Downton Abbey: Series 3

Discussion in 'Movies, TV and Music' started by Matrim55, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

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    I went with the proper British "series" instead of "season." I don't know how I feel about that.

    Anyway, this is make or break for me. Series 1 was beyond excellent, while series 2... ******** it, season 2 was beyond crap. Maudlin, melodramatic, self-indulgent crap. I hated pretty much every character (except Sybil, Branson and Lady Violet) by the end of it.

    Hopefully they'll return to form and begin exploring themes of the times again instead of going pure soap opera.


  2. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    The Earl of Grantham should have used Wu Tang Financial.
  3. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought this episode promised some recovery from the depths of last season, but the writer still resorted to the occasional bit of anal extraction when it came to plot twists. The connection between the two husbands was nicely done, especially the scene outside the pub. But the bit where Branson got slipped a mickey at the fancy dress dinner was straight from season...er...series 2-ville.
  4. fischerw

    fischerw Member

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    I Posted this on Facebook after watching the episode. I liked the episode, but I found it somewhat, er, repetitive:

    Hey guys, I just watched the new episode of Downton Abbey! Here, I memorized the script:

    Matthew: Times are changing!
    Mary: I don't want the times to change!
    Sybil: The times already changed!
    Branson: The feckin' times are changin'!
    Carson: I do not approve of these changes.
    Mrs. Levinson: Changing times are fun!
    Grantham: I suppose we must admit that the times are changing.
    Edith: Why don't I ever get to change with the times?
    Violet: America is making the times change.
    Isobel: I'm volunteering at the time changing clinic!
    Molesley: (out of breath) The what's timing?


  5. HerthaBerwyn

    HerthaBerwyn Member+

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    Matthews Roadster looks like Chekhov's gun on wheels.
    Dr. Wankler repped this.
  6. HouseHead78

    HouseHead78 Member+

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    Promising start, but it sure didn't need to be two hours long.
  7. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

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    Did drag at bit, didn't it. Got tired of the last minute shall we call off the wedding thingy. At least they seemed happy afterwards, finding sex at 30!
    Wasn't sure about Shirley Mclean at first but in her last couple of scenes she came to life.
    Mathew's roadster, I believe, was the forerunner of the Shelby AC Cobra
  8. usscouse

    usscouse BigSoccer Supporter

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    Week 2....and that's what I thought as well. The story isn't as engrossing so far this season. All pretty obvious stuff.
    Best drama is going on downstairs.
  9. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Man, you put either of those first two daughters in a tough spot and what do you get? Whin(g)ing and recrimination. It's only the youngest one that seems remotely willing to refrain from inflicting her own disappointment on anybody within reach. You think Matthew feels like he made a mistake yet?
  10. fischerw

    fischerw Member

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    The problem with this season (and previous seasons suffered from this to an extent) is that most of the plot developments happen via Deus ex Machina. Either something unforeseeably terrible or unforeseeably wonderful happens. With a few exceptions, the storytelling doesn't unwind based on organic developments within the characters.

    Oh well. I still enjoy this show, but I've always thought that it's really nothing more than the campiest sort of soap opera, just dressed up with costumes and classically trained actors. I keep waiting for the show to be as good as Gosford Park.

    But anyway-- I came away with the strong impression that Mrs. Hughes actually does have cancer-- but she and Mrs. Patmore decided they'd tell Carson she didn't so he'd stop worrying.
  11. HouseHead78

    HouseHead78 Member+

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    Since its successful first season, it's gotten very self aware and worried more about camping it up than driving plot and character development. But Iike you, I'm still on board. Because English nobility sitting in parlors and trying to solve problems we all wish we had (oh noes, what if we have to move to the country mansion from the castle!) is proper escapism. Plus I'm gay and I think I lose my membership card if I don't keep up :)
  12. Father Ted

    Father Ted BigSoccer Supporter

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    I only watch it for the Lady Violet moments:
  13. speedcake

    speedcake Member

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    Lady Violet steals this show. Already one of my all time favorite characters in film or television.
  14. The Jitty Slitter

    The Jitty Slitter Moderator Staff Member

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    Have any of you watched the original Upstairs Downstairs?

    I watched the whole thing last year and find it far superior to Downton.

    In fact many of Downton's Story Arcs are lifted from Up/Down
  15. The Jitty Slitter

    The Jitty Slitter Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes - that is really the issue.

    The English used to be the masters of generating real tension via dialogue with only a drawing room and a sofa by way of set. Think of a show like Secret Army with almost zero action yet menacing, evil characters.

    Downton decided to make its characters somewhat camp and farcical which is more fun, but generally the show just doesn't feel real.
  16. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh yeah, I've seen many of those (my mom was a big fan) and agree completely.
  17. Crimen y Castigo

    Crimen y Castigo Moderator Staff Member

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    Just caught up with the whole series this evening, after tearing through Season's 1 and 2.

    It's been great fun, but I may have had less tolerance for the loopiness of Season 2 were we not seeing 2 or 3 episodes in one go. However, for anyone bemoaning the drop in quality from the first to the second season, may I introduce you to my drunk uncle Homeland? Compared to that cliff dive, I'd write a personal check to the Earl of Grantham to save poor old Downton.

    Speaking of -- someone mentioned the ol' Deuce X Machine above, and if that inheritance nonsense wasn't textbook I don't know what was. But more than that, it was just irritating and took Matthew's principles to an absurd point, imho.

    But now that that's done with, it's time for the O'Brian / Thomas cage match.
  18. Crimen y Castigo

    Crimen y Castigo Moderator Staff Member

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    That's excellent. And Smith is ridiculously good.
    My three favorite moments may have been her double-take when she visited Matthew's office and sat in his Thomas Jefferson swivel chair ("Why must every day include a fight with an American"); her reaction when that vase broke ("I've despised it for half a century."); and mistaking her son Robert for a waiter and ordering a drink because he's not in white tie.
  19. HerthaBerwyn

    HerthaBerwyn Member+

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    "May I get you a different chair?"

    "No, no. Ive always been a good sailor."
  20. Matt in the Hat

    Matt in the Hat Moderator Staff Member

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    Of course she does. Doctor Clarkson is easily the worst medical professional in the history of mankind. Has he gotten anything right in any of the three seasons?
    bungadiri repped this.
  21. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

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    That's unfair to the first season, which really was quite excellent.
  22. fischerw

    fischerw Member

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    Thomas looked at the new footman like he was looking at a cake just come out of the oven. It was hilarious.
  23. Matrim55

    Matrim55 Member+

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    Killed off the only daughter who's worth a shit.
  24. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I just read this to my wife. Her response: "Yeah, that's about right."
  25. Crimen y Castigo

    Crimen y Castigo Moderator Staff Member

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    She clearly wasn't Lord Grantham's daughter anyway. I mean, really, where did those swarthy, luxurious genes come from?

    But that was a serious twist to sacrifice such a purely sympathetic character. Throughout the series, she's been written with basically an unassailable goodness -- much like Anna.

    I've been curious as to the reasoning behind the story decision.

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