Jeff, Who Lives at Home

Is there anyone in Hollywood as likable as Jason Segel? The rising film star has made a niche for himself playing lovable losers and Jeff, Who Lives at Home is no exception. In another actor’s hands, Jeff might have been too doofy to root for, but Segel injects a sweetness to the character that makes you keep your fingers crossed that he, in the end, finds his destiny. The rest of the cast (including Susan Sarandon and Ed Helms who were last seen as lover and are mother and son here- ew) are also strong in their roles as regular people unwillingly being dragged out of their ruts by the events of one day.
Jeff (Jason Segel) spends his days hanging out in his mother’s basement. He receives a call that anyone else would write off as a wrong number, but Jeff is convinced it is a sign regarding his destiny. Forced to leave the house to run an errand for his mother (Susan Sarandon), he follows a series of what he thinks are clues which lead to him getting mugged, his brother (Ed Helms) totaling his new Porsche, and the two brothers trailing Helms’ possibly adulterous wife (Judy Greer), before Jeff eventually stumbles upon his Kevin related destiny.
Written and directed by Mumblecore kings Jay & Mark Duplas, some will most likely find it too slow, but I tend to like slice of life films. Jeff , brother Pat, and mother Sharon are real people. There is a sub-plot where Sharon receives flirtation messages at work. Watching the lonely widow receive the messages with a mixture of glee and paranoia, is very touching and her admirer’s surprising identity is an interesting move that satisfied me even though I saw it coming. While it doesn’t have the thrills per minute of an action movie, I found myself shaking in anticipation during the film’s climax.

This Week on DVD 1/16/2013

Taken 2: In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace
To See or Not to See: Probably a miss for me. Didn’t see the first one. Seems like the series could go off indefinitely with people kidnapping his third cousin and his high school sweetheart’s neighbor. People need to learn to stop messing with this guy’s family!
To Rome With Love: The lives of some visitors and residents of Rome and the romances, adventures and predicaments they get into.
Starring: Woody Allen, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page
To See or Not to See: Probably. I enjoyed Midnight in Paris and some other Woody Allen films, but this does not appear to be the auteur’s finest.
Won’t Back Down: Two determined mothers¬, one a teacher, look to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
Starring: Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter
To See or Not to See: Gyllenhaal is a fan of playing political characters but it doesn’t do much for her career. Some strong ladies in the cast but the story is a little Eh.
The Possession: A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
Starring: Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick
To See or Not to See: I can’t even remember this being in theaters. Another horror flick with a creepy kid? Pass!

New Releases 1/11/2013

Gangster Squad: A chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.
Starring: Sean Penn, James Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi,
Will I See it?: The cast alone makes this one intriguing, but I love gangster stuff and modern noir so I will definitely check this one out, if not in theaters than definitely on DVD.
A Haunted House: Malcolm and Keisha move into their dream home, but soon learn a demon also resides there. When Kisha becomes possessed, Malcolm – determined to keep his sex life on track – turns to a priest, a psychic, and a team of ghost-busters for help.
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Essence Atkins, Marlene Forte, David Koechner
Will I See it?: While the Scary Movie franchise is totally played out, but the trailer for this actually looks funny. Will still wait for reviews before seeing it.
Quartet: At a home for retired opera singers, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.
Starring: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay
Will I See it?: Probably not. Despite the strong cast, this isn’t really something you rush to see on the big screen.
Struck By Lightning: After being struck and killed by lightning, a young man recounts the way he blackmailed his fellow classmates into contributing to his literary magazine.
Starring: Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney
Will I See It? Maybe on Netflix. Not a Glee fan, but people are comparing this to Heathers. Could be cool but there’s so many other movies coming out right now.
$ellebrity : Celebrity photographer Kevin Mazur gives an all access pass to life behind the velvet rope and in front of the camera.
Features: Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kid Rock
Will I See It?: Maybe on Netflix if the reviews are strong.
Storage 24: In London, a military plane crashes leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware that the city is in lockdown, a group of people become trapped inside a storage facility with a highly unwelcome guest.
Starring: Noel Clarke, Colin O’Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock
Will I See it?: Probably not, unless I start hearing really great word of mouth.
Zero Dark Thirty: A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong
Will I See It?: Probably, some are calling it a shoe in for Best Picture. Wasn’t that enthralled by Hurt Locker, but the search for Bin Laden is much more intriguing to me.


In the not too distant future time travel is reality and is used by the mob to dispose of someone who gets in their way. The send them back 30 years where a looper is waiting for them to take them out, leaving no evidence in the victim’s present and the murder untraceable. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a looper and knows at any time the boss could “close his loop”, meaning they would send his future self for him to kill in exchange for a large payoff. However, his future self (Bruce Willis) has other plans and intends to change the future and save his wife by killing her murderer as a child.
A lot of surprises for me here. Going by the trailer, I thought the drama stemmed from Gordon-Levitt discovering he had to kill his future self, but he was quite prepare for that. Didn’t know Emily Blunt was even in this, as she plays the mother of the child Willis must kill. Kudos on the American accent, Miss Blunt. Sometimes when a plot is not what I expected, I’m disappointed, but Looper had a lot more meat than I was anticipating.
With any film that takes place in the future, there’s a lot of world building exposition, and Looper is no exception. The first twenty minutes or so, you’re bombarded with a lot of information and key slang (like blunderbuss and TK) but everything has their place and importance. The future present here is a dirty and dangerous one, much like the world of Blade Runner. Gordon-Levitt’s Joe sleeps with prostitutes (or at least one prostitute), does drugs, and has a posing little weasel for a best friend (played by Paul Dano who seems to specialize in weaklings). While watching this film, I realized that Gordon-Levitt plays a lot of lonely guys, someone give the guy a hug!
2012 was a pretty strong year for kid performances and newcomer Pierce Gagnon is terrifying as Cid. I never wanted to see a kid get shot so much. He just is such a creepy little guy and while, yes, his mother loves him and sometimes he can look cute, but no good can come of him being allowed to reach adulthood.
One thing that bugged me was the excessive use of lens flairs. Once the action moved to the country, they calmed down, but early on it was driving me to distraction. I know people who hate on the use of shaky cam, but I find excessive lens flair way more obnoxious.
This was a strong year for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I give the guy a lot of credit, he’s becoming a star on his own terms. You can always tell what drew him to the project and he isn’t doing stuff for the paycheck. I look forward to more interesting choice from him in the future.

This week in DVDs

Some interesting new titles on DVD & Blu Ray this week…
Game Change: Follows the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain and his choice of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, her meteoric rise in the media spotlight and their eventual defeat in the general election.
Starring: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris
To See or Not to See: Heard great things about this one and it won a bunch of Emmys (including one for Outstanding Writing won by Danny Strong aka Jonathan from Buffy). While Tina Fey defined Sarah Palin for America, it looks like Julianne Moore does a great job here and HBO always does a great job of dramatizing America’s great political blunders (see also Recount). Definitely not to be missed!
Compliance: Based on actual events: a series of prank calls to a fast food manager leads him to interrogate a young, female employee to the point of abuse that leaves no one unharmed.
Starring: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy
To See or Not to See: While the subject matter sounds a tad hard to stomach, everyone I know who saw this has raved about it and it made on several people’s best of the year list. While I definitely should see it, it is definitely not light viewing so I might put it off a bit.
Dredd: The future is now – police have been given the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner and a veteran cop partners with a trainee in order to take down a deadly gang that has introduced a new drug, SLO-MO, that alters reality.
Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
To See or Not to See: Didn’t really understand why this remake was needed and totally didn’t even realize it had been in theaters. While it seems like this was an upgrade from the Stallone version, and I do love Urban in the Trek reboot, it doesn’t seem like it did that great in the box office so I don’t know if there will be any sequel. This will probably be one I miss unless the right people tell me to check it out.
House at the End of the Street: A mother and daughter move into a new town and into a house next door to where a young girl murdered her parents. After befriending the son who survived the incident, it becomes apparent this story isn’t over yet.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot
To See or Not to See: Not a big horror movie fan myself, but Hubby is and found this one underwhelming, so I will skip this one and will probably be talked into seeing Cabin in the Woods instead.

Downton Abbey Season 3 episodes 1&2

Season Three and Laura Linney is so excited to see what will happen!
It’s Spring of 1920 and Mary and Matthew are having their wedding rehearsal. Sybil is not coming to the wedding due to lack of funds and Mary prods her father to do something but he believes Branson’s arrival would lead to too much gossip from the neighbors. Cousin Isobel of course thinks it’s all ridiculous and wants to pay for the couple to visit. However, someone sends them the money because Sybil arrives with Branson in tow, but neither the family nor the servants welcome him warmly.
The family is obviously shocked at Branson’s lack of proper wardrobe and he is his usual charming self at dinner talking about hopes that Ireland will finally be free of English rule. Carson is appalled by his conduct and his opinion doesn’t change when he comes to show the servants he’s still one of them.
Sybil wants the family to see man she sees and encourages Branson to buy proper clothes for the wedding and, maybe, stop dissing Mother England for a few days, but Branson stays firm. The next day, Matthew runs into Branson in town and they discuss the awkwardness at dinner. Matthew points out Branson doesn’t make it easy for the Granthams to like him but says brothers-in-laws should stick together.
At a pre-wedding party, (featuring colorful cocktails!), Sybil’s old beau, Larry, takes some pot shots at Branson’s wardrobe and slips something into his drink so at dinner he appears drunk as a skunk, carrying on about his political leanings until Sir Anthony announces that he has been drugged by Larry! Despite Larry claims that it was just a joke, the family is shocked and Matthew decides to make Branson his best man to show solidarity.
Cousin Isobel and Maggie Smith offer Branson some of Matthew’s old clothing to wear to the wedding but he politely declines, calling them the chains of oppression, or some political nonsense that will go ignored, because when Maggie Smith tells you to wear a jacket you wear the jacket! We later discover that Maggie Smith paid for the couple to come to the wedding. Yay, everyone tolerates Branson now!
Lord Grantham gets a suspicious phone call and has suspicious business to tend to in London. Turns out his fortune is all but gone due to bad investments. Downton’s fate is unsure but the Lord refuses to be the one who let it fall. When he returns home, he basically looks at everyone as if they are eating him money.
While the Lord is having money troubles, Matthew is rolling in it, as he discover he may inherit his former fiancé’s father’s fortune but he feels too guilty to accept it seeing that he is marrying the other woman from that relationship. Matthew is also on a whole “I’m a big boy, I can put on my own pants!” kick and wants to live a simpler life after the wedding.
When Mary learns of both men’s conundrums, she sees one as the solution to the other. Matthew will save Downton! But Matthew doesn’t want to accept money from a man after breaking his daughter’s heart and stealing her will to live. The two fight and Edith walks in on them with a total “Are you fighting?” smile on her face.
At dinner, Mary becomes upset and leaves the table crying. The wedding might not happen, damn you Mary and Matthew!!!! But wait, Best Man Branson comes to the rescue and helps the two realize their stupid for each other and the two patch up.
With the wedding fast approaching, Carson needs a new footman and O’Brien suggests her nephew, Alfred. Carson doesn’t think it’s a good idea, but when has a no ever gotten in O’Brien’s way? She brings up the matter with Lady Crawley who hires him immediately. O’Brien thinks Thomas could help show her nephew the way and maybe help his rise to valet. Despite their previous alliance Thomas has no interest in helping another person. And poof goes that friendship. This is going to get ugly.
And we have found something that makes Maggie Smith shake in her boots- Lady Crawley’s American mother Shirley MacLaine! She swoops down on Downton insulting the house, the entire country of England, and all three of her granddaughters in record time. She is anti-tradition, being a very modern women 20th century woman (possibly the world’s oldest flapper). Before the episode it over she gets into a bitch off with Maggie Smith and wins! This woman is a goddess.
In other happenings: Anna has discovered Vera’s diary and hopes she will find a way to prove Bates’ innocence. Bates has a new roommate and the two are like two peas in a pod- not!
Edith is still trying to woo Sir Anthony with flattering words and a new hairstyle! Can something nice happen to this chick, she bums me out!
Daisy was promised a promotion and will not stop pouting until she gets it!
Episode Two brings us the Matthew and Mary wedding… finally! Lady Crawley tries to give Mary THE TALK but Mary reminds her this is not necessary- classy, Mary. The whole house is buzzing with excited, except Mrs. Hughes who always thought Mary was a brat. But we don’t even get to see the whole wedding or a wedding night love scene! Boo, Downton, boo!
Matthew still refuses to use his newly gained inheritance to save Downton, so Mary and Maggie Smith decided to ask Shirley MacLaine for the money. Mary believes they must show her grandma how grand Downton is so they plan a dinner to win her over.
However, as the guests arrive Matthew and Lord Grantham are without tails! And the stove is broken so there will be no food! The dinner is a disaster! But Shirley MacLaine to the rescue with her modern American ways! They will have an indoor picnic, where guests can eat anywhere they want and there will be singing! She basically wants to mortify Maggie Smith to death.
While Shirley MacLaine saved the dinner, she cannot save Downton, as her late husband made it so no more of the family money could go into the home.
Meanwhile, Thomas makes the first move in a prank war with O’Brien’s nephew but giving him advice that leads the lad to burn a hole in Matthews tails! However, the guy’s first mistake we trusting Thomas. Carson is furious at Alfred’s mistake, but O’Brien smells a rat.
O’Brien steals all of the Lord’s shirts putting Thomas in quiet the spot the night of the dinner. This is going to be an interesting battle as Alfred seems to have taken after his aunt in the scheming department so it’s two against one.
The Lord wants Edith’s Sir Anthony obsession to be nipped in the bud so he asks him to break up with her via a letter. But Edith sees through the letter and knows it is her father’s doing and she begs the Lord to let her have the man she wants lest she end up an old maid. With Shirley MacLaine’s insistence, the Lord agrees to stop interfering and Sir Anthony finally promises a proposal. He’s going to die isn’t he?
Also in this episode: Cousin Isobel is now helping disgrace women and former maid Ethel may need her assistance.
Also, Mrs. Hughes may have cancer and Mrs. Paddmore is the best person ever to have by your side during such a delicate time- NOT she talks to her like a child and freaks at the first sign of concern. But Mrs. Hughes does not want the rest of the staff to know and take pity on her.
And it continues to be nothing but giggle with Bates and his cellmate. But at least at night Bates can dream about Anna and her new garter, oh la la!

New Releases 1/4/2013

A Dark Truth: A former CIA operative turned political talk show host is hired by a corporate whistle blower to expose her company’s cover-up of a massacre in a South American village.
Starring: Forest Whitaker, Eva Longoria, and Andy Garcia
Would I See It?: While it’s an interesting premise, it sounds like the actual film is a jumbled mess with a miscasted Longoria and an underutilized Whitaker and Garcia. At best, it’s something to check out on Netflix Instant Watch when you’ve exhausted everything else.

Texas Chainsaw 3D : A young woman travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter with a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward.
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz, and Scott Eastwood
Would I See It?: I do not understand the appeal of these mindless horror remakes/sequels. They all seem so manufactured and meaningless. I don’t think I would go see this even if I got free tickets. However, if you are a fan of the genre, it would probably make sense to see it in the theater as the 3D aspect seems to be the main purpose for the movie.

Sleepwalk With Me

As a longtime fan of Mike Birbiglia’s storyteller style of comedy, I was happy that his brand of humor was making it to the big screen. While some of the plot was familiar to me from his stand-up, I thought they found a great way to tell his stories cinematically. If this is a taste of what the future holds for Birbiglia, I could see him becoming a kind of Woody Allen of his generation, telling the stories he wants to tell the way he wants to tell them. He has a great way of making you like him even when he admits you probably shouldn’t.
Matt (Birbiglia) is a struggling comic who has been with girlfriend Abbey (Lauren Ambrose) eight years when his sister’s upcoming marriage amps up the pressure for him to show his commitment. Matt hasn’t considered marriage and assumed Abbey felt the same, but he quickly learns she is dreaming of marriage and children. As he stalls for time with Abbey, his career starts to pick up. He finds an agent and makes it clear he’ll take any job out there. While on the road, he learns that he doesn’t need to write jokes, and should instead be honest about his feelings on marriage and relationships. The stress of his relationship and life on the road causes Matt to sleepwalk. He writes off these potentially dangerous encounters until he almost kills himself by jumping out a hotel window.
This film is apparently hitting some people a little too close to home. Producer Ira Glass admitted some are seeing a little too much of themselves in the protagonists and breaking up. Their plight is a familiar one. While the two don’t have major problems to propel them to break-up, they want different things from life so in order to stay together someone would have to make a compromise they might regret later. Everyone knows a couple like this, two perfectly nice people who have just been together longer than they should. This film also shows a great example of what physical distance can do to the couple, as Matt and Abbey start to build their own lives in the other’s absence.
This film is also a great look at the life of a stand-up comic in a way we haven’t really seen before. Matt has to start at the bottom, playing mostly empty rooms. In the beginning he’s spending more money to get to the shows, than he’s making at them, but as time passes he grows as a comic and learns more about his craft as he goes along. This is not a romantic look at the world of comedy and could make any aspiring comedian think twice about life on the road. However, those who are familiar with the world of stand-up, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a number of familiar faces.
If you’re a fan of Birbiglia’s work, you’ll enjoy Sleepwalk With Me. If you don’t know who he is, be warned, this film is very indy and way be too slow-paced for some.

Les Miserables

I want to start off my review to address a problem with going to the movies nowadays, people who see films without knowing anything about them and then are audibly confused/disappointed throughout the entire movie. I had it happen to me a number of times and it always annoys me. This includes people who take children to really graphic movies only to have to hurry the crying child out of the theater when things get too intense. How hard is it to read about the movie you’re going to spend close to $15 dollars on? I had been looking forward to seeing Les Miserables for a while and was anticipating bawling during the many emotional songs but kept getting distracted by a group of teenagers who were obviously not expecting so much singing and so much sadness, and were giggling during all the most touching parts. Really distracting! Sigh, rant over, for now.
While there is a large cast with many plotlines, Les Miserables mainly tells the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackson), a man who served 19 years of hard labor after stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving nephew. This troubled past hangs over his head and prevents him from finding work, so he creates a new identity and becomes a successful businessman. However Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) is determined to find him and bring the parole jumper to justice. Their paths cross throughout the years, but Valjean has more than himself to worry about as he adopts the daughter of a woman who was reduced to prostitution after being fired from his factory (Anne Hathaway). As the girl grows up she wants more than the life of hiding she has known for so long and falls in love with a young revolutionary.
Movie musicals tend to be a hard sell in the 21st century and director Tom Hooper made some bold choices that makes the film harder for one not familiar with the musical to get into. One being that the actors all sang live while filming instead of recording their performances and lip-syncing them later. With the amount of singing that goes on in this film (almost every line of dialogue is sung, with many 2 or 3 exceptions, it’s more like an opera than a musical) it would have been annoying to have to lip-sync that much, but it leads to rawer performances and while many will appreciate the emotion that goes into every number, there are many (like the teenagers sitting next to me) that will find the actors’ singing faces awkward and funny. We’re not sure to people putting their all into a song and the results are not always pretty. I was just about to let the tears flow during “I Dreamed a Dream” when the teenagers started guffawing at Anne Hathaway’s snot bubble. Also, this was not a time where people were polished and pretty, many of the extras are pox marked or have sores on their face. While realistic, we are not used to such ugliness on the big screen.
Had the interesting experience of feeling underwhelmed by many of the play’s showstoppers and becoming more invested in characters I didn’t like in the Broadway show. I particularly found “Master of the House” to be underwhelming, but I think that’s a good example of stage acting versus film acting. I felt Helena Bonham Carter (while basically auditioning for the role of Madame Thenardier for the past ten years) muttered her best lines too much, while in the play the actress always projects, ensuring the audience hears the jokes. Also Sasha Baron Cohen was the only one doing a French accent, while was a little odd, but I heard he ended up being sick during the time he was filming which effected his voice. On the other hand, when I was the play, I found Cosette and Marius to be a total snooze (Team Eponine!), I found myself being able to stomach their romance this time around.
One thing that is true of both the play and the film is that the 2 halves are so different. While many love the story of Fontaine, I am far more invested in the political stuff in the second part and first saw this in high school so Eponine is incredibly relatable. I will note the teenagers next to me were quieter during the second half (also, people are prettier in the second half, ha). Everyone in the political group is fantastic, particularly Enjolras the leader of the group. I really would be happy with a whole film just about those guys. However, seeing that the movie is so long and such a heavy subject matter, an intermission between the two very different halves would have been appreciated, though knowing today’s movie audiences half the crowd would probably get confused and leave. Sigh.
If you are familiar with the stage version, you’ll probably enjoy the film (unless you’re expecting it to be exactly like your favorite cast recording). If all you know about it is that Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman are in it, please be prepared for very sad things to happen to them as they sing and for them to not look their best and you should be fine.

Downton Abbey

Every year there is a new show that everyone praises so much you think it can’t possibly be as good as they all act it is (but it usually is pretty damn good television). A couple of years ago, the in show to obsess over was Downton Abbey, and after two seasons of fighting it, I have recently gotten up to speed just in time for the season three US premiere. Like with Mad Men and Breaking Bad before it, Downton Abbey does live up to the hype with first class acting, writing, etc. Everything about this strong and shows what television can do as a medium.
Downton Abbey follows Robert Crawley- the Earl of Grantham, his family and servants that live in his home. His has three daughters, all at the age where they should be married off, a American born wife, and a nosey mother played by Maggie Smith. What I love about the cast is that none of the main characters are bad people. They all have their flaws which leads to the bulk of the drama, but deep down all them mean well, most of the time. Ever Thomas and O’Brien have their moments where they’re not total pains in the ass! The family cares deeply for their servants and appreciate all the perks their wealth provides them with. I’m not sure how accurate it all is, but it’s refreshing to watch a show that doesn’t make you hate half the cast. Even the stuffy Maggie Smith shows compassion towards the help.
One of the center stories revolves around the Earl’s valet, John Bates. He enters the house a man with many secrets and must battle the jealous and crafty Thomas who feels the position was rightly his. Bates developed a relationship with house maid Anna while still tethered to his first wife who bitterly fought the legal end to their marriage. Every time Anna and Bates find some happiness, the first wife would pop back in to make their lives hellish, finally killing herself in a way that would make it look like she was murdered by Bates. Where we last leave them, Bates is serving life in prison after narrowly escaping a death sentence. It sometimes boarders on misery porn because they are such good people, it’s frustrating to watch their happy ending consistently just beyond their reach.
Another ongoing story involves the Earl’s oldest daughter Mary and his heir (daughters cannot inherit the title) Matthew. As Mary was engaged to the previous heir (who was killed on the Titanic), there is the assumption that they will pair off, but they don’t get along when they first meet. Over time they build a friendship that turns into love, however, their happiness is first thwarted by Mary’s brattiness (as she ignores Matthew in order to show up her plainer sister, Edith) and later Matthew is engaged to another woman, but the last shot of season two had the ready to give romance a final try. I really can’t get too invested in them as I find Mary too obnoxious but I’ll root for them as long as their relationship doesn’t ruin anymore lives.
One of the major themes in the show is the ways the options for women were changing. All three daughters have found themselves wanted more purpose than a life of primping and being waited on, none more that youngest Sybil, who defied her father by marrying the family’s chauffeur and moving to Ireland.
I am going to be a bit controversial and admit I don’t think Maggie Smith deserves all the awards she’s winning for her role. While she’s a lot of fun in the role, there’s not much meat there compared to some of her counterparts from other shows. Last year Christina Hendricks knocked it out of the park in Mad Men and it was tough to see her lose. Award shows tend to favor supporting characters who are amusing, as she is a very respected actress with a long career so she’s most likely being awarded for her legacy.
Season three premieres in the US this Sunday (Jan 6) and I’ll be recapping all episodes right here. Stay tune!