Monday, January 19, 2015

Downton Flabbey


I'm losing my touch. I teach at a homeschool cooperative and for a drawing exercise, I asked my art students to find a picture of a celebrity or character and attempt a sketch. My rationale is that it is more fun when your classmates recognize the face in the picture. Of course, I always try to give it a go, too. On the day of class, we all brought out our pencil sketches and tried to guess the identity of the person in the drawings of classmates. Not one single student knew who I had tried to draw. To clarify, that picture above is supposed to be Lady Mary of Downton Abbey. Apparently, homeschool kids don't watch Downton Abbey (or my "skills" aren't all that skillful).

Should have drawn Elvis; he never fails in Tennessee.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My dear pal, Kelley, got me hooked on Downton Abbey. I lay the blame at her feet for talking about it till I had to jump in and get up to speed on the storyline. Now, Hubzam and I love that show and I'm not sure what it is exactly that makes it so enjoyable; it's probably a combination of factors. The costuming is fantastic; I love to see all the styles of the twenties but I'm sure that isn't what Hubzam appreciates. It doesn't hurt that they have a fabulous estate surrounded by acres of beautiful rolling green fields. Everyone on the show has a bit of a back story at this point and we actually are invested in the character's welfare; we haven't yet caught on to the concept of "fiction" yet. You've got to care about a character, right? If not, what's the point in following along? Put all these elements together and it makes for enjoyable viewing.


As lovely as all the younger "ladies" are, my favorite is Maggie Smith in her role of Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. Her biting comments and witty zingers, all delivered with her nose in the air, are hilarious. She was put on earth to put people in their place and I'm almost sure she would agree (if she were a real person). 

I've included a few below:

Lady Violet:
You are quite wonderful, the way you see room for 
improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal. 
Isobel:
I take that as a compliment. 
Lady Violet:
I must have said it wrong. 
   ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lady Violet:
Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class. 
   ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lady Violet:
Sybil, vulgarity is no substitute for wit. 

Lady Sybil:
Well, you started it. 
   ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Robert:
I'll do it on one condition - no, two. First, Matthew must agree ...
 Second, you will both admit it when you realize you were wrong. 

Lady Violet: 
Oh, well, that is an easy caveat to accept, because I'm never wrong. 

Come to think of it, Violet is not the only older member of the cast of characters that can deliver a zinger - she's just the best at it. Mary's mother-in-law, Isobel, and the butler, Mr. Carson, can hold their own with the quips. I see a trend here. The older set of Downton may be flabbier, but they're funnier. Every story needs a touch of hilarity, even if it is subtle. 

It may be the only time I choose to be on the flabby side, though I'm usually there anyhow by way of my uniquely qualified physique.


[Hubzam, it wasn't the same without you...darn business trips. Coco made no comments, but she did appreciate having your chair all to herself. She's greedy with the real estate. Safe travel and wrap it up as soon as you can. Love you.]

37 comments:

  1. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    If older = funnier, then that explains Shecky Shady.

    That is a remarkable sketch of Lady Mary. I recognized her immediately and find it shocking that none of your students knew who you were drawing given the enormous popularity of Downton Abbey. I wouldn't count on many of them knowing Elvis either since few young people seem to know Paul McCartney and the Beatles.

    Mrs. Shady and I are blissfully addicted to Downton Abbey. Last night, after eating a large anchovy and pineapple pizza, I went to bed and dreamed that I was courting the Dowager and that we were planning a lovers' holiday. Violet summoned Anna and sent her to town to visit a shop that discreetly sells protection. (SPOILER ALERT) As I discovered on our getaway, the Dowager practically invented "stamina."

    That's a sweet message for your hubzam and I hope he sees it and knows how lucky he is to have such a caring partner.

    Happy Monday, dear friend Cherdo!

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    1. Thank you for the compliment; I love to draw and doodle characters, etc., but I'm just self taught. I always say I'm just a girl with a library card.

      Hubzam will proof for me, but not always before I post, ha ha. He's on a business trip this week and Gonzo and I are on our own, fighting the urge to eat badly. Too much dietary freedom!

      By the way...I'm the lucky one. Shhhhh...don't tell.

      Have a great week!

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  3. The moment I pulled up this post I said "Oh hey look it's Lady Mary." Yeah, I know the show. And watch it. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Between granny and her zingers, and Mr. Bates' eerie badassedness (how is this chubby old man so scary? - I would not cross him) it's a fun show to watch.

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    1. Now I'm indebted to you for restoring my amateur artist pride. Worse things could happen, believe me.

      Bates is the guy that I always say "is he good - or bad??"

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  4. I watched the first episode and couldn't make it through. Perhaps I need to give it a second chance!

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    1. I'm with you; I couldn't really understand the attraction by watching the first couple of shows. It took a few episodes, but now I'm hooked.

      You MUST start from the beginning, I think.

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  5. Maggie Smith was really in her element in last night's show (Sunday, the 18th). First her confrontation with Mary over her sleepover, then the discovery of an old flame? Fun.

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    1. Linda, I thought so, too! I love how they slid in the new story line with the Russian prince...and I felt so sorry for Edith, you know what I mean?

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    2. Shhhhhhh! I haven't watched it on the DVR yet!

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  6. I haven't seen a single episode of Downton Abbey, but I've been intrigued about it, and want to see what all the hype is about. :)

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    1. You need to start from episode one...it's is addictive.

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  7. You are so talented! I think that drawing is wonderful. I'm going to guess you should have stuck with Elvis too.

    I haven't seen Downtown Abbey. I think I will start those this week. Make my men watch them. I watched those stupid football games yesterday where not a single one of the teams I rooted for won.

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth - you're too kind.

      I think you'd love the series - go for it!

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  8. My wife's a fan. I haven't gotten into it. I don't have a problem with it, really, I just feel one should probably start the series at the beginning to understand what's going on. Sometime I will.

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    1. I'd definitely recommend starting at the beginning. I think you'd like it.

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  9. I've never seen it, but I think I will start--as soon as I've finished with "House"!!

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  10. I knew it was Lady Mary. I've watched DA from the beginning and discuss it with Rita Pita Pan (SoulComfort's Corner), but she's careful not to give away plot points because I DVR it and watch later in the week. I love Anna. I even love Lady Mary even though she can be witchy. I cried when Sybil died. I think it's a show that you have to watch from the beginning and you can't miss an episode. It took me the entire first season to figure out who all the characters are. When WDW and I finish The Sopranos, I'm going to see if I can talk him into DVDs of DA. I think he'd enjoy the intrigue and the snotty stuff the Dowager Countess says. Maybe young people just don't watch Masterpiece Theater? They're missing out.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I was pretty torn up about Sybil, too. But you have to love Violet...she's the best. WDW would get into it, I think.

      I wish they still made episodes of The Sopranos. But now - no Tony. I guess it is for the best.

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    2. I think there was talk of a Sopranos movie before he died, but a lot of people think Tony was killed at the end of the last episode.

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  11. I have to admit, you're making the show intriguing for me. I've heard it mentioned a lot, but don't know anything about it.

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    1. Come on, Michael - this can be one of your new "things." Commit to a few episodes (in order!). We need a gentleman's perspective.

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    2. Okay, after I'm done with Kung Fu I'll begin on Downton Abbey.

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    3. That will be fine, Grasshopper. When you snatch the DVD from the player, it will be time for Downton.

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  12. I saw this and knew it was Lady Mary from Downton Abbey. It is a great sketch and you should be proud of this! We started watching it in the 3rd year and we became hooked especially my hubby who can't get enough. It is superb from the costumes, the setting, acting and the writing! The writing is so well done-it captures not only the times but the stiff upper lip of the upper class English. The detail to make sure everything is correct is amazing

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  13. Oh id you notice that almost everyone was wearing blue in the last episode and it is all about love in one form or another...very intriguing

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    1. Thanks, Birgit.

      Hey, now that you mention it...I didn't notice the blue, but y e a h...wonder what is up with the Russian prince? I hope Violet has scandal in her past.

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  14. I have yet to see this show but as far as I know none of the networks I get are airing it. I may be able to see some of it on YouTube, though.

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    1. Netflix for old shows, maybe your library, DVD sets are on sale and the current season is on PBS on Sunday night.

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  15. A dose Lady Violet first thing after howling over the Keurig defeat - delicious!

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  16. I just started tuning in and it's quite addictive. BTW, your sketch looks just like Lady Mary. I found you over at Write with Fey. Wanted to come over and see what your blog is all about! It looks like lots of fun here :)

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    1. It's fun because Shady and I show up. Without us, she's nothing. Except fun and sweet and adorable.

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    2. Janie is right about the "Shady and Janie" show in the comments. As far as me being fun, sweet or adorable, I'm trying to hit at least one of those in the course of a year. It's a long shot.

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  17. Wonderful sketch of Lady Mary! I also love Downton Abbey, and The Dowager, Carson, and Mr. Bates are my favorite characters. I agree that Maggie Smith steals the show, and I'm excited about her possible new romance with an old fling!

    Julie

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    1. With good writing and character development, I sometimes feel like I'm eavesdropping, ha ha. Love that show. Thanks, Julie!

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo