Downton in Detail

So, while I was so sick this week I managed to finish up the first season of Downton Abbey. (Confession - I watched FOUR episodes yesterday!)

So, now I'm eager to discuss it with you ladies! What are some of your thoughts on each episode? Favorites characters, favorite parts, things you disliked? As Davy would say, I want to know!
15 Responses
  1. Adrienne Says:

    I've been wanting to delve into this for days. Unfortunately I spent the weekend helping Bart prepare for most of the week away from home, and last night Lucy decided that the computer didn't belong in my lap - she did.

    Anyway... where do I start? By the second or third episode, I really liked Mary. She came off a little too hard in the first episode and Edith was more likable, but that quickly changed for me. I laughed heartily when Lord and Lady Grantham said that Edith would be the one taking care of them in their dotage. I love the whole family really, save Edith.

    Also, for some reason I like Violet more than Mrs. Crawley. She just has such a way with words. I loved it when she asked what a "weekend" was.

    Matthew grew on me, but he seemed a less developed character than many of the rest.

    I despise Thomas, and could care less for O'Brian, especially after episode 7. Anna and Bates are still my favorites downstairs, though I love the friendship that developed between Gwen, Sybil, and Branson. I got the greatest kick out of everyone's apprehension toward the phone.

    I love what Mary did for William. I like William a lot and imagine he'll be heading to the front soon. I don't like Daisy. She's just a little to dim for my taste.

    What do you think is in store for Series Two? I can see Sybil becoming a nurse of something, maybe even Mary. I imagine Matthew will join up, and if so, I hope Mary tells him she loves him.

  2. I actually didn't like the way Cora's pregnancy ended. I think it makes O'Brian TOO horrible. I know she feels bad but it just was really awful to watch and now that character is closed off to me forever. They won't be able to fully redeem her for me, so she has ceased to be as interesting a character as she was before.

    The other thing that exasperated me was the Bates storyline. I LOVE Bates and Anna, especially together, but he has the opposite problem as O'Brian. The writers are in danger of making Bates TOO GOOD. I want him to stand up! I want to see passion! This is a man who has been poorly-treated for most of his life, accused of wrongdoing, falsely, etc. STAND UP, BATES! We will still respect you if you get angry. I will respect you more.

    Other than that, I just so much love this show. And I have an inkling about what will happen with Matthew--at least, I think I do. This show very rarely gives red herrings that don't go anywhere--everything is set up to be relevant later on. And I definitively saw Matthew and Sybil have a moment when he rescued her after the rally. Did anybody else see that? I see something happening there.

    The plotline with Gwen was probably my favorite of the series so far. I have felt and do feel the same way as her so many times, that the things I want to do with my future are out of my reach. I was praying that she would get a job and I love Sybil for helping her!

    I really like Branson, too. I can't wait to see what happens with him. If Sybil took a shine to him romantically, I wouldn't mind.

    Aside: I love so many of the names on this show! Sybil, Violet, Daisy, Gwen, Cora...beautiful!

  3. Adrienne Says:

    Hmm... The Sybil thing. I did pick up on that, but also Mary mentioned it.

    You're right about Bates. He does need to stand up, but I understand his precarious position and fear of doing so.

  4. Elouise82 Says:

    I also think there will be something developed between Matthew and Sybil - or if there isn't, Mary will think there is, and close herself off completely. I really love Sybil, in all her well-meaning over-enthusiasm for her "causes." I especially loved in Ep 7, when she completely scandalized her friends by going off with Branston to tell Gwen the good news, and then the three of them hugging like that. I think Sybil's the one who will have the easiest time adjusting to the post-war changes - and I also think she'll end up as a nurse!

    I am certain that Matthew will join up, but I have no idea what's going to happen with Mary and Edith. I like Mary, but she also drives me nuts, and while I dislike Edith, I really feel bad for her. Probably because I know what it's like to have the "perfect" older sister! But I really can sympathize - Mary is beautiful and talented and charming, and Edith is none of those things, and Mary rubs it in her face. It was in either the first or second episode, I think when Mary was bewailing her lack of inheritance and the unfairness of it all, and Edith said something along the lines of why should she and Sybil care, because they wouldn't inherit anyway? And as unkind as it was meant to sound, I am more in sympathy with that point of view. Everyone goes on and on about how unfair the entail is to Mary, but nobody thinks at all about the younger two! And Sybil at least has her causes, and she is beautiful too, and there's poor Edith, overlooked by even her parents.

    I still like Anna and Bates - though I understand your complaint there, Connie - and I also really like Carson and Mrs Hughes. William is almost too good-natured - no way he should have forgiven Daisy that easily for treating him so horribly, and as you said, Daisy is just a nitwit. Good comic relief, though!

    Oh, and I really like the constant struggle between the Dowager Countess and Mrs. Crawley - I don't even care which one comes out on top in their battles, because they're just so much fun to watch! The Flower Show incident was touching, though, especially when Mr. Moseley thanked the Countess for letting him win.

  5. Adrienne Says:

    The flower show part was straight out of Mrs. Miniver. That's all I could think throughout the entire thing was that it was straight out of Mrs. Miniver. Hopefully old Mr. Moseley won't die like Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life (I can't remember the character's name in Mrs. Miniver, but I remember the actor) did.

    I guess I'm more detached from the sisters, because my sister and I were so far apart in both ages and personalities. I think Mary and Sybil are probably more kindred spirits, and Edith just suffers from severe Jan Brady Syndrome.

    The thing is, they're still very much a part of a society where everything is due the eldest (mostly male) child. That is just a circumstance of their society. I just hope that maybe Edith can be redeemed to me some in Series Two.

  6. Elouise82 Says:

    The part of me that constantly (and fruitlessly) champions against injustice has always struggled with the whole "eldest son inherits everything" system. I know that it worked, and it was the only way to keep the estates intact and the line secure, but it has always seemed both unjust and impractical (in a way), because the eldest might not always be the most fit.

    Plus, Mary was also quite horrible to Edith. Her treatment of Edith wasn't as public as Edith's letter to the Turkish Ambassador (who, by the way, was a diplomatic idiot for letting the contents of that letter become public), but even before she destroyed Edith's chance with Sir Anthony, she went out of her way to take away all of Edith's prospects, just out of spite, or to prove that she could. Even though Mary already had everything, she kept taking away the little Edith had, and I couldn't help but feel some empathy for Edith because of it.

  7. I've never been super-taken with Mary and I'm not, even after everything she's been through. I think she and Edith are BOTH pretty horrid, and I'm glad they aren't my sisters or daughters. I really, really dislike Edith (I can't believe I ever liked her) but Edith is bitter because everyone, her mother, father, grandmother, her entire life, has ignored or shooed her away. Mary has been beloved by all. She has less of an excuse for her unkindness. And she has everything, and takes from the girl with nothing, which is just...beyond, for me.

    Something I wanted to mention was how much that I thought the guy who plays Thomas looks like how I imagine Walter Blythe to look. He even looks like the dude on the old paperback copy of Rilla I used to have. It was probably supposed to be Ken, but it was always Walter to me.

  8. Adrienne Says:

    I thought Thomas would make a good Walter as well. I think part of the reason I like Mary is that I see the actress who plays her as Elizabeth in TTTT.

    Yes, I do still think of that all the time.

  9. Of course you do! You created this family of people, they are real to me so they must be to you, too. I still wonder sometimes what Cecilia is up to, even though her story as written by me is over.

  10. Elouise82 Says:

    Oh, I never even thought of Thomas as Walter, but you're right, he would be perfect. (and perfect timing, for me, because I've started plotting out Di's story, and so naturally I'm mentally casting all the characters.)

  11. Adrienne Says:

    I actually picture Matthew as a character from my Nan stories too. I may have to sedate the girls so I can write tonight.

  12. Yay! I love to hear about you girls writing. You are two of my favorite authors.

    I want to call Gwen for my Sally! And as long as we are posting updates, I wrote about two pages today, which is the most writing I've done in months, since hormones scrambled my brain. I've decided to ditch the middle story I was planning and jump right into WWII and I feel so much better about that decision! I'm going to pull an Eloise, though, and not post until I have a certain amount written (so not until 2014, basically).

  13. Elouise82 Says:

    Woo-hoo! I'm so glad both of you are inspired - even if we won't be able to read anything on it for a while. I'm thinking Sybil would make a good Nan - what say you ladies?

    Oh - and I keep forgetting to mention. I really, really like Cora. I think she's an incredibly realistic character, from her horror and disgust at Mary's affair with the Turkish fellow and yet her equal determination to protect her daughter from society's backlash, right down to her not-fully American, but certainly not British accent, which is just right for an American who has lived in England for so long!

  14. Elouise82 Says:

    Wait - I take it back about Sybil. I actually think she'd make a better Una than Nan.

  15. I actually thought Rilla for a while...but Rilla wasn't so sweet, I think.