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Let’s have a Rewatch Party!

16 Aug

Today is ONE MONTH till the U.S. opening of the new Downton Abbey movie. Can you believe it’s already here?? If it weren’t for the real and actual movie trailer, I don’t think I’d believe it’s really happening.

So in honor of this Grand And Momentous Event, let’s get together for a virtual rewatch of the Greatest TV Show Ever Made.

There are six seasons. Each season has eight episodes plus a Christmas special — with the exception of season one which only had seven episodes — which brings us to a grand total of 52 episodes to rewatch in 28 days. Can we do this? YES, WE CAN.

On a deeply personal note, I have not rewatched any of Downton Abbey at any time since the PBS television broadcasts. Don’t judge me…I’ve just been saving it up for something special. LIKE A MOVIE OPENING.

Downton Abbey isn’t just great tv, it’s a game changer. You see yourself in it. You see your world in it. And like The Princess Bride, in spite of it’s “girly” wrapping, it speaks to everyone willing to watch it. So, I’m finally ready to dive back in and refresh my soul.

I’ve set up a group on Facebook for anyone who wants to rewatch in a community and share their (most polite, of course) thoughts. You are cordially invited to attend. And (shameless plug) feel free to peruse my previous blogging of each and every episode of Downton, plus my super fun vidcasts with Elizabeth Michelle at Picture Shows & Petticoats.

Sending out all my love and rewatching well wishes to our worldwide Downton Abbey Fan Family. See you soon!

(P.S. Don’t forget to GET YOUR TICKETS!)

One last hurrah

6 Mar

img_3965Downton Abbey’s not over…yet. Only hours to go until the U.S. broadcast of the final episode EVER, and I’ve been slaving away in the social media kitchen all day cooking up lovely treats to savor this series since there won’t be anymore ever. [sobs quietly into her delicately embroidered monogrammed hanky]

Things to know:

I’ve set up an event on my Facebook page, and YOU’RE INVITED!

Fun fan things have been posted on all my social media channels today — have you followed me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Please do! (I only accept requests on my Instagram account. I don’t allow solicitors or spam-bots to follow me there.)

After my final live-tweeting of Downton Abbey to ever happen on this earth [more sobbing], join Elizabeth and I for a farewell to Downton episode of Picture Shows & Petticoats. The Google Hangouts link will be provided on Twitter at the end of the broadcast tonight.

Fix loads of tea and scones, adjust that tiara, and I’ll see you very, very soon.

Your friend in the impending Downtonpocalypse,


‘Downton Abbey’ s6e8 – “All our ships are coming in to port”…the hard way

6 Mar

If you follow my live-tweeting of the series, you know I can be pretty flippant and knee-jerky about the characters and plotlines. That’s just how my big mouth and I feel in the moment. But if all we ever did was live-tweet these shows we’d be party to the tremendous tragedy of missing the bigger picture. There are deeper things at work within the storyline of every ‘Downton Abbey’ episode that my not-so-witty commentary frequently misses without a few re-watches.

On first viewing I was irritated by Edith and Mary’s tiresome issues. They always seem to climb out of their own personal immaturities over the years to grow as people. But not as sisters? I just have a hard time buying that. Let’s take a quick look back: Season 1 Mary was spoiled, arrogant, and a tyrannical bully…but through the series the world around her changed hard and fast and taught her to revisit her expectations…for the most part. Season 1 Edith was sweet, spoiled, and slightly idiotic (a different kind of princess than Mary)…and over time she’s grown and regressed repeatedly. Kind of like Mary. Okay, let’s face it — these two are basically Elsa and Anna. Continue reading

‘Downton Abbey’ s6e7 – Carson falls asleep at the table

21 Feb

Busy, busy, busy episode. It’s like they’re trying to cram an extra season into our last couple episodes. And so they should…

“I should feel sorry for Larry if I didn’t dislike him so much.” ~ Dowager Countess Violet Crawley

Since we last saw her, Granny has regained her color and youthful vigor, seen the light, and forgiven the masses for their iniquity toward her. What’s truly lovely is that she’s as sad for how she’s treated others as she is for her own public defeat. She even sets out to make amends for her actions. No wonder she looks better. First, she books a ticket for a Mediterranean cruise (as penance, you know). Then she pays a wee little visit to our new friend Cruikshank. Turns out she really is a vixen with an agenda. Who knew? And finally she leaves Lord Grantham a small parting gift as a means of apology. And ALL is forgiven. Continue reading

‘Downton Abbey’ s6e6 – Donk lives!

14 Feb

“Even Elizabeth Bennet wanted to see what Pemberley looked like inside.” ~ Isobel Crawley

This was a most progressive and unusual episode. We’re practically in the ’40s.

Lord Grantham is alive…and confined to the bedroom. All family gatherings (and some servant feedings) must now converge within this hallowed and tiny space. Mary and Tom have decided to raise money for the village hospital by charging admission for a special open house at Downton. Thankfully, Edith’s beau Bertie comes for dinner and gets them organized. Crikey. It takes a village to survive the day. Continue reading

‘Downton Abbey’ s6e5 – Lord Grantham can’t stop erupting at the dinner table

7 Feb

“You’ll find there’s never a dull moment in this house.”

Poor Lord Grantham. The ambulance has returned to Downton Abbey following a whopper of a dinner party. Will Cora ever get the blood out of her clothes? I’m glad she had time to change her gloves and that Lord Grantham got his gastrectomy (though Carson assures us that’s none of our business), but to tell the truth, I was far more worried about Granny at the end of this episode than her son. Her palor by the end of the episode was downright scary.

Granny’s worked herself up into a fever pitch about losing control over the village hospital, and this episode she adds firing Denker, blackmailing the Minister of Health, watching her own son’s guts nearly explode and spilling the beans about Marigold to her mounting blood pressure. With only a few short episodes to go, I don’t expect Granny to make it through this season. Her days are numbered. Continue reading

‘Downton Abbey’ s6e4 – Butler for a Day

31 Jan

“The cat’s away, m’lady.” ~ Bates

All Thomas’ dreams have finally come true…he’s finally been promoted to Butler! Just don’t remind him that it’s only until Mr. & Mrs. Carson return from honeymoon. It explains the twinkle in his eye, the spring in his step…and the knife he plants in Gwen’s back at the dinner table. How the family can eat with his sour face looking over them, I don’t know.

GWEN RETURNS TO DOWNTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m hardly excited about it at all. Continue reading

‘Downton Abbey’ s6e3 – Wedding crashers

24 Jan

All I know is, when you casually throw a wedding in mid-season, there’s gotta be somethin’ crazy amazing heading our way the rest of the season. Hold that thought.

The Dowager’s in the last throws of desperation to hold on to village hospital as is. Cup of tea for Granny. Freight train’s a-comin’.

I’ve been a little confused this season about why Dr. Clarkson would side with the Dowager when he has always been a forward thinking voice of reason throughout the entire series. Watching this episode — watching the look on Dr. Clarkson’s face when Isobel attacks him unfairly — all the sudden I remembered his proposal to (and rejection by) Isobel. Is it possible that he’s taken Granny’s side against Isobel because of Isobel’s relationship with Merton? When Isobel refused Clarkson, didn’t she say something along the lines of “I’m just not really interested in marrying again?” And now she’s said yes to a local peer…when she said no before to the “lowly” local doctor. Ouch. Dr. Clarkson is a great guy, but he’s still human. I just wonder if the two things are connected. Continue reading

‘Downton Abbey’ s6e2 – Goodbye, Drewes

17 Jan

Before we get to this week, I’d like to mention that I’ve updated my episode 1 recap with a couple of additional thoughts. Since PBS is broadcasting each episode six times this season (plus online streaming), repeat watching is positively inevitable. The glorious thing about repeat watching is that good stories are like onions…each time you peel a layer back, you find a lovely new one underneath. Not to mention that a few days in your life can completely change your outlook or how the story is able to impact your life. I always watch Downton Abbey at least twice before blogging…it allows the flavors of the story to marry a little better together before it’s ready to share. Like simmering marinara, repeat watching is a beautiful thing.

And now for this week’s recap…

Letters from America!! If you were still pouring your tea at the opening of this episode you may have missed the lightning fast mention of Tom’s business opening in Boston and Rose out on the town in New York City. I predict that Tom will strike it rich in the States so that Sybbie will return to England as the next Cora, and that Atticus Aldridge had better take a lot, a lot of vitamins to keep up with his wife. I have these recurring nightmares, I mean, visions of Rose unsupervised in the Big Apple among Americans while her husband is working at the office all day…spin off!! Continue reading

‘Downton Abbey’ s6e1 – Awkward Abbey

10 Jan

I can’t decide whether to be happy or sad. Blessed Downton Abbey has finally returned but this is our last premiere episode. Only a few more hours of this amazing series to look forward to before it ends forever…sniff. Chin up. Let’s get to it then.

It’s 1925. Headbands and downsizing are all the rage. The styles are marvelous, but as the neighbors sell up, the Crawleys do a little shaking in their boots at the future of their own estate. And Denker “never disappoints” when it comes to spreading the sunshine allll around. Bless Mr. Mason’s poor heart — he dreams of leaving his business to Daisy, who dreams of storming the streets of London. But Daisy takes the wrong page out of Miss Bunting’s book and drives a stake through the heart of any possibility of his dream coming true. How will Daisy find a way to fix it?

The little heirs help Mrs. Patmore in the kitchen, but can we really trust Thomas with them? Were you as nervous as I was when they (a little too eagerly) went off to play with him? Continue reading

Happy OETA Day

28 Apr

Today was OETA’s annual day at the state capitol, and I’m so pleased I was able to attend for the first time with Elizabeth.  The OETA staff was extremely welcoming and gracious.  If you’re not following them on both tv stations and social media, you’re missing out!  There were so many children who showed up to hang out with the OETA Kids characters, but there was plenty other fun for grown-up fans like us.  We love and support our local PBS!

oeta1-1 Continue reading

‘Picture Shows & Petticoats’ ep22 – The one where I am #TeamMary

22 Feb

Also known as ‘The one in which I can’t remember the name of An Ideal Husband.’  For shame.