TV Review: Russians, Art, and Boredom on ‘Downton Abbey’

Last week, Mary (Michelle Dockery) seemed pretty optimistic about having a holiday with Tony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) in Liverpool. However, now she looks ready to shake him off and move on to another suitor. She didn’t heed Charles Blake’s (Julian Ovenden) warning from beforehand that Tony was too boring. It’s rather puzzling why she insists on dragging on the affair rather than giving Tony the boot. It’s plain to see that Mary is bored, which probably makes the viewers feel bored as well. Even the fact that she’s seen by Spratt (Jeremy Swift) does little to enliven this part of the plot. One reason for the dragging pace is the fact that Mary’s suitors are not that appealing. Continue reading “TV Review: Russians, Art, and Boredom on ‘Downton Abbey’”

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TV Review: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5 Opener Puts Out Fires

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

“Downton Abbey” returned in all its splendor last night, picking up in 1924, which is 10 years after the time the series first began. Thank goodness for the jumps instead of having to wait 10 years. Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) visits her daughter Marigold at the farm. Her grief for Michael and being separated from her daughter leads her to accidentally set fire to her room. The literal fire may be out, but one expects that Edith’s woes are far from over. Continue reading “TV Review: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5 Opener Puts Out Fires”

TV Review: George Clooney Takes Over ‘Downton Abbey for Text Santa’

Caution: This post contains spoilers.

The beloved characters of “Downton Abbey” spoofed themselves in a “Text Santa” charity special on television this past weekend. It’s quite a hilarious romp, beginning with Lord Grantham’s (Hugh Bonneville) discovery that he’s lost the family fortune again. Following the familiar path of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” he thinks life for everyone would be better if he’d never been born. Joanna Lumley pops up as the Christmas ghost to show him just how things would have turned out.

Continue reading “TV Review: George Clooney Takes Over ‘Downton Abbey for Text Santa’”

Friday Fun: George Clooney and the ‘Downton Abbey’ Selfie

We’ve been hearing for days that George Clooney will be making an appearance on the ITV show “Downton Abbey.” It looks like there was a lot of fun on the set during filming, as the cast gathered enthusiastically for a selfie. The photo was shared by Radio Times and other outlets this morning, in anticipation for the Christmas special.

Though their characters are typically in the background or “downstairs,” on this occasion both Phyllis Logan and Jim Carter (Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson) are in the front with George, with Ms. Logan snapping the shot. A few cast members are missing from the group, including Hugh Bonneville, a friend of Clooney’s. See what happens when the Lord and Lady (Elizabeth McGovern) of the Manor are away! It’s a rare glimpse of modern tech infiltrating the “Downton” set, where the infamous water bottle photo was taken just months ago. That photo was lampooned to no end online, even by the actors themselves in good fun. It’s always great to see candid and fun moments when the camera isn’t rolling, though the dramatic scenes from the hit show are certainly not to be missed.

“Downtown Abbey” will air on Christmas Day on ITV at 9 PM. American audiences have to wait on viewing this two hour special if they don’t want to spoil anything from Season 5. Thankfully, the latest season will premiere in the States on January 5, 2015, so we don’t have to wait much longer here!

Film News: ‘Frozen Fever’ Opens in March 2015 Before ‘Cinderella’

The beloved characters of “Frozen” will be returning next year in a special animated short, to be screened right before “Cinderella.” The special is aptly named “Frozen Fever” because unless you’ve been off the network, you’re well aware of the popularity of the 2013 film that started it all. It’s a surge that brought the “Frozen Sing-Along” only months later and to this day, still has adults and kids singing “Let It Go.” The good news broke today on Disney Insider, which hints that Elsa’s powers may wreak havoc at Anna’s birthday party. Continue reading “Film News: ‘Frozen Fever’ Opens in March 2015 Before ‘Cinderella’”

TV Review: Isobel Versus Lady Violet on ‘Downton Abbey’

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

Last night’s episode of “Downton Abbey” was a marked improvement from the previous week, even though it did not offer surprises. In many ways, it was a return to the quips, wit, and dinner pageantry that has always made the serial popular. Understandably, the characters (and fans) have been mourning Matthew’s (Dan Stevens) passing, but the plot direly needed to move forward. Continue reading “TV Review: Isobel Versus Lady Violet on ‘Downton Abbey’”

‘Downton Abbey’ Review: Bates Finally Gets Answers About Anna

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

Episode four of “Downton Abbey” put Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) in a bit of a tight spot: tell Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) why Anna (Joanne Froggatt) has pushed him away or let him leave Downton. She chooses the former, knowing that Bates’ departure would break Anna’s heart. As Anna predicted, Bates intends to take action against the perpetrator. Fans may need to dig up those “Free Bates” shirts if he does follow through on his vow. Continue reading “‘Downton Abbey’ Review: Bates Finally Gets Answers About Anna”