shipperx: (OUAT Regina)
Saw photos for the first new episode of Downton Abbey pop up yesterday.  Last season was somewhat underwhelming but I'm still hanging in there.

Over the hiatus I had forgotten some of the things which annoyed me, but seeing the pics I remembered my number 1 annoyance - Mary's bevy of identical suitors!  That annoyed me on so many levels.  One, because I could barely tell her suitors apart.  Two, because while I was fine with Matthew falling for her, I see no reason that almost every damn man that walks through DA falls ass over tea kettle for her.  Sure, she's attractive and wealthy... but she's also ice cold, selfish, and snotty.

Seeing the pictures just forcefully reminded me again that I am 100% TEAM EDITH!

I know it's stupid to wish for Edith to NOT get shit on for a season, and to have someone actually attractive fall for her for a change.  But... sigh... I still would like something nice for her.

And for Branson, who also deserves a half-decent love interest  (and, no, rude teacher gal doesn't count).

So... yeah...

Basically, I only continue to watch the show in the vain hope of Edith and Branson being treated fairly by the show and finding someone to love them.  Not that it's likely to put a dent in Mary's merry-go-round of boring identical suitors taking the lions share of the show.  (Well, air time not sucked up by Bates being an annoying martyr).

__________________________________________________

ETA:
And apparently George Clooney is going to do some sort of thing on DA as a wedding guest (betcha it'll be "Cousin Rose"'s wedding as that actress is leaving the show)

From TVGuide: George Clooney is set to appear in a special one-off charity episode of Downton Abbey, ITVannounced Thursday.

Clooney, 53, will star in a sketch as an American guest at a wedding held on the Crawley estate, but further details about his role have not been released.

Clooney and Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville co-starred in Monuments Men, which Clooney also co-wrote and directed, earlier this year.

Season 5 of Downton Abbey premieres Sept. 21 in the U.K., and Jan. 4 in the United States.

shipperx: (OUAT Regina)
So, that was the season finale?  Was that the Christmas episode or is that coming?  At any rate, for the season as a whole:

*  I am more than sick to death of Mary and her 'desire of suitors'.  Yes, she is beautiful, but she's also a self-important, ice-cold, bratty SNOB.  Seriously, I HATE the way she behaves to Edith.  Yeah, yeah, Parmuk, whatever.  That was ten freaking years ago.  Get over it.  Plus, why do all these men fall over themselves even after Mary makes clear that she's all about name and money.  What?  Blake is wealthy and soon to be titled?  SOLD!  Seriously, I don't get what is supposed to be so incredible about ice-cold Mary that ALL the men trip all over her.  Pretty?  Yes, she is.  But... honestly, when that's the very best thing that can be said of her.  Even Matthew, when pressed to come up with her best qualities resorted to saying that he'd seen her naked.

*  Poor Edith.  It's always "poor Edith".  Why does the writer hate her so much?   I wish her some wayto be with her baby.And I wish she could get ONE nice man -- who isn't married, an imposter, or spineless -- to court her. She deserves a good looking love interest more than Mary deserves three at once!

*  Speaking of "deserves better",  Tom deserves a better storyline.  And more airtime. And a much, much better love interest.  This chick in the last few episodes is annoying and totally condescending.  She's been judging him since she met him.  I did love the Dowager Countess telling him that the Crawleys are his family now, though.  I'm not sure how entirely true that is.  But I think it's at least a tiny bit true with all of them (and more so with some than others).  It amuses me that with as staid as the show is, Tom is 'hot' via just pulling off his coat and trying to fix his car.  He STILL deserves a better love interest though.  Seriously!

* Totally over Bates.  Frankly, if he kicked it at this point, I'd be all "yay!" His wife could do better. Anna deserves better too.

* Did enjoy Moseley & Baxter.  I like her and I like how her respect for him makes him better.  They can proceed with that pairing with my approval.

*  I've grown to appreciate Rose.  At least she is sparkly and happy when the Crawleys can be so morose.  I also liked her friend Madeleine.  Could Rose invite her back to the Abbey so that Madeleine could meet Tom?

*  I liked Isobel's growing romance with Lord what's-his-name.  If they want a triangle, Doctor/Isabel/Lord What's-his-name would be more enjoyable than Mary's pack of slavering look alikes who ignore the fact that she's more pretty on the outside than the inside.

* *Sigh*  Thomas's storyline just circled going no where and they basically discounted all of his character growth last season.  I had kind of wanted a denouement where he discovered the secret that Anna kept, and then kept it to himself because he didn't want to add to her harm, showing that he does have a heart under there somewhere.  It's okay for him to not be a white-hat.  But they had made some effort at expanding him into sort of a middle territory, and then they just reverted him to mean busy-body this year.  I'd rather he be gray and nuanced... but that would require better writing.

* The letter and the Prince of Wales story was stupid.  We DO know that he eventually abdicates over scandal.  Why exactly should we care about different one?

* I hate Shirley McClain's character. We get it.  The head writer thinks Americans are crass, loud, pushy and/or dimwitted.  WE GET IT.  But Shirley McClain's character is just grating.  I honestly don't know how SHE is supposed be Cora's mother.  (And really, if she's hanging in Newport, she's hanging with the Vanderbilts and the Astors, who were every bit as much rule-bound snobs as the Brits.  They really could tone down the 'Americans are borish" undertone that keeps happening (Cora seems to be the exception, as being made a Countess apparently ammeliorates her crass American-ess.  Though she is rather stupid most of the time so...)  Didn't mind Harold's story with Madeleine nearly as much.

* Still love Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes.


At this point, I really just want Edith to find some happiness and Tom to have a half-decent love interest (and I don't expect to have either wish granted) and both of them added together to have even half the airtime of Mary's merry-go-round of a passel of near-identical suitors.
shipperx: (Farscape - Aeryn D'Argo Bored)
Does it seem like winter has been going on forever?

While the South can definitely get cold, usually you can depend on it being very temporary and quickly turning back to moderate temperatures. This winters's cold seems ongoing. Between the gray and the cold, I'm beginning to feel very cooped up. The dog doesn't even like to walk when it's gray and cold. She starts dragging me back towards the house once we reach the end of the block.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Briefly went shopping on Saturday. Despite the cold, I thought it might be a good time to coat shop, as this time of year is when they go on sale. I was looking at a fitted insulated North Face jacket and seriously considered buying, but looking at the website, the complaint about it was that it wasn't as warm as you would think. I have enough light jackets and was looking for a warm one, so I'm not sure I'm willing to pay for one that looks good but isn't considered to be particularly warm.

I also bought yet another pair of Sketcher 'Go Walks'. I already own two pair, but I wear those walking shoes to death. The blue ones are practically mesh, open air, and summer weight, so I'm not wearing those these days (and I had already done a LOT of wear on them). I have black ones that I'm wearing these days. I've also worn those to death over the winter. They are beginning to suffer from the wear, so when I saw that 'Go Walks' were on sale the other day I bought some gray ones. They're just walking shoes, but they are truly the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned... which is why I now have three pairs (though of different summer/winter weights).

* * * * * * *

Most constructive thing I did this weekend was make chili. With the cold and the gray, it seemed apropos for the weather. Turned out pretty good.

* * * * * * *
Nothing has been on TV.

Well, Downton was on TV. Okay episode but nothing earth shattering. Don't care how Anna's story has turned into her husband's story. Did enjoy Branson mentioning his discomfort in how he's gone from 'uppity chauffeur' and socialist to something not too far removed from the Grantham's pet (he didn't phrase it like that. I did. But... yeah) And I liked Lord Grantham's petulant announcement that he didn't want Branson to go and his dreams of Branson's daughter growing up as the almost-sister of Lady Mary's son. Lord Grantham may be a twat and an idiot with finances, but he isn't all bad. :)

Other than Downton, TV is pretty thin right now (Once Upon a Time, I want you back from hiatus. And GOT, start airing already!)

Finally got around to seeing Iron Man 3. Liked it better than Iron Man 2, which I found to be boring and a complete waste of time. Iron Man 3 was enjoyable. RDJ looked good and was quite funny. And I liked the switcheroo with Pepper Potts (which was totally obvious, but I liked it anyway), so all in all not bad... for a superhero movie (of which I'm not the worlds biggest fan).

* * * * * * *


Other than that, I'm still in the fluff book territory. I seem to have swum to the edge of the angst pool, as the last two weren't particularly angsty(and I'm A-okay with that.)

[livejournal.com profile] shadowkat67 mentioned having Zoe Archer's Sweet Revenge on her to-read list and the kindle blurb for it interested me. I've read about 70%+/- of it now.

It's a Victorian era story about an escaped convict seeking revenge on the titled Lord who murdered his sister. The convict runs into a group of covert 'agents' for Nemesis, a Robin Hood-esque organization seeking justice for those who can't get justice in a rigged class system that favors the titled and the wealthy. Like Jack (the hero), Nemesis is also after the titled Lord. And there is a particular female Nemesis agent that Jack finds incredibly attractive.

While packaged as a romance novel, it really isn't all that romance novel-y. It's more of an action adventure caper with a romantic subplot. Sort of "Leverage" meets "Ripper Street" (with perhaps a tiny pinch of "Inglorious Basterds"), and should probably be approached with that attitude because it's rather implausbile that in the Dickens era a Whitechapel street thug/convict such as Jack would turn out to be as...well... as nice as Jack turns out to be. Probably not as literate either. They don't play him as educated or anything, but an orphaned guttersnipe son of a prostitute from Whitechapel during the age of Ripper would most likely be unable to read. Jack can. And he's canny too. His 'roughness' seems primarily to be his boxing and his vulgar language. Everything else about him is surprisingly civilized. At any rate, the hero (who is the primary POV character) is quite likable. Though they go overboard mentioning how HUGE he is. It's like he's The Hulk or something.

The primary weakness in the novel (to me at any rate) has been a failure to explain (at least to the point that I've read) some unelaborated aspects of the heroine. Like I said, the primary POV is Jack, and Jack finds Nemesis agent Eva to be mysterious (and with her cultured speech and clothing, exotic for the likes of him), meaning that he and the reader aren't always privy to everything that makes Eva tick. (Although it strikes me on thought as a bit of a gender reversal in that Eva is written in a way that heroes are sometimes written.  In traditional formats, heroes are often elusive in the heroine's POV.  This sort of flips that equation). For instance, what turned Eva, the daughter of missionaries, into such a sexually liberated Victorian? I got the explanation for how she went from frustrated missionary into the Robin Hood-esque aspects of Nemesis, but she is anachronistically liberated where sex is concerned (which, there are worse flaws for a story to have, so it's not much of a complaint. More of a curiosity.) At any rate, Eva is likable, smart, and kicks ass (and is anachronistically modern.)

Because of the missing bits of Eva's psychology (at least to the point where I've read, it hasn't yet been explained) I don't quite grasp her romantic obstacle with Jack. They seem perfect as Nemesis spy-partners with benefits. Plus, Jack seems a made to order Nemesis recruit. AND (though it's still unsaid) it's pretty clear that they both fell ass over teakettle for one another... so why can't they just stay together once the 'mission' is done? (It's a romance novel, so I assume that in the end they will, but Eva in particular behaves as though there's no possibility for that to happen, and I'm still unclear as to WHY she continues to think so.)

At any rate, it's action-filled and caperesque. Likable leads. Fun, not too angsty, and explicit.

* * * * * * *

I also read Sherry Thomas' "His at Night". Like the reviewer at Smart Bitches I had a thing for the Scarlet Pimpernel when I was growing up.  (They seek him here.  They seek him there.  Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.  Is he in heaven or is he in hell, that demmed elusive Pimpernel...)  So, yeah, I'm a prime audience for a rif on this sort of story motif.   In this case it's the very late Victorian era (in fact it seemed like the late 1890s.  I never look at the dates, but it felt like it was pushing 1900), so no French Revolution.  Just an 'agent for the crown' who seemed to be covertly Sherlock Holmes while pretending to be... well, they talk about him as having suffered a brain injury in a fall from a horse (which was his cover story for having become 'less' than when he was a teen) but honestly, his covert identity seemed rather Big Bang Theory Sheldon Cooper-like.  He's on a case and in his Sheldon-like identity when he runs into the heroine.

The heroine is trapped in an abusive household.  Her uncle, the villain the hero is investigating, is coldly menacing.  And, while the heroine wants to escape, and even ran away once, she's unwilling to leave her Aunt, a laudenum addict, behind in her uncle's clutches, so she's trying to formulate a plan when the hero falls into her lap.  She decides that if she can somehow trap/force him  into marrying her, that not only can she escape from her uncle but she can get her aunt out as well.  Of course the 'addled' hero she wants to manipulate isn't really addled, so it becomes a duel of scheming...such that the heroine  catches onto the fact that the hero is not what he pretends to be.

Less angsty than some of Thomas' work (not totally without angst, but not overly burdened).  Fun hero and heroine.  (Though the hero is mystifyingly self-destructive a couple of times) but overall enjoyable.
shipperx: (GOT: Dany)
TVGuide has info on Season 2 Downton Abbey.  They're borrowing Daenerys' Bear of Mormont, ya'll!



spoilers behind the cut )
shipperx: (GOT: Dany)
TVGuide has info on Season 2 Downton Abbey.  They're borrowing Daenerys' Bear of Mormont, ya'll!



spoilers behind the cut )
shipperx: (GOT: Dany)
TVGuide has info on Season 2 Downton Abbey.  They're borrowing Daenerys' Bear of Mormont, ya'll!



spoilers behind the cut )

Stuff

Jan. 27th, 2011 10:36 am
shipperx: (TVD: Damon)
http://www.tvguide.com/News/Hunger-Games-Movie-1028419.aspx

The Hunger Games, the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' futuristic young adult thriller, will hit theaters March 23, 2012, Lionsgate announced.

The book trilogy follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world called Panem. Everdeen participates in an annual event where 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors — literally — with all citizens required to watch.

No casting announcements have been made, but Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) has signed on to direct.


http://www.tvguide.com/News/Matts-Weekend-Picks-1028412.aspx

Downton Abbey (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS)
This delightful and utterly absorbing Masterpiece Classic miniseries about the intrigues among a family and the staff of a grand English country estate reaches its conclusion far too soon. If the ending seems a bit abrupt, as the start of WWI heralds change for all the characters, not to worry. A second season is in the works for next year. In the meantime, savor the sophisticated blend of humor, tragedy, romance and unabashed sentiment for a long-ago era. And all those splendid performances, including Elizabeth McGovern as the American mistress of the manor and the hilarious Maggie Smith as her imperious mother-in-law. No one does this sort of thing better than Masterpiece.


http://www.tvguide.com/News/Vampire-Diaries-Somerhalder-1028317.aspx

Although The Vampire Diaries' Damon Salvatore gets his share, both viewers and Ian Somerhalder are hoping to see him get some action with Elena.

"I just want to make out with her eventually," Somerhalder jokes. "The love Damon has for Katherine and Elena has gotten him into exorbitant amounts of trouble and I think he's probably thinking ... 'I've kind of learned my lesson, I'm going to build a bit of a wall. '" {...} it's undeniable that Damon has made quite the transformation throughout the series, and has developed, shall we say, feelings.

The softer side is Somerhalder's biggest challenge.

"It's tough because there has to be truth and there's a lot of real pain buried in that humor," he says. "The maniacal killer in him is starting to wane by virtue of the fact all the stakes have been raised because he cares about people now."

Stuff

Jan. 27th, 2011 10:36 am
shipperx: (TVD: Damon)
http://www.tvguide.com/News/Hunger-Games-Movie-1028419.aspx

The Hunger Games, the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' futuristic young adult thriller, will hit theaters March 23, 2012, Lionsgate announced.

The book trilogy follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world called Panem. Everdeen participates in an annual event where 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors — literally — with all citizens required to watch.

No casting announcements have been made, but Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) has signed on to direct.


http://www.tvguide.com/News/Matts-Weekend-Picks-1028412.aspx

Downton Abbey (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS)
This delightful and utterly absorbing Masterpiece Classic miniseries about the intrigues among a family and the staff of a grand English country estate reaches its conclusion far too soon. If the ending seems a bit abrupt, as the start of WWI heralds change for all the characters, not to worry. A second season is in the works for next year. In the meantime, savor the sophisticated blend of humor, tragedy, romance and unabashed sentiment for a long-ago era. And all those splendid performances, including Elizabeth McGovern as the American mistress of the manor and the hilarious Maggie Smith as her imperious mother-in-law. No one does this sort of thing better than Masterpiece.


http://www.tvguide.com/News/Vampire-Diaries-Somerhalder-1028317.aspx

Although The Vampire Diaries' Damon Salvatore gets his share, both viewers and Ian Somerhalder are hoping to see him get some action with Elena.

"I just want to make out with her eventually," Somerhalder jokes. "The love Damon has for Katherine and Elena has gotten him into exorbitant amounts of trouble and I think he's probably thinking ... 'I've kind of learned my lesson, I'm going to build a bit of a wall. '" {...} it's undeniable that Damon has made quite the transformation throughout the series, and has developed, shall we say, feelings.

The softer side is Somerhalder's biggest challenge.

"It's tough because there has to be truth and there's a lot of real pain buried in that humor," he says. "The maniacal killer in him is starting to wane by virtue of the fact all the stakes have been raised because he cares about people now."

Stuff

Jan. 27th, 2011 10:36 am
shipperx: (TVD: Damon)
http://www.tvguide.com/News/Hunger-Games-Movie-1028419.aspx

The Hunger Games, the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' futuristic young adult thriller, will hit theaters March 23, 2012, Lionsgate announced.

The book trilogy follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world called Panem. Everdeen participates in an annual event where 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors — literally — with all citizens required to watch.

No casting announcements have been made, but Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) has signed on to direct.


http://www.tvguide.com/News/Matts-Weekend-Picks-1028412.aspx

Downton Abbey (Sunday, 9/8c, PBS)
This delightful and utterly absorbing Masterpiece Classic miniseries about the intrigues among a family and the staff of a grand English country estate reaches its conclusion far too soon. If the ending seems a bit abrupt, as the start of WWI heralds change for all the characters, not to worry. A second season is in the works for next year. In the meantime, savor the sophisticated blend of humor, tragedy, romance and unabashed sentiment for a long-ago era. And all those splendid performances, including Elizabeth McGovern as the American mistress of the manor and the hilarious Maggie Smith as her imperious mother-in-law. No one does this sort of thing better than Masterpiece.


http://www.tvguide.com/News/Vampire-Diaries-Somerhalder-1028317.aspx

Although The Vampire Diaries' Damon Salvatore gets his share, both viewers and Ian Somerhalder are hoping to see him get some action with Elena.

"I just want to make out with her eventually," Somerhalder jokes. "The love Damon has for Katherine and Elena has gotten him into exorbitant amounts of trouble and I think he's probably thinking ... 'I've kind of learned my lesson, I'm going to build a bit of a wall. '" {...} it's undeniable that Damon has made quite the transformation throughout the series, and has developed, shall we say, feelings.

The softer side is Somerhalder's biggest challenge.

"It's tough because there has to be truth and there's a lot of real pain buried in that humor," he says. "The maniacal killer in him is starting to wane by virtue of the fact all the stakes have been raised because he cares about people now."
shipperx: (Elizabeth and Dudley)
http://www.itv.com/presscentre/pressreleases/programmepressreleases/downtonabbey2011/

Downton Abbey will return for Christmas 2011


ITV and Carnival Films today announced the return of the acclaimed drama series, Downton Abbey, for Christmas 2011.


The Christmas special will continue where the second series, an eight-part run scheduled for autumn 2011, ends.


Gareth Neame, Executive Producer and Managing Director, Carnival Films says, “The public’s reaction to the first series of Downton Abbey was gratifying. With a combined audience of 12.8 million people tuning into the last episode we are delighted ITV have decided to return with all the main characters of Downton at Christmas.”


Laura Mackie, Director of Drama, ITV said: “Julian has come up with a fantastic story that will give the audience the chance to enjoy the experience of the festive season at Downton Abbey. We’re delighted to have this as part of our Christmas schedule for December 2011.”


Downton Abbey premiered on ITV1 on 26th September 2010 with an aggregate audience of 11.8million and finished on 7th November with an aggregate audience of 12.8 million (ITV1+HD+Repeat+ITV Player) making episode seven the biggest audience for an episode of a new drama series on any channel since 2003.


Furthermore, Downton Abbey has just opened the ‘Classic’ season on Masterpiece in the U.S. (9th January). Early figures show that it has doubled the season’s average audience reaching 6.7 million people making it the highest rated show Masterpiece has transmitted in recent years.
shipperx: (Elizabeth and Dudley)
http://www.itv.com/presscentre/pressreleases/programmepressreleases/downtonabbey2011/

Downton Abbey will return for Christmas 2011


ITV and Carnival Films today announced the return of the acclaimed drama series, Downton Abbey, for Christmas 2011.


The Christmas special will continue where the second series, an eight-part run scheduled for autumn 2011, ends.


Gareth Neame, Executive Producer and Managing Director, Carnival Films says, “The public’s reaction to the first series of Downton Abbey was gratifying. With a combined audience of 12.8 million people tuning into the last episode we are delighted ITV have decided to return with all the main characters of Downton at Christmas.”


Laura Mackie, Director of Drama, ITV said: “Julian has come up with a fantastic story that will give the audience the chance to enjoy the experience of the festive season at Downton Abbey. We’re delighted to have this as part of our Christmas schedule for December 2011.”


Downton Abbey premiered on ITV1 on 26th September 2010 with an aggregate audience of 11.8million and finished on 7th November with an aggregate audience of 12.8 million (ITV1+HD+Repeat+ITV Player) making episode seven the biggest audience for an episode of a new drama series on any channel since 2003.


Furthermore, Downton Abbey has just opened the ‘Classic’ season on Masterpiece in the U.S. (9th January). Early figures show that it has doubled the season’s average audience reaching 6.7 million people making it the highest rated show Masterpiece has transmitted in recent years.
shipperx: (Elizabeth and Dudley)
http://www.itv.com/presscentre/pressreleases/programmepressreleases/downtonabbey2011/

Downton Abbey will return for Christmas 2011


ITV and Carnival Films today announced the return of the acclaimed drama series, Downton Abbey, for Christmas 2011.


The Christmas special will continue where the second series, an eight-part run scheduled for autumn 2011, ends.


Gareth Neame, Executive Producer and Managing Director, Carnival Films says, “The public’s reaction to the first series of Downton Abbey was gratifying. With a combined audience of 12.8 million people tuning into the last episode we are delighted ITV have decided to return with all the main characters of Downton at Christmas.”


Laura Mackie, Director of Drama, ITV said: “Julian has come up with a fantastic story that will give the audience the chance to enjoy the experience of the festive season at Downton Abbey. We’re delighted to have this as part of our Christmas schedule for December 2011.”


Downton Abbey premiered on ITV1 on 26th September 2010 with an aggregate audience of 11.8million and finished on 7th November with an aggregate audience of 12.8 million (ITV1+HD+Repeat+ITV Player) making episode seven the biggest audience for an episode of a new drama series on any channel since 2003.


Furthermore, Downton Abbey has just opened the ‘Classic’ season on Masterpiece in the U.S. (9th January). Early figures show that it has doubled the season’s average audience reaching 6.7 million people making it the highest rated show Masterpiece has transmitted in recent years.

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