Sunday, January 6, 2013


I don't know about anybody else but I still love this show. Of the few TV series I watch, which includes BOARDWALK EMPIRE and HOMELAND, DOWNTON ABBEY is the most satisfying. The story line(s), no matter how contrived and/or tied to historic explication, never make me think WTF (as in both the other shows), but rather make me laugh out loud in satisfaction at their daring to throw in last minute wedding cancellations even when you know the wedding, or at least this one, will go through etc.

But what made me keep disturbing with loud laughter my neighbors in the apartment above me and next door in this old house I have an apartment in was the match up of Maggie Smith and Shirley McClaine. Their tart exchanges, so well written by Julian Fellowes, make their encounters all the more juicy, but even if they were just throwing random lines from some textbook at each other the duel would be no less sharp. They are so evenly matched (except in the ravages of face lifts which my old eyes see no evidence of in Smith but unfortunately can in McClaine) it's like a championship fight or game with the two best in their divisions, only the outcome I can already tell is a tie.

A total delight and the perfect antidote to the post holidays let down. Picked me right up.


William McPherson said...

Michael, I love your enthusiasms, your to say the least catholic tastes, your openness. You contain multitudes, as someone once said and you entertain contradictions. Moving on from my love song, I've seen only the first season of Homeland but I thought it was terrific. By the time the coincidences begin to seem a little over the top, you don't care because the script is so well written and inventive, and the actors so good. At least, i didn't care. If I can manage the technology I'll send you a photo of my granddaughter with the male star of Downton Abbey, Guess I'll have to watch Downton on iTunes or sign up for cable. (Maybe Maggie Smith hasn't had a facelift?)

Lally said...

Thanks Bill. I'm still digging the acting in HOMELAND, by the way, and the story is compelling but erratically for me. As for my face lift comment, a little snarky of me, but I did mean that Smith doesn't look like she's had any "work" done. McClaine's face is a little stiff, probably more botox than surgery if what people tell me is correct. I have nothing against that stuff, but I do love to see the lines and evidence of a life and up close (from my experience in my years in Hollywood) the lifts can look pretty frightening after a while. I was at a dinner party once in H'wood that Shirley McClaine was at and she acted pretty much the way she does on Downton! Quite sure she was the center of attention and correct about everything. Though I suppose I have been known to act that way myself at times!