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07-11-2011
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^You're absolutely right, DA isn't anything groundbreaking and it was always the many wonderful characters which drove the show. But I thought season 2 was very subpar in comparison to S1. A lot of the characters was just there.

While I loved to hate Edith in S1, her turnaround in S2 didn't feel organic and she became even more irrelevant. I don't mind her finally finding something else to do than bicker with Mary but I wanted to see why.

Similarly Sybil and Branson had such an odd uneven romance. For the longest time, I saw nothing from Sybil and Branson almost felt like a stalkerish cartoon, then suddenly she decides she does love him? And whatever happened to Sybil's political ambitions?

Or what about Carlisle/Mary/Matthew/Lavinia? Why is Carlisle so interested in Mary? Just because of her title? Are there no other titled heiress in need of money? How did Matthew and Lavinia meet? Why was Lavinia so dedicated to Matthew? And how much did he love her? I felt that the "middle" - the development of a lot of the characters and relationships were missing and all that was left were the clichés and predictable elements.


Last edited by advo; 07-11-2011 at 07:12 AM.
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07-11-2011
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There were certain aspects of the final episode that I really liked and other parts that really irritated me. Overall I think this season was good. I know a lot of people don't think it's up to par with S1 but I think that there was a lot of pressure after the first season for it to be just as good. So it would be quite hard to live up to it. Also, I feel like this season was a lot darker in some ways then the first (with the war and all) so it wasn't as "cheerful"
as the first season. S1 gave off a more romanticized feeling of the era in some ways. Which I'm wondering is part of the reason why people weren't as pleased with it. But as always I think the acting was brilliant as always. The acting is what really makes the show stand out.
However I was so pleased to see how they played out the Sybil and Branson storyline. I love that Sybil stuck to her convictions and refused to be swayed by her family to not marry Branson. I was worried she might break off the engagement. But I really think that as a couple they have a lot of respect for each other. It's possible to see that they really love one another, just by how they look at each other. They have a different sort of love then Mary and Matthew but for them I think it really works.
I was absolutely furious with Robert, how could he continue to cheat on Cora, especially when she was sick! I honestly have very little respect for him after this episode. The fact is that he went around making out with Jane while at the same time being a total hypocrite about Sybil and Branson. I think Branson's more of a gentlemen then Robert because he treats Sybil right whereas Robert goes and cheats on Cora and also tries to pay Branson to leave the family alone. A title cannot buy a person class that's for sure! Also, I've noticed a lot of people are calling Jane a whore for kissing Robert but the first time that happened I think she was assaulted. The way he forced himself on her was wrong. After that I do think she is partly to blame but she still shouldn't be called a whore, her boss was playing tricks with her heart.
And as for Lavinia... oh my goodness... that was so sad. The poor girl. Not going to lie I totally cried. And of course they ended the season in a way so that Matthew will be grief stricken for most of the third season. I'm wondering if Julian Fellowes is going to wait till like the last episode of the series to have Mary and Matthew get together. That would be an awfully cruel thing to do! And as for Anna and Bates... finally! It's been like seven years!

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08-11-2011
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i just watched the whole 1st season.

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12-11-2011
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I just finished episodes 6-8 and it was quite dull to be honest.
Mr. Crawley's relationship with the housekeeper was so pointless imo and I knew they were going to kill off Lavinia the moment she stepped on-screen.

I'm getting really tired of Mary and Matthew (just put them together already), but I'm happy Sybil and the chauffeur finally got together. And I'm also happy for Mr. Bates and Anna finally got married.

All in all, this season was very lackluster compared to the first. And for some reason I now dislike Cora (she seems so dim-witted). I liked her better last season.

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12-11-2011
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i agree with you completely!! and i'd like to add that mr.bates was getting on my nerves couldn't wait til they resolved it i just had enough of him!!

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21-11-2011
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This is cute:



dailymail

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23-11-2011
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that's so odd! i didn't even recognize most of them. wish o'brien was there though

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23-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleShaker View Post
wish o'brien was there though
YES! In a sequin bolero or something.

Cute photo. I don't like the styling but cute photo, yes, and they all look beautiful.

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26-12-2011
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I just want to gush and gush about the Christmas special! It was everything the second season wasn't and it was absolutely perfect! LOVED everything! Loved that Thomas was back to his shenanigans , Edith going after her man , Daisy gaining a father figure , Violet and Rosamund's "feud" , Mary getting her spark back! Matthew/Mary and Robert/Cora back to being awesome! Such a wonderful Christmas treat!

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27-12-2011
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It was an excellent episode. I'm having withdrawal symptoms already

Despite Carlisle's hostile nature, I still think he's a fantastic character. His threat against Mary was somewhat malicious, but he was genuinely interested in her so I think it was justified. Moreover, he's a no-mess guy. He's ambitious, determined and a very organized kind of person, always being cautious and never being too trusting. Like he said "My job is to sell newspapers", he's a capitalistic pioneer of his time. Sure, he'd be equivalent to today's trashy celeb magazines, but he's no liar and kept his side of the bargain, so he was kinda treated unfairly.

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27-12-2011
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Also I think that the main reason why Mary and Carlisle could not last was not because Mary still loved Matthew (although that was part of it), but because they were too different. Mary is old money and Carlisle is new money, and Mary had not adjusted to that new kind of system yet. Like she said to him in a previous episode "Your lot buys, my lot inherits". They represent something more than just a silly love triangle, but something much more important: the conflict between old wealth and new wealth and the way that the economy was being reinvented with the emergence of new business industry, namely printing and communication.

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27-12-2011
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I've learned not to over examine Downton and to just sit back and enjoy it becasue honestly, you could sit and pull it apart for ages just to find the flaws. It was just nice to have two hours of Christmas Day that was just comfortable, fuzzy viewing. Although I did find myself thinking 'no! Not the dog!' at one point! Maggie Smith had some cracking one liners ('do you promise?'), I loved the servants ball, Nigel Havers was a nice edition and I'm glad to see Daisy resolved things with William's dad, it was very sweet. Even O'Brien went some way to redeeming herself a little.
They've set us up nicely with some threads for the next series. The return of Branson and Sybil (how will the servants cope with having one of their own upstairs?) not to mention the additon, Mary and Matthew, seemingly, the return of Robert Bathurst's character and the obvious Bates storyline.


Last edited by littlepaperstars; 27-12-2011 at 07:20 AM.
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27-12-2011
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^I don't think being critical impairs my ability to enjoy the show at all. I will shower with praise when it's good and I will criticise when it's bad.

Quote:
Also I think that the main reason why Mary and Carlisle could not last was not because Mary still loved Matthew (although that was part of it), but because they were too different. Mary is old money and Carlisle is new money, and Mary had not adjusted to that new kind of system yet. Like she said to him in a previous episode "Your lot buys, my lot inherits". They represent something more than just a silly love triangle, but something much more important: the conflict between old wealth and new wealth and the way that the economy was being reinvented with the emergence of new business industry, namely printing and communication.
I was very glad that they didn't make a total villain out of him in order to get rid of him again. I was really worried that they would make him Mrs. Bates' killer.

I'm not sure I agree actually because I feel like Mary is rather sensible/pragmatic in nature. So even though she's accustomed to certain things, she could adjust - if they made sense. But Carlisle complaining about the servants was actually not a modern concept, but rather belonging to the "old money" system. In fact, I feel that the biggest obstacle - aside from Matthew - is the difference in personalities. Mary appears aloof and slightly haughty but in reality she has a big heart. Carlisle appears ruthless - and he IS pretty ruthless. Because that's how he has amassed his fortune and runs his business.

I do feel that he wasn't treated fairly -- but on the other hand, he did blackmail Mary so there's a limitation to my sympathies. I did however, get the feeling that he might not expose Mary after all. Either that, or he will and it will be something for Matthew and Mary to overcome in S3.

I did find it interesting that he said he loved Mary. Because I didn't think so and I never saw the basis for it since they crashed so much in personalities. (And not in the playful way that M/M did in the beginning.) I think he thought himself in love so in a sense, I suppose there is truth to his statement about him loving Mary a lot more than she loved him. Because she didn't at all, nor did she delude herself into thinking she did.

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27-12-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by advo View Post
^I don't think being critical impairs my ability to enjoy the show at all. I will shower with praise when it's good and I will criticise when it's bad.



I was very glad that they didn't make a total villain out of him in order to get rid of him again. I was really worried that they would make him Mrs. Bates' killer.

I'm not sure I agree actually because I feel like Mary is rather sensible/pragmatic in nature. So even though she's accustomed to certain things, she could adjust - if they made sense. But Carlisle complaining about the servants was actually not a modern concept, but rather belonging to the "old money" system. In fact, I feel that the biggest obstacle - aside from Matthew - is the difference in personalities. Mary appears aloof and slightly haughty but in reality she has a big heart. Carlisle appears ruthless - and he IS pretty ruthless. Because that's how he has amassed his fortune and runs his business.

I do feel that he wasn't treated fairly -- but on the other hand, he did blackmail Mary so there's a limitation to my sympathies. I did however, get the feeling that he might not expose Mary after all. Either that, or he will and it will be something for Matthew and Mary to overcome in S3.

I did find it interesting that he said he loved Mary. Because I didn't think so and I never saw the basis for it since they crashed so much in personalities. (And not in the playful way that M/M did in the beginning.) I think he thought himself in love so in a sense, I suppose there is truth to his statement about him loving Mary a lot more than she loved him. Because she didn't at all, nor did she delude herself into thinking she did.
On the contrary. He didn't blackmail her, he struck a deal with her. When she originally presented her problem to him, he told her that she could pay him by giving him her hand in marriage and she agreed. It's her fault that she accepted without being sure and it's her fault that the deal collapsed. So the problem is she's thinking with her heart and he's thinking with his head. Naturally, I would feel more sorry for him.
But I agree totally about the feelings (or the lack of) they had for each other.

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27-12-2011
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So... I have a lot to say about the Christmas special... you have been warned!

While Tom and Sybil may not have been in the Christmas special they sure had an impact… they are going to have a BRANSON BABY!!! I can only imagine Tom reading the child little socialist manifesto’s as bedtime stories. And Sybil will be such a good mum, giving the child a bandaid and a kiss whenever it get’s hurt. So much cuteness! Anyways, cannot wait to see a baby Branson in the next season.

Secondly, I cried at two points in this episode. Pretty much the only times I’ve cried while watching Downton was when William and Daisy got married and then he died. And when Lavinia passed away. But this time around it was happy tears. I teared up when Daisy was able to finally forgive herself and see that she did love William in away. And when Mr. Mason offered to be her dad I just pretty much lost it. Daisy is a girl who has been taken for-granted so many times and it’s time that she get’s taken care of.

Also, I am majorly happy to see that much of the turmoil that Lady Mary has been feeling about Mr. Pamuk and the events which have been hidden from Lord Grantham and Matthew has come to light. And both men took the news better then expected. I was pretty much sure that they were never going to tell Robert or if they did he would’ve flown off the handle. But he didn’t, yeah he was pretty upset with Mary, but he didn’t disown her or anything. However, I do think Robert is a hypocrite, he told Mary that he'd be fine with her marrying a cowboy. Yet, he was pretty upset when Sybil married Branson all because he was a socialist chauffeur. Which I think is pretty sad. How he can be alright with one type of person but not another. But then again, I really am not fond of Robert since the whole maid situation. So, I wasn't expecting much from him.

And as for Matthew, he was upset too, but in the end he realized that he had no right to be. He loved Mary, and so what, she made a mistake, everyone makes mistakes. It’s foolish to let something from the past ruin the potential for the future. So glad that in last few moments of the episode Matthew got down on one knee and proposed to Mary! It was during this scene I cried for a second time during the episode. Literally two seasons have lead up to this moment. And it was in the snow. And it was so beautiful seeing Mary and Matthew look so happy. It was perfect.

Also, to be fair I suppose I have to mention Mr. Bates’ trial. I’m relieved with how things ended but I find his character tiresome. I feel like Julian Fellows focus’s perhaps a bit to much on Mr. Bates. But then again, I haven’t quite forgiven him for that awkward wedding night scene between Bates and Anna. Now the whole of the third season is going to be spent trying to get him out of prison.

And I want to see other things! I want Lady Edith to find a man. And to see the Branson’s baby (and to see that Tom and Sybil are happy). And a wedding between Matthew and Mary. And for Daisy to be happy. And for Thomas to either learn his lesson or become completely evil. And for more snappy-one-liners from Cousin Violet. Yep, these things better come true next season or else I’ll be pretty sad. But I suspect Julian Fellows is going to throw a few curveballs in the direction of our happiness….

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