Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I Love Downton Abbey

Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley

Oh let me count the ways.  "Downton Abbey" is like a treasure chest, precious jewels and gold,  An overflowing abundance of riches.  Which gem to I choose first?



Well folks, this is easy;  I LOVE "Downtown Abbey" because of Dame Maggie Smith. 

Watching an actress like Dame Maggie you forget she's acting.  There are very few actresses who can accomplish this feat so effortlessly and who are such joy to watch.  Bette Davis and Meryl Streep are two who come to my mind.  


Shirley's face says it all - as does Dame Maggie's - NO MATCH

Most actresses cannot come even close to Dame Maggie's excellence.  Recently the renown American actress Shirley MacLain made a much touted appearance on "Downtown Abbey" as a foil to match Dame Maggie's character, the Dowager Countess of Grantham.  Sorry Shirley, I love you babe but your stint opposite Dame Maggie just didn't work.  Poor Shirley looked like a drag queen dolled up in her vintage Twenties vintage costume.


Not working Shirley

Oh I was so hoping for a real match up with these two legendary actresses.  Regrettably it was not to be.  

Next week I will watch the next episode of "Downtown Abbey". 

  • Will Thomas put the make on Jimmy?
  • Can Jimmy be seduced?
  • Will Bates ever get cleared and get out of prison (and end this BORING storyline?)  
  • Will Lady Grantham let Lord Grantham in her bedroom again?  
  • Will Ethel reclaim her virtue and become a good cook for Lady Crawley's household? 
  • Will Lady Edith ever marry? 
  • Will Mrs. Hughes find if she has cancer? 
  • Will Mr. Carter ever have enough footmen? 
  • Will Branson make up his mind if he's a member of the aristocracy or an Irish Rebel
  • Will Daisy find true love?
  • Will Mrs. Patmore get a microwave?

Just a few questions inquiring minds want to know folks. That last question wasn't serious, just testing you to make sure you're a true follower of "Downton Abbey."


The Dowager Countess with her granddaughters Lady Mary, Lady Edity and Lady Sybil

I'll write more about "Downton Abbey" in future blog posts.  

Sure, I know this is just an overhyped costume drama but I'm telling you folks, I love a show with great acting, great casting, lavish sets, and - this is important - no graphic violence and sex.  Oh what a relief it is not to see some pretty boy (or pretty girl) holding a gun with both hands shooting at somebody which much of American made movies (and TV) pass off for entertainment these days.  

Memo to American producers, take a tip and watch Dame Maggie Smith.  This is true entertainment.  


Love you Dame Maggie









20 comments:

  1. There's nothing left to say. You've said it all and I agree with every word. My love for Downton and its appealing residents is immense.

    The only thing that really irks me are those greedy, thoughtless actors (and actresses) who are leaving the show in favor of brighter horizons. A pox on them!! There is no brighter horizon than the one on which Downton Abbey looms.

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    1. Jon,

      It depresses me that some of the actors are considering leaving. It also baffles me, what could they do that is more loved and better than "Downton Abbey"? I hope the reason isn't because they don't want to be to identified with this show, typecast as it were. All the characters on this show feel like family to me, even Thomas who I definitely don't like even with the tousled hair.

      Ron

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    1. Bob,

      I am transfixed on this show like no other in recent memory. Oh how I love "Downton Abbey".

      Ron

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  3. One of my acquaintances went to school with your heroine, who used to read to the class while they were sewing (I don't think Miss Margaret Smith was very good at sewing).
    I could answer your questions by sending you the review of the Christmas episode, but I will be nice and not do so. Apart from the last - I can confirm that the microwave was not purchased.

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    Replies
    1. Helen,

      You caught on to my little jest about the microwave. You know who would have been a good foil for the Dowager Countess instead of Shirley MacLain? Angela Lansbury! Could you just see the two of them squaring off?

      Ron

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    2. In my opinion, the only actor in a league with Dame Maggie is Dame Judi Dench!

      However, she could not have played the American role since she too is British!

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    3. David,
      I also thought of Dame Judith Densch. How about Angela Lansbury? She would be a match for Maggie. Also Meryl Streep. Kathy Bates also would have been good. I like Shirley MacLaine but she just didn't do it. Se came off like a famous American actress playing a part.

      Ron

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  4. I'm working from home today, which is why I can put a post up here mid-afternoon. (The office blocks most social networking.)

    I've learned not to call Mom and Dad on Sunday evenings. They'll tell me they want to hang up so they can watch Downton Abbey. If my own Mom and Dad will blow me off for a show it has to be good. Right? I'm afraid if I start watching this, I'll get sucked in, and I just don't have the time (said with a sad pouty face.)

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    1. Sean,

      You're missing a wonderful show. There is even a gay character (Thomas) in it. You can always rent the DVD's which I highly recommend.

      Ron

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  5. The show also works because the actors are unknown to us, except for Dame Maggie and Elizabeth McGovern. I hope Bates comes out of jail because it is dragging a bit too long. It is a soap opera but I love it. Downton Abbey" and "the taste" are two shows I look forward to watch on TV (or my laptop) every week.

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    Replies
    1. Nadege,

      I love the fact that most of the actors are unknown to me. I think that is one of the failings of American made productions, the same actors over and over again. I am tired of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. I never "got them" in the first place. Now Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling "I get".

      Ron

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  6. I hope you are recovering nicely!

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    Replies
    1. Yes I am Nadege. It was quite a shock to my system to have twelve biopsies taken without a local anesthetic. I will question my doctor about that when I see him for the results on February 15th. Thank you for your concern.

      Ron

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  7. My partner, Lea is a fan and I have watched it. Really well done and Dame Maggie is a great actress. I know her better from Harry Potter. I am a big fan of English drama and comedy. Young people of today seem more attracted to shallow American comedies and as you say weak stereotyped action.

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    1. Paul,

      I definitely am a fan of English comedy and drama. As you say, most of the American produced comedy is shallow and Ip find most of the American drama two dimensional and stereotyped and using the same actors over and over again. Also in American movies the "star" frequently doesn't want any of the supporting actors to have Stong roles because they might outshine them. And. To make the point again, the English have proved that a movie can be well made without all the car chases, violence and gratuitous sex that is so prevalent in many of the American made productions.

      Ron

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  8. i completely agree with you concerning the brilliance of maggie smith. she is a comic genius, and i constantly fall off the chair with laughter at what she says and how she says it. here is a great set of examples: http://youtu.be/bs5_E1J_9hY

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    1. Tony,

      I thoroughly enjoyed that compilation of the Dowager Countess's "moments". Thanks for sending the link.

      Ron

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  9. I enjoy it every time I catch it, so I'll wind up buying the first two seasons and having a Downton Abbey marathon one weekend, then when season 3 comes out, buy that, too!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,

      That's the way I caught up. I rented the first two seasons on DVD through my Netflix Account. The only downside is that you'd want to watch all the episodes at once. Set aside a chunk of time to watch them.

      Ron

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