Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Maggie Cats: Well, hello there, m'lady! So any initial thoughts on Downton's Season 5 premiere?

Arsenic Pie: Just all kinds of insane.

Maggie Cats: It was certainly lightning quick in terms of characters moving around and plots being set up.

Arsenic Pie: I like how it started two years after the end of the last season, but none of the plots had changed. I felt like Thomas was still trying to get info, and Lord Gillingham was still chasing after Mary, even though two years had already passed.

Maggie Cats: Well, Downton has pretty much recycled the same plots over and over since season 1. And yet, we still love it. How many times have we heard, "Times, they are a-changing." And yet Lord Grantham is still as useless and nobody just tells him to get a job.

Arsenic Pie: I really don't get why Thomas is still plotting. Is he still plotting to get rid of Bates? Because I feel that ship has sailed.

Maggie Cats: It's very sad how one note he has become. I think EVERY scene he had involved him at some point badgering Baxter. I don't get it. It was the biggest flaw in an otherwise pretty enjoyable episode. Why does he even care anymore?

Arsenic Pie: I know, right! Isn't there something else they can do with Thomas? If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: If Thomas got laid once in a while he wouldn't be such a dick. Also, why is everyone in love with Mary all the time?

Maggie Cats: Again, see season 1. Also. Asking Mary to sleep with you. EVERYONE WHO SLEEPS WITH MARY DIES. Don't do it, Lord What's His Name.

Arsenic Pie: I KNOW!

Maggie Cats: Her vagina = death.

Arsenic Pie: I've been warning Lord Gillingham about this but he doesn't seem to be able to hear me through the TV. Also, I liked the other guy better, honestly. Well Lord Gillingham asked her to be his booty call in the season premiere so we'll see how long he lives after that.

Maggie Cats: The other guy, Charles Blake, was cuter; Lord G-Spot's teeth make me squirm.

Arsenic Pie: Charles Blake is way cuter. Also Lord G hires rapey valets. I think we're firmly anti-Lord G.

Maggie Cats:  There is that.

So...what exactly is making this a difficult choice for you, Lady Mary?

Arsenic Pie: There is that. And knowing how repetitive this show is, he's likely to do it again. And then Bates will shove him in front of bus. And so on ad nauseum.

Maggie Cats: You know, as much as I love Downton, I feel like I enjoy it more when I DON'T talk about it like this. Because I end up deconstructing it and realizing all the flaws. All the plots are the same, there is almost no real character growth (Lord Grantham is still an idiot, Edith is a sad sack, Cora is dumb as a rock...), and if I don't think about it....then I don't realize it. At this point, I was kind of hoping Edith would end up burning it to the ground. At least that would be something new.

Arsenic Pie: But Thomas got in the way.

Maggie Cats: But I will point out that was just about the only time I can remember Lord Grantham being very useful; I will admit he sprang into action and took charge when everyone else was just sitting on their asses. Thomas bumbles into heroism a lot.

Arsenic Pie: I just think the show is funny. You can't take it seriously as a drama because it makes no damn sense. But on a positive note. I like Tom's new girlfriend, the schoolmarm. She is adorbz.

Maggie Cats: OMG, she is insane. And while I do like her as a character, she is really fucking rude.

Arsenic Pie: But you know that's going to end badly.

Maggie Cats: Just because I agree with her doesn't mean it's ok to openly insult people at their dinner table. Oh, god yes. AND I LOVE IT.

Arsenic Pie: There's no way they're going to get together. THEY ARE SO DOOMED.

"Tom's going to teach me a lesson about how my attitude toward 1%ers actually makes ME the snob, and we've done this plot before, so don't mind me. Hey! Are those canapes? I LOVE canapes!"

Maggie Cats: I am sure she will get pushed in front of a bus. Driven by the proletariat.

Arsenic Pie: I bet that's what happened to Gregson.  I bet the Nazis pushed him in front of the Hitler bus. Like who goes to Germany in the 1920s? Nobody. It's just a bad idea.

Maggie Cats:  Do you think he is dead? Or will make a reappearance? I wouldn't past Julian Fellowes to have kept it open in case he has some divine inspiration reason to bring him back.

Arsenic Pie: Oh, I am sure he will reappear.

Maggie Cats: Maybe he joined SHIELD? Oh, wait that's the 1940s. My bad.

Arsenic Pie: Maybe he went TO THE FUTURE and joined SHIELD. I am totally waiting for him to reappear. Like reappear and be a Nazi. He's be like, "No, Edith. I'm totally a fascist now. And it's fucking sweet." I really don't know why we aren't writing for this show.

Maggie Cats: Ooooh, that is totally what is going to happen. "Can I have that German primer I left here? It had microfiche in it with secrets that I really need."

Arsenic Pie: Yes! Yes!

Maggie Cats: We don't write for the show because we are too good.

Arsenic Pie: Like really he joined them in secret and is passing secrets and he disappeared because he's a spy.

Maggie Cats: Let's talk some more about the Downstairs folk. Daisy wants to learn numbers, Jimmy slept with Caroline Bingley...

Arsenic Pie: Then Edith can be like, "Um. I burned it. But look! I made you a kid!" JIMMY TOTALLY SLEPT WITH CAROLINE BINGLEY WHO HAS NOT CHANGED AT ALL IN THE PAST 100 YEARS.

"Yes! Barged in on us in the midst of le grande delicto to say the house was on fire! The impudence!" 

Maggie Cats: Also: Duckface from Four Weddings and a Funeral. Watching this show I sometimes feel like a British IMDB. "Oh, it's THAT guy!"

"A little lower, Jimmy! No, lower! No, not to the right. To the left. The left!"

Arsenic Pie: Yes, Duckface was there, too. I like Daisy. I never warmed to Ivy and I'm glad she's gone.So is Alfred going to realize that Daisy is sweet and true? I really do think Thomas needs to get laid.

Maggie Cats: On one hand, it's great to have a gay character. There are amazing stories to tell about homosexuals in this era. On the other, Julian Fellowes has no interest in telling those stories, and since Thomas is gay and can't date any of the downstairs ladies, it seems there are no other plots for him. This bothers me.

Arsenic Pie: Right. It's one thing to be like "Look! We're progressive with this gay character" but he never has a relationship and he's always being an asshole. It's not a positive portrayal in any way. Aren't there any hot farm lads around for Thomas? Mary has some extra dudes. He could date one of them. I really do like the other guy for Mary. He is way hotter.

Maggie Cats: I would approve of that for sure.

Arsenic Pie: When was the last time Thomas had a date?

Maggie Cats: Um, never? And I say good for Daisy, and good for Mrs. Patmore for supporting her. She's not dumb and I think Tom's teacher will start tutoring her. Daisy clearly has a learning disability.

Arsenic Pie: I thought the same thing. :( Poor Daisy. I thought she had dyslexia or something. I thought maybe Tom's lady friend could teach her.

Maggie Cats: You and me share a brain.

Arsenic Pie: Or maybe the show is just that obvious. So, let's talk about Isobel. I like how Violet is trying to get her lord friend to be interested in someone else so Isobel can't raise her social position. We wouldn't want Isobel to be ranked higher socially than Violet.

Maggie Cats: This subplot fascinates me; beyond giving Maggie Smith more chances to be hilarious, it's one of the few times we see Violet actually scared. She is TERRIFIED of Isobel being ranked higher than her.

Arsenic Pie: AND IT IS AWESOME I really do ship Dr. Clarkson and Isobel, but this plot is good for a few laughs.

Maggie Cats: When Isobel figures this out, she will probably marry that lord just to have the win. Poor Dr. Clarkson. Also, how hilarious is that Violet's butler is named Spratt. And is a total snob. Even SHE thinks he's a snob.

Arsenic Pie: Spratt is the worst. I like how he won't serve Dr. Clarkson because he's, you know, middle class.

Maggie Cats: I love it. I would want some of that cake too. Except I would have said, "EXCUSE ME, BUT I WANT SOME CAKE, YOU ASSHOLE."

Arsenic Pie: I'd just take the cake from him. I'd be like GIVE ME THE WHOLE THING. And then I'd be like WHERE IS THE FROSTING.

Maggie Cats: I would have tripped him too, and caught the cake like Edward Cullen in Twilight.

Arsenic Pie: There was no frosting on that cake. I looked. If Edward Cullen shows up on Downton Abbey I will die happy. Like as a vampire.

Maggie Cats: And then come back as an undead. Edward should date Thomas. And they can be weird and stalk each other.


Arsenic Pie: That would be a match. Thomas would be totally into the sparkly boyfriend thing. I bet Thomas reads Twilight. Thomas reads Twilight and so does Ivy. Edith reads it sometimes but she realizes now that it was a lie. I bet that's what Gregson's book was.  It was a German translation of Twilight and that's why she burned it. It just sucked that much.

Maggie Cats: Thomas writes Twilight fanfic. OMG. Thomas writes Twilight fanfic that becomes 50 Shades of Grey, but with two dudes and set in the 1920s. Also: HAHAHAHA

Arsenic Pie: HOLY SHIT YES.

Look out, Evelyn Waugh!

Arsenic Pie: Aaaand we are officially off topic.

Maggie Cats: Perhaps this is a good time for final thoughts.

Arsenic Pie: Overall, better than the second and third seasons. I watched all of last season on Sunday and I liked it. So I think the show has picked up some of the steam it lost. I think Matthew was deadweight. I don't miss him at all.

Maggie Cats: I actually agree, and I remember being really sad when he died. I thought it was a good premiere and did everything a premiere should. And while I enjoyed it, I was disappointed in the plot recycling and the lack of movement in characters and relationships.

Arsenic Pie: Yeah, the season premiere was supposed to pick up two years after last season but nothing had really changed. It's kind of unrealistic for a couple of the plotlines not to have moved along any. I do like Rose and I like her plots. It's fun to watch the whole debutante thing because they never did that with the other girls.

Maggie Cats: Oh, definitely agree. We didn't touch on Rose, but I will say that it's surprising the show was able to add her to the cast and make her actually interesting.

Arsenic Pie: I like her. She's a good replacement for Sybil. I mostly just feel bad for Tom.

Maggie Cats: Yeah, me too. I hope he ends up leaving Downton and being happy somewhere else. You know, because he is a real character.

Arsenic Pie: I think overall the plots need to move. I don't care at all if Bates killed the valet. I think everyone agrees they don't care, so I hope they just let it go. Tom does seem the most real of the upstairs cast. He and Rose are actually the most sympathetic of the upstairs cast.

"These people are just insane."

Maggie Cats: Definitely agree. Well, it sounds like there are both promising and disappointing things about the season premiere. Let's hope the plots get moving in the weeks to come!

Arsenic Pie: Let's hope. I will continue to watch and laugh myself silly.

Maggie Cats: NOT watching Downton would be the hard part. As Violet said, avoiding your friends is the hardest thing. And scene.

Lady Mary's (Second? Third?) Wedding Cake, by Molesley Cakes & Bakery, Ripon, Yorkshire, UK

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