to you, dowager countess. (spoiler-free!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ohhhhhh dowager countess.  how do i love thee???  let me count the ways!

(also: spoiler-free post!  and comment thread too--please!)

let's start at the beginning: steve and i have watched it all, straight up until the end of season three.  it was our second attempt because after one episode a few months ago i was all, "booooring."  luckily we gave it another try because i was wrong!  i admit it!  i fell hard for downton (downTON.  TON.  TON.  do you know there are still people out there calling it downTOWN!  lord grantham would never allow it!  we must make it stop!)

and so, we watched it all.

i have a lot of favorites.  favorite moments, favorite characters, favorite scenes.  let's talk about them, shall we?

anna is one of them.  oh, i love that anna.  she is salt of the earth, i tell you what.  and are her and bates not the sweetest couple on that side of the atlantic?  and sybil, oh sybil.  an english girl with a good dash of rebellion but not too much to make her obnoxious.  she's just the sweetest.  and the relationship between carson and mrs. hughes?  i can't decide if they're like a precious brother-sister duo or if they'll eventually fall in love.  but, i love them just the same.  and the way mr. carson talks about watching mary grow up?  that man.  he's such a stickler for keeping things the way they are and always have been but at the same time has this sensitive side that surprises you.  and the opening credits??  the song, the camera work through the house... i just sit back and think, "ahhh downton.  bring it," every time that familiar tune begins.  

i know, i know.  i'm talking about it all like it's real.  in my mind, it is.

but dowager countess!  she might just be my favorite.  she can make an episode.  her voice, the inflections, the tone, the facial expressions.  she nails it every time.  maggie smith, you genius you.

i can't say i have a favorite dowager countess moment.  every time she opens her mouth, i brace myself for another gem.   when sir richard carlisle says he's leaving and may not see her again and she says, "do you promise?"  TEN POINTS.  or when she turns to lord grantham to order a drink when he wasn't in the right attire, "oh!  i thought you were a waiter!" TEN POINTS.  they're all tens.

she's witty and quick and clever.  serious when she needs to be and has a surprising amount of liberalism in those bones for an elderly english woman.  

basically, she's perfect.

just watch it.  ok?  if you haven't, of course.  which, at this point, is probably very few of you.

{it's all here -- free and through the end of season 3!}

46 comments:

  1. We just watched the newest episode, and although I was glad for the whole, let's just sweep the Thomas situation under the rug, I was like YEAH. NEVER. To think that a whole family of lords and ladies in 1920's England would be all "he can't help it, let's just be nice and keep him here" Kind of bugged me. We've barely made strides in the last 20 years to actually believe that would have been the attitude. Wow, this convo got so serious. But the DOWAGER. YES x a million. That time she was all "What's a weekend?" LOL.

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  2. I love Downton too - I watched Season 1 & 2 marathon style but had to wait for the 3rd.

    I really love Sybil - she's sweet & smart with a little bit of fire in her. I always think of the moment she came out wearing that flowy pant outfit with the headband. Loved it!

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  3. @lauren, i agree. that whole situation was packaged up a bit too neatly for the time but i admit, i was glad carson didn't throw him out. that would've made me super sad (and that was one of the times i genuinely felt for thomas!).

    @jay, i remember that scene!

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  4. LOVE the Dowager Countess! A few weeks ago, I may or may not have told my husband that I actually want to BE her when I get old. The woman has more wit than all the other characters combined.

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  5. Thank you so much for the link!
    I'm one of the few that hear everyone praising this tv show, have wanted to watch it for a while now but have not started to.
    Now, I'm about to do it ;)
    xoxo, The Brazilian Way of Life
    www.camilagcarneiro.blogspot.com.br

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  6. you are totally right, the countess is the best, just seeing her facial expressions before she is even saying any word is so much fun...oh and the pretty details from the opening scene, till the beautiful costumes ( my husband always roles his eyes because I can`t stop saying "Oh wow look at this blouse", "I would like to make myself that dress", "oh these buttons"...over and over again)...greetings from Germany from another "Dauntaun" sucker (as we call it:),xxxnoni

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  7. My favorite Dowager moment is in the very beginning when Matthew is talking about how he will work as a lawyer during the week and manage the estate during the weekend, and she gives him the most questioning/offensive look and asks, "What. Is. The. Weeeeeeek end?" I kind of died right there.

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  8. Maggie Smith is an absolute genius...in everything she does. She plays that snarky character so darn well! I actually hung in with the series just for her, and agree it was worth it! Once you realize there's not going to be a ton of action or anything like that, it's easy to settle in and just enjoy. I'm just beginning Season 3 now. My favorite Dowager moment was in the first season when the Turkish guest keeled over and she said, "An English person would never die in someone else's home!" I died. Or when they had just put in the chandelier with electricity and she said she felt as if she was on stage lol

    She's the best, for sure!

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  9. I also love Downton. I bought the first two seasons and finished it in two weekends. I've loaned it to my sister, mom, and now sister-in-law (and we live in 4 different states!), and they also fell in love. I'm currently just watching on PBS, but I'm one episode behind. I have to find a 2 hour block to watch it!

    And I agree. The Dowager Countess is the best. Absolute best. Normally she is my favorite with her witty lines, but then she went an broke my heart in a single moment an episode back. No spoilers. :) I literally cheered when she won the golden globe!

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  10. I LOVE this show, but I'm still on the first season... Need to get on this!

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  11. Carson and Mrs. Hughes are already madly in love. They look out for each other and check in with each other to go over each problem they face. It's a mature love like what I picture my husband and I will be like when we are old and gray!

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  12. LOVE it. All of it. I love how the Dowager keeps talking about what to call Thomas. It's like her own running joke. I am going to insist that when I have grandchildren, they call me Dowager. Do you think my kids could start to call me Mu-Mah like the Crowley girls do?

    Oh and Carson and Mrs. Hughes. They ARE in love...sort of. It's like they are an old married couple, but they just skipped the whole beginning part and now they are just sort of comfortable in each other's presence.

    My only wish is that they would give Anna thicker eyebrows. Those over-plucked ones kind of take her out of the time period, no? But I adore her. And Mr. Bates...dreamy.

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  13. Oh and don't you want to run out and buy one of those cream colored dresses that they wore at the polo match? I am dying this season with all the clothing. Edith's are actually the best!

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  14. I just started watching...only two episodes in. I recently bought Netflix and my tv watching has become a problem. Toddler goes to bed and all goes to pot...grading, cleaning up from dinner, etc. However, as an AP Euro teacher this might have to be the perfect justification for "just one more" :)

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  15. PS. Have you read Cup of Jo's recent post on Binge TV watching? Might have fallen victim once or twice :)

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  16. I love the friendship between Mary and Carson. Remember when he was sick and Mary went to visit him? Or how Carson and Lord Grantham stood side by side watching Mary come down the stairs in her wedding dress? I love how much they love and respect each other.

    My husband is British, and I am American, and he loves when ever the Dowager makes fun of Americans. Her sitting in a swivel chair asking why her day always has to be ruined by an American was hilarious.

    I was the first in my group of friends to get hooked, and not all of my friends - and their parents watch it. I am sad that Season 3 ends so soon!

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  17. She's my favorite.

    I'm so over Mr. Bates, but I do love Anna.

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  18. The dowager countess is my favorite character as well! Every.single.word out of her mouth is spot on!

    Love it!

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  19. Yes!! The Dowager Countess is my favorite character. She reminds me of my favorite Steel Magnolias quote: "If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!" :D

    I'm so curious how they will handle season four...

    <3 jen @ librarian tells all

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  20. Love the whole show, but especially the Dowager! Such an amazing actress. When something very sad happened in season 3, (no spoilers!) and she turned to walk across the foyer... I could just feel her sorrow in her shoulders, and then she straightened and kept going! She can act with her back turned. Genius.

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  21. It's the best thing on TV. My husband, my oldest son and I all watch it together and are so enthralled. Maggie Smith being the best part of the show of course. I did feel they drug out the Bates storyline too long this season though. My favorite Dowager line other than the previously mentioned "What is a weekend?" would be when she said something to Isobel and Isobel said "I take that as a compliment" the Dowager said "Oh, I must've said it wrong." Fabulous. I love Anna too, salt of the earth is exactly right, and given the events of this season I feel they need to bring more of those people in because the nasties are starting to outnumber.

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  22. guess when living with mr johnson first posted that people should be watching downton? 1.24.11. aka almost 2 years ago. glad you got on board.

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  23. you've probably already seen this photo: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/downton-abbey-cast-takes-nyc-article-1.1217965

    But it's great clarification those pronouncing it wrong - c'mon people!

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  24. maggie smith is my spirit animal.

    amanda
    http://thingstoholdandstir.blogspot.com/

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  25. My husband and I loved watching this show and we cannot wait till the next season.

    xx
    Bonnie Rose
    The Compass Rose

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  26. As I read everything you said I kept thinking "YES!" "Exactly!" "I totally agree!" I'm addicted to Downton. :)

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  27. @ahn, you must've gone into the living w/ mr johnson archives to find that information out so while you're at it why don't you MAKE IT PUBLIC AGAIN.

    @kacia hosmer, i saw that!! love it.

    @amy, i love that your son watches it with you. steve and i have thought that too... lindsey will love it (eventually)... and there's so little that's actually inappropriate in it. refreshing! and her weekEND line was the best.

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  28. Yes! The moment she began to order a drink from lord grantham was my favorite! Her expression and the wy she said it were beyond perfect! I loooove me some Downton.

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  29. Downton Downton Downton Downton ton ton ton... preach!!!!!

    Sybil... by far my favorite.

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  30. i so agree. everything that comes out of her mouth makes me laugh. SO MANY GOOD ONE LINERS. what is a weekend? after sitting in a swivel chair: must every day be a fight with an american??

    i have a very hard time deciding who is my favorite. i pity edith, and that she's the underdog makes me want to cheer for her, but come on, girl! sir anthony stranton?? this editor guy?? you can do better.

    sybil: adorable. i so love that she fell in love with tom (who is SO GOOD LOOKING can we just admit?) even against robert's expressed wishes.

    and this whole deal with jimmy/ james and thomas, and thomas's comment that there were very few people in his life who were kind to him made his character so much more human. i pitied him, but my heart went out to him at the same time.

    matthew crawley only sees the best in mary, which is admirable and makes him even sexier. and he makes her real, too, and calls her out on her nastiness. he tries so hard to be honorable and i love it.

    carson + mrs hughes + mrs patmore are all sassy in their own regard, and so endearing.

    even o'brien and her advocating for albert makes her more likable than i want to admit.

    i hate the drama with the new housemaids always (ethel, yes, but also jane and this new one edna), but love that there are so many chances for interaction between the staff and the family. it makes them all more believable, and gives the crawleys a chance to treat their servants as humans and not just servants, you know?

    all of this is to say, if i had to pick, i might pick cousin isobel. she's so earnest, full of grace and persistence and is so far from what i think i would be were i in her shoes- a bitter, cynical woman with a tremendous amount of mistrust of the crawley family. and in mythical tv-land she birthed the most attractive man ever.

    yes. i talk about it like it's real, too. i SO WANT IT TO BE.

    i just wrote a book in this comment. and i'm not sorry. :)

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  31. @kkp I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING YOU JUST SAID. SERIOUSLY. and i'm glad you brought up isobel. in the first season i LOVED her. second season she was a bit irksome, but third season, i've come to love her again. she doesn't have a bad bone in her body and is always the helper... albeit her ways may be a bit contrary to the downton family, she's the best... (and yes yes yes on the thomas front. when he said that, i wanted to crawl through the screen and hug him.)

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  32. Totally following you now sweet thing!! Happy Vday, love your blog!!
    xoxo

    www.McKennaBleu.blogspot.com

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  33. I had to give it a second shot, too and now I'm glad I did! Although it means I don't get very much sleep since I'm watching episodes on the iPad in the dark after babies and husband are asleep! Violet is my favorite also, and I think the previews for the next episode are always delicious and one of the most addictive parts lol! I'm about halfway through season 3 and I don't know what I'll when it's over! Wah!

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  34. Bridget, my son is so genuinely broken hearted over the end of season 3. The day after we watched it he came home from school to tell me no fictional event like that had ever affected him so much, not even Harry Potter - which he lives and breathes. And he was like, Mom I have to have a Downton shirt. Man I love that kid, so I ordered him one. :) And yeah, we just fast forwarded through that unfortunate swallow comment in season one and the Pamuk/Mary scene. Most everything else has been smooth sailing.

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  35. @amy, ok, he sounds like the sweetest boy ever. and yes, i've thought -- the mary/pamuk stuff is about all i'd need to skip over if the kids were watching!! i hope he likes his shirt :)

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  36. MAGGIE SMITH FOREVER I LOVE HER!

    "Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!"

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  37. I love her and Downton! I found your blog through the $1,500 gift card giveaway (I would use the money towards a new MacBook) and I am so glad I did, I love it and I am now following you! Happy Valentine's Day!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  38. nooooooooo!! Where's the Bachelor posts? I feel so left out not watching Downtown Abby and Walking dead...

    NeNe Monster
    nicole :)

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  39. you stated this right from my brain..I felt the same way unitl I started watching season 3... now I am hooked and compose all of my emails in Lady Granger's voice...

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  40. I could NOT AGREE MORE!!! I watched season 1 and then season2 was not on demand so I watched season 3.. the Dowager!! she is so wise!!

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  41. I totally agree with everyone who said the Thomas situation was a little liberal... I did feel so bad for Thomas and the one point of validity was when His Lordship pointed out that he had been hit on at Eaton.. but to go to bat for him like he did.. seemed a little far fetched.. my second favorite character? His Lordship's dog...

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  42. The Dowager Countess is my spirit animal. Seriously LOVE the show!!

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  43. @vanessa, hahahaha, spirit animal. i love that.

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  44. uggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!No Downton Abbey!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

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  45. The season finale was a bad dream right?????

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  46. Thanks for watching Downton Abbey on Simply June! I just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award! check it out at: http://www.simplyjune.org/2013/03/versatile-blogger-award-yeah.html

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