Tag Archives: Downton Abbey

Sincerity

I was re-watching episodes of Season 5 of Downton Abbey on PBS, and noticed the opening sequence with Laura Linney had been changed.

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Not only are there new sponsors listed in addition to our beloved Donald and Darlene Shirley,  but Laura has also re-recorded the voiceover for ‘thank you’ which had always sounded so stiff and,  well,  ungrateful.

Turns out that bit doesn’t require acting,  just sincerity.

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Costume comedy

Love Downton Abbey?  The ol’ upstairs/downstairs drama?

How bout with some out-and-out silliness?

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Add Another Period (Tuesdays, Comedy Central) to your viewing /DVR schedule.

The name alone makes me happy. But the cast — including Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon, Jason Ritter,  Christina Hendricks and a host of others I can’t name — is game for anything, which makes the show crazy funny.

From what I can tell on Imdb.com, there are lots of great cameos planned, too, so you look forward to that.

Or, you can if you watch.

Decisions, decisions

Earlier this evening a friend on Facebook posted the challenge:  “Favorite three TV shows of all time”  —

Go.

At first glance, I thought it an easy question.  Then I noticed the comments were few in number; many people had only listed one or two shows instead of the requested three.

After spending some time on the topic, now I understand why.

west wingMy first favorite was immediate and top of mind: The West Wing.  From episode one until the the drama drew its last breath, I was one of its biggest fans and most vocal supporters.  It’s what television — and government, for that matter — should be.

Jed Bartlet is still my president.

cheersMy second choice is more of a sentimental favorite.  I wrote my television programming  paper on Cheers as a freshman in college and rightly predicted that it was a comedy that had long legs.

I also watched Cheers — perhaps not with the same religious fervor as West Wing — but until its end.  And it was way cool to eventually live just a few blocks from the Boston bar that served as its inspiration.

My third choice was the hardest one. I watch a lot of television, a lot of great television — House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad —
but I decided, if I was honest, I should choose the show that turned me into a schoolgirl fanatic:

downton_abbey_season2_Downton Abbey

I have the DVDs. And the hardback companion. And the bound scripts. And a couple of pictures on my office bulletin board.

Yeah, that probably qualifies as a favorite.

Stop and go

Now that the Oscars are behind us, we can turn our attention to movies that we’d never expect to see in contention…

But in some cases, might enjoy more.

liam non-stopThis week’s entry?

Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson as a washed up air marshal on an international flight that is taken hostage via text message moments after take-off .

(Apparently the writers are fans of Pretty Little Liars.)

Not surprisingly, the conceit works here as well, as Liam battles blindly — every passenger and crew member a potential ally and/or enemy.  And if you’re a frequent flier like me, the scenes of airline passengers in peril — well, they’ll have you twisting in your seat a bit.

While this movie may not be Oscar bait, the script certainly drew its fair share of award-winning actors.

corey stoll non-stopWatch House of Cards on Netflix?  Why look, there’s Representative Peter Russo, who did you-know-what in Season 1 with a little help from Francis Underwood.

Wonder what is he plotting with those two gentleman?  Gonna have to see the movie and find out.

Julieanne non-stop And look who decided to sit next to Liam in business class — Oscar-nominated actress Julianne Moore.

She’s wearing heavy, horn-rimmed glasses and a scary-looking scar, but she’s not fooling anybody.

Or is she?
michelle non-stopAnd is that Michelle Dockery — Lady Mary from Downton Abbey — playing the part of a working class flight attendant? You know it.

Watch her serve drinks! Follow orders! Be manhandled!

lupita-nyongo- non-stopEven Lupita Nyonga, who is probably still grasping her brand-spanking new Best Supporting Actress Oscar, pops up from time to time on-screen.

This, my friends, is entertainment at its best.

Maybe a little?

Last night’s season finale of Downton Abbey scored a record 8.5 million viewers.

Holy PBS, Batman!

I’ll mention no spoilers here — for those of you who need copious amounts of time to watch ‘must-see’ television — but let’s just say there were no traffic fatalities this year.

And weren’t ya kinda disappointed?

downton abbey carla

A  friend commented on Facebook that more took place at her place this weekend than in the past eight months at Downton…and she kinda has a point.

Don’t get me wrong — I bought the DVD of Season 4, watched the entire season early, and then re-watched each episode on Sunday night. So clearly I have a high tolerance for tedium.

But after last season’s high drama and multiple deaths, didn’t you think this season ended a bit too neat?

I know too much

It arrived in the mail today —

Downton Abbey Season 4Downton Abbey Season 4, which is currently airing on Masterpiece PBS.

I wasn’t able to give it the attention it deserved until after 3:30pm.  But by 8pm — with a reasonable break to walk the dog and feed us both — I had watched all the remaining episodes.

I now know the secrets of Season 4. 

I still need to watch all the episodes one or two more times to get them committed to memory…but there’s no more waiting for each Sunday evening to roll around.

Oh, who am I kidding — I’ll still watch them then, too.

Flowers…or weeds?

I have read some books over and over. Other books?

I wish I’d never cracked the cover.

flowers in the attic bookCase in point — Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews.

This book was published way back in 1979 — when I was young and impressionable — and its harrowing tale of child abandonment, abuse, and eventual incest between siblings imprisoned in an attic for other two years made me nauseous.

(An attic?  Let’s add claustrophobia to the mix as well.)

Flowers in the Attic was the first in a five-book series by Andrews, but I couldn’t stomach reading anymore.  And in 1987, the original book was made into a movie.  I’ll admit I watched it; I just had to see if it was going to ‘go there’…and luckily it didn’t.

Well, that luck has run out.

A new Lifetime movie adaptation is scheduled to air in January, and they have promised to be faithful to the book.

Luckily, I’ll be busy watching Downton Abbey.