This isn't my ordinary Downton Decor Post. I've hesitated to go here, but I must. I never hold anything back when it's on my nerves, so here's my take on what I was left with after Episode 7 the other night.
|The Boys are back in town...Lord Merton's boys that is.|
So, I'm basically starting with a Rant. K?
Let me start by saying, I'm as big of a Downton fan as Downton fans come. But I'm at a loss for so many plot points that have been going on that I'm starting to feel as though it should be the final season next year. Unless they bring in some fresh writers, this Abbey is going down like the Titanic. (Hey, the Titanic was mentioned in the first Episode...are they trying to bring all things full circle)?
|What you talkin' bout....Marigold in the Downton Nursery?|
So, like, in my opinion they've been building the Edith character arc for quite some time...setting her up as a woman who can make it on her own if she could just take those first initial steps to follow her publishing career, follow a life where she is a strong, idependent woman in her own right, not being defined by the man she is married to. So, I felt that this was Edith's big chance to get out from under Mary, Downton's trappings and who THEY think Edith is...and for her to become who she wants to be...in Chicago or Detroit... right? Darn it, Fellowes, why didn't you give us a Mary Tyler Moore spin-off of Edith Takes Cinncinnati or something? She is after all, "Half American".
And, seriously? Do all of the Ladies' Maids and Valet's have criminal pasts? How accurate is this for one house to have convicted criminals (or suspected criminals, I'll give you that) in such a trusted position in this sort of house? Come on!? Downton Producers PAIN THEMSELVES, seriously, go to great lengths to make so many of the details in the set, props, costumes, dialogue points..they go to extremes to make sure that things are historically accurate. So it is really bothering me that they aren't more careful with the plot writing. They now have Mr. Bates...who has gone to prison (accused of the First Mrs. Bates murder, and exhonorated), Ms. Baxter, convict (served time for jewelry theft from previous employer Lady La Dee Dah), and now....they are building the arc in this Mr. Green Shizz to have all fingers point to .....Anna. The Lady's Maid. Something tells me that this isn't really an accurate dipiction of the lives of the staff that would serve in these positions. One time use of a criminal probe was acceptable and made for excellent, suspensful viewing. However, the THIRD TIME is not the charm, Mr. Fellowes. Who is writing this? It's like they never sat down and worked out character arcs or something. Are they making this up as they go? Because I learned in Creative Writing 101 my freshman year, that the further you outline a character and their major life points the better consistancy you will have overall. No one's expecting a Tolkien Sub-Dictionary of who Daisy's grandparent's were or what Coras' second cousins did during the crash in NYC or anything (although, it's actually not a bad idea)...but my point is... this is Downton. Not General Hospital. Because of the quality of writing and production from previous seasons, I expect more and am quite disappointed. Don't make me have to come up with an alternate Downtonverse, Masterpiece....please don't. But I will if you keep pushing me. Because I've come to adore most of these "Absolutely Crackers" characters (loved that Lord Grantham line, btw) and what they bring to my Sunday evenings. And I'd like to think that Downton as a whole, has elevated TV to a higher level. Please let it keep climbing and end on a high note...don't dummy it down for the masses, which is what I felt like they were doing by phoning in some of these pedestrian plot curly-ques, thank you very much. I don't like yelling at the TV during my Downton time. Dear writers, please start with the common sense again, pretty please?
Ok, now that that is out of the way, I'll say that I loved:
The Daisy, Mr. Mason, Molesly and Baxter scene in this episode.
That Violet is finally letting her guard down, the ice queen has thawed and turns to Mary, actually, to express how she feels about Isobel's big news. That she has loved having a companion, a friend and that this is a blow to her because she will be lonely. She really hands it to Mary, too...who is taking over the resident postion of sharp tongued, ice queen now. Beware the frozen heart, Mary.
Rose and Atticus...lovely. Hopefully they'll get in a few good years before the whole Jewish WWII thing kicks into gear. This would also make for a fabulous Downton Spin-off: I'm calling in right now. Atticus and Rose, pre-WWII, their children during the War years in London or New York.
|One of these facial expressions is doing it's own thing...they're not ALL "Everything's coming up Rose's".|
Is Mary going to be a cranky, old spinster? Her attitude has been incredibly harsh to just about everyone. She's on that high horse that Matthew seemed to tame. And what was all of the hullaballoo regarding Mr. Blake if he was to exist stage right along with Tony? Could Mr. Blake have been trying to save his friend from a life of never measuring up with Mary? Could we have mistaken Mr. Blake's affections for Mary all along? Could he have just been trying to set Mabel and Tony up and leave Mary flat since she has shown herself to be incredibly spoiled, selfish and frankly, cruel in regards especially to her only sister? Who knows what all of this was all about? Maybe that Mary still hasn't found a man that brings out her good qualities, that's for sure.
And... was it because the name Isis isn't politically correct these days? They felt like they had to do-away with another member of the Crawley clan? Sad to see Isis go. This is most likely supposed to symbolize the passing of time, the changing of the guard, the level of change that is happening in Robert's world.
As usual, I've spotted some decor and costume stand outs in this installment.
|I'm glad they found someone who looks like an actual Windsor family member to fill the role of Atticus. It makes it all that much better to love the Rose and Atticus storyline, doesn't it?!?|
Rose Blush colors are all the rage, now & then!
I've loved this season's costumes. So many of both Rose's and Edith's dresses have been in the Marsala, Copper, Mauve and Blush category. Rose's stunning blush colors are so soft and feminine.
No surprise there.
If you're inspired by this blush rush, go ahead and translate it to your decor..pink isn't just for 5 year old girls anymore.
THE LITTLE ONES OF DOWNTON
Man, am I in love with the little ones of Downton. George, Sybbie and little Marigold are such Campbell's Soup kids. Quintessential children of the era.
There is a wonderful little Clip that Masterpiece has made sharing the behind the scenes details of these little thespians. Downton Abbey 5: Children on the Set.
Last week I talked about Steiff Bears and a sincere "Thank You" to the thoughtful reader who reached out to me regarding my love of Steiff Vintage Jointed Collections.
And one of my favorite American Painters captured this moment in time with children, as well.
Jessie Wilcox Smith, an artist known for her roll in what is referred to as the Golden Age of American Illustration, contributed to many publications of the day.
She was a serious artist as well, from the Pennsylvania Area and what is called the Brandywine School of artists and The Redwine Girls. I used to live in Philadelphia and that is where I first saw her work. She has been compared to the likes of Rockwell, Parrish and N.C. Wyeth. However, her name isn't the household name of the other illustrators of that era, despite her work being equally as charming and on par with the other influential artists in this style.
One of her paintings, perhaps one of her loveliest yet, was discovered in a recent Antiques Roadshow! It was seriously one of the most amazing finds I've ever seen on that show. I literally cried at the discovery of this treasure.
It highlights her specific painting technique over charcoal sketch.
It highlights her specific painting technique over charcoal sketch.
If you're into this, you have to see this video. And doesn't it look like a painting of little Marigold
Gregson, I mean Marigold Drewe, er...Marigold Crawley, or whatever they're going to call her? Maybe Mary Gold?
One more sidenote:
It looks as though Tom may be going to America (Queue the Neil Diamond "Going to America" clip). I'm thinking that he may go ahead on his own, and leave little Sybbie there at Downton until he "establishes" himself sutiably, where upon he will "send" for her. Because somthing tells me, that after Robert has lost Isis, his Grandaddy "Donk" fragile heart will not be able to bare having little Sybbie (who he seems quite attached to) leave on the boat. What do you think? (also, could this be another Downton Spin-Off? Sybil Branson coming of age in WWII? Just a thought ;)
*all photos Masterpiece Classic/Downton Abbey/ PBS