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Thoughts on Downton

October 8th, 2012 (12:59 pm)

1. What happened the ENTAIL, pray?  The whole basis of this nonsense (don’t get me wrong I’m addicted to it like squirty cream) is that the nearest heir DIED and they had to drag middle-class Matthew to come on the scene because the estate was ENTAILED and could not pass to Mary and it would cost too much and probably be a waste of time to try and break the entail because Lord Grantham the last had been a canny lad who had tied the estate up very tightly.

SOOOOOOOO – that being said. How the buggeration is, as he gets a bit financially strapped, Lord Grantham that is able to suddenly say “oh well, never mind, I’ll have to sell the monstrosity and we can all go and live in this hovel, cough, sorry, enormous OTHER house I appear to have over here.”

Inquiring minds need to know, Mr Fellowes. *folds arms*

2. I absolutely refuse to believe that a family of such standing would—as Edith rightly said—accept a chauffeur into the family and yet turn away A LORD OF THE REALM WITH A FUCK OFF GIRT BIG HOUSE just because he’s got a game arm and he’s the same age and Lord G. It’s errant nonsense!  Another generation back and they would have probably arranged a marriage for Edith to someone of that age, regardless of infirmity. I CAN beleive that Sir Anthony Strallan might cry off, but it was pure shock value and LETS MAKE IT A SOAP OPERA – to do it in the church. Big Lawsuit for breach of promise. HUGE. Lord G wouldn’t have had to take Matthew’s money then (which oddly has gone from “noooo, i must not take this filthy lucre” to “my fortune.”)

3. What the bloody hell was the whole Bates thing about? I swear, Fellowes has got as much idea of PLOTTING as I have of quantum physics. “Hmm, now Bates is in prison, but he’s still on contract and we mustn’t forget about him because I’m obviously going to get him out again before they die of old age, so what can I do?” There follows an incomprehensible plotline involving mattresses and odd packages and being able to stick knives into walls without experienced screws noticing. Seemed to me that the entire thing was merely to set up the married couple reading their letters in bed. And squeeze me, why didn’t ANNA go and find something out rather than “he hasn’t written for weeks” and why has she given up her investigations?

4. As my good friend Henri says – (reverting back to Edith’s marriage) – it’s errant BILGE that the Dowager Lady Grantham would-say with heartfelt Edith Evansness-“And so Edith begins life as an Old Man’s Drudge.” because… hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! hahahahahha!!!!!!!!  What drudgery was she likely to be doing? Sitting on satin couches? scoffing cucumber sandwiches? She not likely to be washing his bedsheets and pushing him around in a bath chair is she? As i say above. nonsense.

5. Thomas. Now I love Thomas. Yes, probably because he’s a baddun and homosexual but really…. Both Carson and Lord Grantham know he’s an utter rotter and they’ve got PROOF that he’s been stealing from them, they’ve all but sacked him once—if it wasn’t for the war--and suddenly he’s the valet. It’s Mrs Crawley who has the evangelical zeal, not Lord Grantham. A valet would have access to money, jewellry, god knows what and they aren’t even bothered about it – and Grantham actually said last week “are you not liked downstairs?” which he KNOWS – sometimes I think that Fellowes doesn’t bother to keep notes.

Thoughts gratefully received, btw – in case you can explain any of these (particularly the Entail) or have a grumble of your own….


Posted by: iolo1234 (iolo1234)
Posted at: October 8th, 2012 04:19 pm (UTC)

Totally agree with you about Edith. As an historian I know there wouldn't be a problem with such a marriage. He was the right social class and, as far as I can remember, had no children and therefore would want a younger wife to get an heir. (Perhaps he has some older ones that I missed, but surely they'd be the ones who wouldn't want him to marry if he did)
Accepting an Irish, independence supporting, chauffer and not a member of the aristocracy is blatant nonsense.
As for the prison story that's too modern in its tone and yes you would expect Anna to at least enquire about contact.
I like Thomas too but totally agree that there is no way he would be allowed to be a valet with his record and the butler wouldn't let him loose. So now do we get the new footman accepting his advances or are we once again to see Thomas as bad guy getting his homosexual comeuppnace? I thought it was so sad that the soldier from the last series died (did he kill himself?) It gave Thomas some true humanity.
I get annoyed also that Lord Grantham has no idea about how his estate is run or doesn't keep in contact with the estate manager - who is the estate manager? Indeed what is the estate? Is it just the house or are there tied cottages? Is there any farm or woodland and how is that managed. My ancestors worked at Shugborough for the Earls of Lichfield so you would assume there was an estate of some sort but this gives us time for the new broom to sweep clean I suppose.
Lastly - nursery - hmm would she really be saying we don't need to think about that yet. One assumes they've had sex so then children tend to follow unless there's a problem, which no doubt there might be.
My thoughts anyawy!!

Posted by: Becky Black (becky_black)
Posted at: October 10th, 2012 09:15 am (UTC)

Yep, the stuff with the entail and selling Downton was totally confusing. I thought the point of entails was to protect estates from being sold to pay off debts. If they'd said they were going to have to move out to their tiny (huge) second home in the frozen north (near the border with Durham) and rent the place out for the income, that would have made sense.

And yes, Edith and Lord Strallen also makes no sense. They might just as people be a bit squicked by the age difference and have prejudices about his disability, and maybe hoped for something different for her. But it's still a good marriage by the standards of their world.

Aarrgh, the Bates in prison stuff is boring the ARSE off me! Gritty (hah!) prison drama is not what I watch Downton Abbey for. Get him out soon for crying out loud! For one thing then we have the drama of does he get his old job back and knock Thomas out of his position. And that's what I watch Downton Abbey for! Compare the storyline with Ethel, which works within the ethos of the show, as it illustrates the experience of many maids at the time.

I agree Lord Grantham especially seems to have amnesia about Thomas. I'm worried about the upcoming storyline with the new footman, who it looks like Thomas is going to be coming on to and who doesn't apparently like it. Hope we're not going to have a whole "predatory homosexual" storyline. Poor Thomas. He's just this massive bundle of frustration isn't he? Sexual and otherwise I mean, frustrated by the limits on his position in life. The only pleasure he has left is smoking and scheming. Though I smiled to see him say he'd had a good time in London when he'd been up there with Lord Grantham. I'll bet he lives for trips up to London. Bet he doesn't sleep the entire time he's there. :D

Is it just me or does Carson steal the show every week in some little way? I adore him. His dismay at Mrs Hughes's electric toaster was delightful. :D Mrs Hughes is fab too.

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