A Big Boy Night: Downton Abbey

7 Jan

DowntonAbbeyAs most TSM followers know, my husband and I are somewhat nerdy and don’t watch the television much, save for the Modern Family and Chopped.  Honestly, we are usually in bed by no later than 9:00 pm, but are up by 4:00 am.  I usually like to roll my hair in my tomato cans by 8:00 and be ready for bed by 9:00 after my dental hygiene routine, which is part of the Gay Agenda. With that being said, we have become addicted to the PBS soap opera that is Downton Abbey.  So you can imagine what a “Big Boy” night it was when we had to stay up past 9:00 to watch the premiere of Downton Abbey Season III.

We actually used the machine on the tv to tape Downton Abbey, but we already watched the special feature with our Angela Lansbury, who looks absolutely stunning at 87!  While it is our Dame Maggie Smith, the Dowager Countess, who is a primary reason we are avid fans of the show, albeit I actually know a real life Dowager Countess, we are addicted to the story line.

Our biggest disappointment in Downton Abbey is the unacceptable homophobia of writer Julian Fellowes!  In his screenplay for Gosford Park, Fellowes depicts the gay characters played by Bob Balaban and Ryan Phillippe as hedonistic self-serving loathsome people.  Sadly, he has now done his worst in portraying the only gay character in Downton Abbey, Thomas, as a sociopath.  What is that about?  Has our Fellowes not ever met any good gay folk?  Is our Fellowes struggling with some demons of his own?  I’m afraid at this point, there are no redeemable traits in our Thomas, so we are left to further vilify gay folk and bear witness to the inexcusable homophobia of Fellowes.

Both Fellowes and Rob James-Collier (who plays Thomas) have promised a more complex and sympathetic portrait of the valet in Season III. We shall see. In the meantime, the season began on a high note, with the welcome addition of Shirley MacLaine.  The multiple storylines and rich characters continue to weave a tapestry of intrigue that showcases class and privilege in rapidly changing times. It’s also — as good television ought to be — great fun wrapped in touching humanity. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store!


10 Responses to “A Big Boy Night: Downton Abbey”

  1. Lori Schmidt January 7, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Loved the addition of Shirley MacLaine, especially when she sang to Maggie Smith. ; )

  2. Lori Schmidt January 7, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    Plus, I stayed up until 11:45p.m.! ; )

  3. webwordwarrior January 7, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Hee hee hee: “Big Boy Night”
    Seriously, as someone who grew up on a strict limited TV diet and who watches almost no current programming, I must admit that I became hooked on this show. Yes, it is a soap opera, but it is a very fine one indeed. (British accents also allow me to feel ever-so-slightly superior, so there is that, too.)
    I do wonder if anything can be done to redeem Thomas at this late date, but the teasers give some promise.
    I have also grown sad with the (very plausible) rigidity of character in Carson. I want to like him, but cannot.
    Branson and cousin Matthew, on the other hand, make me cheer.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 7, 2013 at 7:54 am #


      I fear we are far off the cliff to redeem Thomas and you echoed perfectly my sentiments about Carson! Yes, Branson and Matthew warm one’s heart.

  4. Jay January 8, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Ye gods, up at 4am? You sound like my dairy farmer cousins. (MOOOO! That’s dairy cow for ‘Empty my udder, humans!’ MOOOO!).

    This night owl shudders at the thought, but I’m glad you and Robert both enjoy getting up in the middle of the night.

    In contrast to your peculiar waking hour, I do share your affection for Downton Abbey. I’m pleased that Season 3 is shaping up as a nice rebound from the sophomore slump of Season 2.

    Now Mad Men–that’s the best show of the past five years. And Breaking Bad. Yeah, I’m one of those annoying guys–recommend a TV show, and I have to play the “but what about Mad Men and Breaking Bad?” game.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 9, 2013 at 6:29 am #

      Yes, Robert and I are exceedingly fortunate that we both are morning people. Alas, we are not particularly fun at late night parties. I have always envied folk that can stay up late!

  5. Jennifer Carey January 9, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    So I see it’s true! PBS is part of the Gay Mafia! I knew you were pushing your agenda out there with quality, thought provoking programming!

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