’t she tell?  Are there other reasons than just feeling sorry for him?

Finally, Lady Mary, the eldest of the Crawley children, has been truly humbled.  Yes!  She puts on a good show but her armor has been cracked.  She and Matthew Crawley, a third cousin, once removed, play the emotional cat and mouse game (y’all know how these rich people do!).

Let’s all watch next Sunday to find out more – check your local listing for correct times.  If you’ve missed this episode, click here.

I’m still in love with Downton Abbey.  Great job Masterpiece Theatre/PBS!

 

Great TV – PBS South Riding

I love, love Masterpiece Theatre on PBS.  It’s divided up into three sections – classic, mystery and contemporary drama.  Sunday night at eight o’clock is one of my favorite times for this very reason.  If perchance I missed the episode as it originally airs, I watch it online as soon as I can.

This past Sunday a new episode of the classic genre aired – a mini-series called South Riding.  So-named after the small town where an intense drama unfolds.  I love the fact that this story has a bold, outgoing and smart heroine – Sarah Burton.  Even at the start of the story when being interviewed for the job of headmistress, she talks as if the job is already hers and resolutely reveals her plans to inspire every girl and make change for the better.  Make change?  In a small Yorkshire town right after the depression?  When food, jobs and hope is scarce no less?  Yes.   Even Sarah’s bright, red dress against everything and everyone else’s drab gray exterior makes her pop. 

And, of course, there’s the sensual tension building between her and the angry, landowner Robert Crane.  Or is there a flicker of passion between her and the soft-spoken war veteran, Joe Astell.  I love this stuff! 

This series continues till May 15th.  Do yourself a favor and don’t miss it!