Aug. 17th, 2016

ad00absurdum: (DA - thomas and iphone)
A few days ago I finished watching Downton Abbey: re-watching first three seasons and watching seasons 4, 5 and 6 for the first time. And yes, it's still a great period drama, great story with great characters, but there are curious instances of really odd writing on Julian Fellowes's part. Which I don't entirely like.

'Cos really. Mary "sensing" the moment Matthew was injured? Or Daisy "sensing" the moment William was injured? Or Baxter galloping back to the house to check up on Thomas? I mean good thing she did, but that was a particularly WTF moment - there was literally no reason for her to do so.

So take note, fanfic writers: Downton Abbey actually is a legitimate soulmates universe.

Anyway, let's start with the things I liked in the series before the complaining begins (and won't that be fun).

The opening scenes, I just love the opening scenes: when that fateful telegram is being sent, then Bates on the train, but most of all the first scene in the house. How the scullery maid is the first to wake and then wakes the maids, and how the camera follows first her, then a maid then a footman and so on. There are few words, but we can immediately see the hierarchy among the servants and we can also see interior of the house. Brilliand scene done in one long shot I think.

Then the characters. Apart from the obvious one(s), I really liked Spratt. He's a massive snob, talks entirely without moving his upper lip and he's the Dowager Countess of Grantham's (a.k.a. grandma Grantham's) butler who first appeared in season 3 if I remember correctly. I thought it would be a one-time appearence, but later we see a bit more of him, particularly when the Dowager hires a new lady's maid, Denker. The two, that is Denker and Spratt, are the sort of a duo whose mutual dislike for each other makes for a great on-screen relationship.
Denker is quite a character in herself actually and between her and Spratt, there's never a dull moment in the Dowager's house.

Also it turns out much later on that Spratt has got another career apart from butler-ing. I'm not telling what it is in case someone who hasn't seen the series is reading this. Fat chance, I know, but it was a very amusing surprise and it'd be pity to spoil it.

Here, have the picture of Denker and Spratt instead:

Another thing/character that I liked - and I thought I actually wouldn't - was lady Rose. At the beginning she's just this horrible brat always sneaking out to meet her friend (a married man - shocking, I tell you) or to a jazz club (the dancing is outrageous) and generally being a silly bint. But then she changes, grows up, sort of and is actually a very likeable character.

Also, at the end lady Edith finally finds the right man to marry and lives happily ever after with him. Which is nice. After all her marriage prospects turn to dust (Strallan's "I can't do it" in front of the altar was particularly amusing), she marries a man who not only has loads of money and a castle, but seems to genuinely love her.

And this concludes the saccharine part of these ramblings. Next part will ooze bitterness. Because my spirit animal the special snowflake I took a liking to an NT character (must protect. it's a tribe thing) Mr Barrow suffers more than is reasonable and more than he deserves. Stay tuned.


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