On DVD: Struggling to get through the original Twin Peaks, season two. It feels like David Lynch left mid-season on some extended coffee break, and left the show in the hands of some little Lynchlings, who just don't have his magic touch.
On Netflix: Animal Kingdom, season two. It's addictively great, Ellen Barkin is hard to take your eyes off of, you never know what her character will do next.
Well, David Lynch did indeed leave mid-season, because he was so angry that the network forced him to reveal Laura Palmer’s killer. He only came back for the last episode. Hence the shocking drop in quality in the second half of S2.
"I prefer reading to writing. Reading changes your worldview. Writing changes absolutely nothing. Except, of course, when it makes you rich." Michel Houellebecq
Post by maxwellperfect on Jul 5, 2018 13:59:04 GMT
"Square Pegs" (first and only season)
Watching this for the first time since it originally aired was a bit of a shock at first. There is some artificiality to it having come out during a certain "New Wave" moment that wasn't really that universal, and it was heavily reliant on pop culture references that are often dated. The laugh track is jarring and it seems like in the first several episodes the writers were trying not to scare away potential views by making it as normal a sitcom as possible. However, the smart writing does take over and the characters get fleshed out more as the season progresses. One has to wonder how the series would have matured if it had continued. One could consider it a prototype for "Freaks and Geeks."
What'd you think of the first season of Downton Abbey?
You know me too well, Chalice_Of_Evil . Yes, that is indeed what drew me to it in the first place. I'd been thinking about buying the dvds for a while, but decided to borrow the dvds from the library first (they have all the seasons including the specials) just in case I found myself not that into it. I quite liked the first season, though. The story is set in an interesting historical era, and while not all the characters are instantly likeable, I still enjoy seeing them all interact. It's a weirdly addictive show.
That’s alright, Hirundo, I understand...since it was Jessica Brown Findlay who got *me* interested in the show – Season 1 of which I just finished on Blu-ray last night.
I’m just going to break this down into a characters list and work from there with my thoughts.
After having just mentioned that the reason I started watching the show was Jessica Brown Findlay, it might seem a bit ‘biased’ to say she’s my favourite – but I think even without knowing of her prior to this show and seeing her in other things, her character of Sybil would’ve still become my favourite, since she’s easily the nicest of the characters in the show. She didn’t get a whole lot to do/say in the early episodes, but it quickly became clear that she was the kindest of the three daughters, as she thought of others and not just herself – as evidenced by her trying to help Gwen (Rose Leslie aka Ygritte from Game of Thrones, who I was *not* expecting to see in this show and thus it was a nice surprise) secure an interview for a job as a secretary. The fact that she not only helped her, but wouldn’t give up on her getting an interview showed just what a good person Sybil is.
I really liked the friendship that formed between the two of them, and while I’m happy that Gwen finally got the job she wanted, I’ll be sad to see her go, as it was nice to see a female friendship in the show with no ulterior motives on backstabbing or anything. I enjoyed their little ‘adventure’ out together – even if it ended up with them both falling in mud as they tried to get Sybil’s horse (who’s apparently named ‘Dragon’ – which I just love) to move. Actually, it’s quite unfair that out of all the daughters, Sybil is the one to wind up in mud and then getting injured/knocked unconscious later in the season. Sadly, I know that more ‘unfairness’ is yet to happen with her character – which really sucks, since she is so kindhearted. I hate it when the nice folks have all the bad stuff happen to them while the horrible people get away basically scot-free.
I also liked that Sybil had an interest in politics and stuck to it, despite her father not wanting her to get involved. Yes, it did eventually lead to her getting injured, but she showed she wasn’t just some pushover who would do as asked. Too often the ‘nice’ characters in things just seem to be written as meek and not standing up for themselves, but she does - while at the same time never getting ‘nasty’ (unlike her sisters). It was also good to see her and Branson show an interest in each other, as he seems like the sort who’d treat her properly, as she deserves to be.
I liked Branson and Gwen quite a bit, as although they didn’t get a whole lot to do, they still came across as two of the ‘nicer’ characters among the ‘downstairs’ group. I really liked seeing their group hug with Sybil after she let Gwen know she’d gotten the job. I wish we could’ve seen more of the three of them together...but I guess Rose Leslie had to go off to tell Jon Snow he knows nothing.
I was surprised to find myself liking the character of Anna...or, more accurately, the actress Joanne Froggatt, as the thing I first saw her in was Season 3/the final season of the TV series Robin Hood...where she replaced a favourite character of mine and played a character who I didn’t like at all. She was part of the reason I greatly disliked Season 3, and I didn’t think I’d ever see her in a role where I could appreciate her acting ability. Prior to this show, I’d seen her in the first season of Liar – and my opinion of her hadn’t improved. However, thankfully I’m finally getting to see her play a likable character here. Anna, like Sybil, was a good friend to Gwen (covering for her when she hadn’t even explained why – they’re just such good friends she did it automatically) and thought of others – most notably Bates.
I really felt sorry for Bates when the show started, as certain characters seemed to look down on him because of his leg. However, there were those who didn’t judge him for it, and Anna seemed to be the main one. Not only didn’t she think less of him, but she was kind to him without pitying him and helped him out a great deal without treating him like he couldn’t do anything for himself. I was so glad that he had her in his corner, as there were others working against him (who I’ll be tearing apart later). Yes, it was a bit predictable that the ‘younger’ woman took an interest in the ‘older’ man and vice versa, but both actors played the growing bond/friendship/relationship between their characters so convincingly, I thought, that it didn’t feel like a seen-it-all-before relationship (to me, anyway).
The most frustrating thing about Bates was that he wasn’t more forthcoming with information – even to those who had shown they were on his side and could be trusted. There were several instances where I was practically yelling at the TV, “Just TELL THEM already, Bates!” in regards to things he knew that could’ve made life simpler for him (and gotten rid of those who were horrible to him). Alas, he kept things to himself...which, I guess, was understandable to an extent, but it was just frustrating. I don’t care how it would’ve seemed; I would have totally been on board with him ‘ratting out’ those who truly deserved to be fired so that he wasn’t under constant threat of losing his job. Unlike them, he wouldn’t have deserved to be dismissed.
Given these^ were some of my favourites, I was happy to see them share a scene when someone from Carson’s past came to extort money from in. That was a fun scene, seeing these characters from both upstairs and downstairs all together, and if I didn’t already like Hugh Bonneville’s character, then this scene would’ve done it, as he dealt with the trouble-maker well and showed he had no judgement of Carson’s past. I think Lord Grantham has many admirable qualities, and while he has authority, he is also likable (the only time he wasn’t so much was regarding Sybil’s ‘outing’, though his anger was at least partially understandable given that he was worried about her. Still, I’m glad she stood up to him in their argument scene).
Hugh Bonneville is excellent and showed some real depth to his character. I like that he got along with other characters I liked, but also the fact that he disliked characters I hated made me like him even more. He also showed that he cared for his staff and was willing to help them out (like with Mrs. Patmore) and give them the benefit of the doubt (like with Bates and Carson).
Characters I liked/didn’t mind:
I’ve seen Michelle Dockery in a bunch of things prior to this show, and I imagine probably a lot of people thought of her character, Mary, as simply ‘bitchy’ with nothing else much to her. I actually could see some ‘depth’ to her character as well as nuance...though they only allowed us to see that part of her occasionally. It was clear that she was often just acting tough/’cold’ and that she actually did have vulnerabilities. I might’ve thought she was a bit harsh towards Matthew in the beginning, but it was nice to see them interacting when they actually got along. It’s just a shame that she could be her own worst enemy at times (that is, when Edith wasn’t being her enemy).
I liked Matthew too, and what I really enjoyed early on with his character was how he, at first, wanted to do everything for himself and pretty much rendered poor Molesley superfluous. However, after getting a talking to, he eased off a bit and let Molesley do his job (ie. helping him choose/put on cufflinks, putting on his jacket, cleaning it) and he even complimented him on a job well done. I thought the actor playing Molesley did so much with what he had to work with in his scenes, and I was glad to see Matthew wasn’t so proud that he wasn’t willing to let Moseley do what he was there to do.
I know Matthew and Mary are the ones we’re being told ‘should’ be together, but I liked the little bit of interaction we saw with him and Sybil when he saved her after she got injured. Likewise, I enjoyed seeing Mary’s interaction with William. Speaking of William, he was another decent guy who wasn’t treated nearly as well as he should’ve been. He certainly deserves better than Daisy (who he’s clearly interested in, but who doesn’t notice him/treats him like crap because she’s interested in that a-hole, Thomas). I kept willing him to give up on her and take an interest in any of the nicer/better female characters instead. I was happy to see him finally deck that bastard Thomas in the season final (after he insulted William’s dearly departed mother). I only wish he’d done more damage to him.
I wasn’t sure about Carson to begin with, but he proved himself pretty decent throughout the season and that he wasn’t willing to just accept the accusations made towards Bates (which, given the source, should’ve been rather obvious that they couldn’t be trusted). He was amusing with the telephone which was introduced in the season final, and I liked that he clearly cared about Mary. He, like Lord Grantham, certainly had autohority/dignity to him, but he proved to be a fair sort of fellow. Likewise, I didn’t mind Mrs. Hughes (though wasn’t sure of her in the beginning either). I think when compared to a certain other ‘older’ female character among the ‘downstairs’ group, she came out looking pretty damn good.
Mrs. Patmore could be a bit much to take at times (her constant yelling got rather old after a while), but I did feel sympathy for her when she thought she was about to be fired due to her eyesight causing problems, then later after she was taken to London to get her eyes fixed and was left alone in a room after Anna had to go. That was probably the only time I really ‘cared’ about the character. Though I did like the fact that she started off at odds with her replacement, Mrs. Bird, but then they found they thought quite alike and teamed up. Still, some of the things she asked Daisy to do (like making Mrs. Bird’s food not taste so good so she wouldn’t be seen as ‘better’) went a bit far, as did her constant yelling at Daisy (although, to be fair, sometimes Daisy deserved it). Speaking of Daisy, this now brings me to...
Characters I either dislike or simply hate with a fiery passion:
Daisy should’ve been a character I liked, as she was the nervous sort, stumbled over her words/made mistakes and was the ‘cute’ type of character...except...she really wasn’t. She was more irritating and just plain naive (if not outright dumb) on several occasions. Worst of all, she showed no interest in a decent man like William, but instead only had eyes for that waste of space, Thomas. It was so bad she even started treating poor William like Thomas did – and that showed she didn’t have a mind of her own. Another example was when she let Thomas force her to lie for him to get Bates fired. However, thankfully she eventually came to her senses regarding that filthy lie and told Carson the truth. Still, I was more often than not annoyed by her, and I can’t see how she could still be so blind to what sort of person Thomas was after he insulted poor William’s dearly departed mother. I did feel a smidgen sorry for her when Mrs. Patmore would yell at her for things she wasn’t responsible for...but considering all the things she was responsible for, it was hard to feel too sorry for her.
Someone else who was annoying more often than not was Edith. I get that she was constantly being overlooked in favour of Mary, but she did some questionable things to get back at her – and then was shocked when Mary retaliated. I’m so very glad I never had any siblings. Anyway, I can’t say I ever really had any moments where I ‘connected’ with her character, so by the end of the season she was pretty much just ‘there’ (and I wouldn’t miss her at all if she disappeared). Her mother wasn’t much better, as she was rather frustrating at times and, worst of all, she was the reason why the character I hated the most got to stick around, since she was too fond of her to let her go. Still...she didn’t deserve to lose her unborn child because of said person (whom she trusted and is sadly none the wiser regarding the involvement she had in her being injured).
Thomas – what can I say about him that I haven't already? I’m rather sick and tired of these ‘bad boys’ who are just plain mean, horrible bullies and yet certain people still like them (just like Daisy likes him for some unfathomable reason). I don’t care if he has some ‘excuse’ for how he acts – there’s no excusing the stuff he's pulled, and every time it was made clear just how rotten a person he was, I kept being amazed at how he still had a job. I’m annoyed that he wasn’t actually fired in the season final. I so very much wanted to see him taken down a few pegs. I’ll never understand this fascination with characters who don’t seem to have any redeeming qualities to them. I know you said you grew to like him later on, Hirundo, but for me it’ll take a great deal before I ever sympathise with his character.
The only character I hated more than him^ was O’Brien. Put simply...she’s an evil bitch. To list the many heinous things she did throughout the course of these first seven episodes would make this already long post even longer. Suffice to say, she got on my nerves whenever she opened her mouth (it seemed like she couldn’t open her mouth without making some nasty remark. Others would just be having a polite conversation, then she’d have to interject with something nasty/horrible). Even just her constant single expression said what a sourpuss she was. Of course poor old Bates was her main victim, as she kept trying to get him fired (and I kept wishing she would be instead). Naturally she’d get along with Thomas, since they’re both horrible people.
However, she went fully evil in the season final when she mistakenly thought Cora was replacing her. Never mind the fact that she’d always trusted O’Brien and treated her fairly, this evil woman just jumped to conclusions, didn’t bother to check and then committed the despicable act of intentionally moving the bar of soap on the floor so that Cora would slip on it. She knew what she was doing, and no, the bit where she looked in the mirror and said to herself “This isn’t you.” (I was scoffing and saying to the TV, “It totally IS you!”) doesn’t count for anything, as thinking/doing something wicked isn’t undone by having second thoughts about it later no matter how shortly thereafter. The damage was done; she cost Cora her unborn child, then didn’t even have the decency to confess. So now Cora continues to treat her like she’s so 'good' when we know she’s the exact opposite. While she hasn’t quite reached the same level as Zach from The Strain in being THE WORST character in a TV show I’ve watched in a long time...she’s certainly not far behind him. I just can’t see her ever being ‘redeemable’ at this point. Every second she’s onscreen I wish her gone, and I’d be able to enjoy the show a whole lot more if she was. How she still has a job after all the crap she’s pulled is mind-boggling. She’s one of those characters who make you want to stab the TV screen whenever she appears on it.
In a category all of her own:
Maggie Smith as Violet, the Dowager Countess. Sometimes I quite like her, other times...not so much, but Maggie Smith is, of course, always splendid in the role. I did like that we saw her swallow her pride and allow Moseley’s father to win the award she had won every other time in that one episode. I know people think she’s amazing with her put-downs of other characters, but for me that doesn’t *make* a character. I hope to see a bit more depth with her as I progress through the show. I did like her interaction with Matthew's mother (who I was glad to see giving as good as she got from the Dowager Countess as far as snarky comments were concerned. I was also glad they seemed to get along a bit more by the end. The two actresses seemed to get along very well in the behind the scenes extras I watched).
Naturally the show looks amazing. The house itself is a sight to behold and all the costumes and everything look splendid/authentic. I also really like the show’s theme and the music used throughout. Lastly, I want to say that I LOVE Lord Grantham’s dog (and the fact that the opening credits begin on the dog’s bum...I mean tail).
I do know a few things that are yet to come, but on the whole I remain relatively spoiler-free for the show. It has been pretty enjoyable to watch (the only downside being those couple of characters I can’t stand). I do look forward to continuing with it. I’m kind of glad that I’m able to watch it at my leisure, however many episodes at a time, and not have to wait a week in between them like I would’ve when it was on TV. I never checked it out when it was on, but I’m glad I’m getting to now.
Post by maxwellperfect on Jul 10, 2018 18:49:34 GMT
'Wizards and Warriors' (first and only season)
Overall an entertaining series that mixed adventure and comedy. However, since it ran for an hour, the episodes often got bogged down and the "stories" were often little more than one adventure situation after another. (Oh, there's an invisible dragon, oh there's a band of hexed villagers coming after us, oh there's another monster, etc.) Also, towards the end it seems that the original writers/creators bailed out so we have episodes with a spy thriller or war movie plots with little regard or attention to whatever mythology the original writers were trying to establish. The good witch character basically disappears with no pay-off, as does the series in general.
Post by stefancrosscoe on Jul 16, 2018 15:48:51 GMT
Almost finished with first season of The Dead Zone (2002-07) and I just cannot seem to understand how this show went on for a further 5 seasons. Sure, it might pick up quality wise but after a few episodes it becomes extremely tame and repeats itself far too often. Not much character depth either and while I thought Anthony Michael Hall does an okay job, he doesent get much to work with, and compared to the original 1983 movie (which is one of my favorites) I was very disappointed at how poor the pilot episode ended up, and had hoped it would at least go a bit further with the murder/serial killer aspect, but now it is gotten way out of hand and not in a good way. Will likely ever bother wasting more time or money on it, as it is barely above a 5/10 rating and I am just going through the last few episodes to finish the "job" and be done with it.
For it is written: the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with her blood. And I saw her sent upon a hairy beast and she held forth a golden chalice full of the filthiness of fornications. And upon her forehead was written: "Behold I am the great mother of harlots and all abominations of the Earth."
I still like Sybil the best, though she seemed to have more of an ‘edge’ to her this season. She argued with both Branson and her father more, and Branson seemed a lot more argumentative this season. While Sybil’s behavior didn’t really make me like her any less, Branson did get a bit annoying at times. I was glad to see that she stood up to both him and her father and stuck to what she believed in/wanted to do. I liked that she found a ‘purpose’ in helping others and becoming a nurse. I also enjoyed watching her learn to cook.
Mrs. Patmore’s response to what Sybil was stirring in the pot was rather amusing. Sybil just always seems like such a kind soul, thinking of others before herself and doing good without ulterior motives/wanting something in return – for this reason, she was still my favourite character in Season 2. I missed Rose Leslie as Gwen and the friendship she had with Sybil, though. I also missed Sybil during the 'Christmas at Downton Abbey' episode at the end of the season.
Anna was also still thoughtful of others and one of the only real decent folks from the ‘downstairs’ group. Bates was unfortunately saddled with an unlikeable-wife-returning plot and their ugly divorce was not fun to watch. I knew Maria Doyle Kennedy mainly from Orphan Black (where she played a mostly likeable character) and The Tudors (where I wasn’t that fussed on her character) before seeing her here, where she was exceedingly unlikeable and I wanted her gone asap. I was pretty happy with her fate...it was just unfortunate that it led to Bates getting the blame. Of course, he could’ve helped his case by being more open/sharing information. His worst enemy (besides O’Brien and Thomas) is his inability to give people all the information they need to help him. He keeps it bottled up/to himself, and that lands him in hot water. I’m glad that he and Anna finally got together and they got hitched...but, naturally, their wedded bliss lasted for only a brief time before he was hauled off to jail. I hope they actually get some time to be happy in future seasons and that it's not just unhappy event after unhappy event for them. I probably would've worried more for Bates if I hadn't already known he made it to later seasons.
Lord Grantham was a mix of being a good man and a frustrating man throughout the season. He was decent when dealing with Bates (even when he got angry at him) and when he tried to make clear to the court that Bates was just as decent as he, but as is seemingly always the way when it comes to courtroom scenes, the words of those trying to save the person on trial get twisted around and it winds up looking bad/worse for the person they were trying to help/save. It was frustrating to see that one of the only things that Lord Grantham riled up (whereas usually he was pretty calm, cool and collected) was Sybil's relationship with Branson. There are others who much more deserve his anger *coughThomascoughO'Briencough* than Sybil, but he treated her like she was the worst. It's annoying when he can be decent to some of the 'downstairs' folk, but not to Branson who, while he could be annoying at times, at least didn't back down from standing up for both himself and Sybil (and their relationship). At least he found out about the whole dead body in Mary's bed thing from last season finally. Honestly, he seemed to handle even that better than Sybil's marrying Branson.
Probably THE MOST frustrated I got with Lord Grantham was when he was too blind to see how Thomas totally played him regarding "finding" his "lost" dog (which I'll get to later). I don't know how he can be so blind or forgiving in regards to people like Thomas and O'Brien who are so blatantly horrible. They should've both been out of jobs ages ago, yet Lord Grantham forgives them. Also, why didn't he take more issue with Sir. Richard Carlisle (played by Iain Glen aka Jorah Mormont/Lord Friendzone from Game of Thrones) manhandling Mary right in front of him? Yes, by the end he made it clear to Mary he didn't think she should be with the guy who obviously was not good to her, but he should've decked him before Matthew had to (or at least after - Carlisle would've deserved it).
Speaking of Matthew, I did feel bad for him after he seemingly lost the use of his legs, but his attitude made it hard to feel quite so sorry for him, especially when everyone kept telling him that his being in a wheelchair didn't matter to them. He did feel a bit 'woe is me', and while I can understand it, it wasn't exactly 'fun' to see him acting that way. I figured Lavinia was pretty much doomed as soon as he turned up with her, as she was basically 'the other woman' that was clearly there to keep Matthew and Mary apart for the majority of the season. Sure, she seemed nice enough, but she just wasn't overly interesting, I thought. I know others probably find Mary 'worse', given how she can act a lot of the time, but I can't say I ever find her 'boring' (at least not thus far), so therefore I much preferred her with Matthew, as at least they had some 'spark' between them. I did like seeing Mary have some more 'human' moments, but she also kept her 'edge' and could be not-very-nice at times too. Still, I don't hate her (yet). I'm glad she and Matthew FINALLY got together in the Christmas episode, as it would've been annoying if they'd dragged out them hooking up any longer. Although, all I could think during the proposal scene was Matthew's knee must've been freezing.
Thankfully Edith became a bit more tolerable this season. It does feel as though her character is one of those ones that the writers find it difficult to give some 'purpose' to (besides being in constant conflict with Mary). She did some driving, spent time with the guy claiming to be Patrick (who had been thought dead from the first episode of the show) and...I can't really remember much else she did. Still, at least it seemed like there was a bit less arguing between her and Mary/backstabbing this season.
Carson, who I'd grown to like throughout Season 1, had some instances this season where I was annoyed by his attitude towards certain other characters. And, like Lord Grantham, he got played by Thomas so easily. Why is he so forgiving of Thomas and O'Brien, when he'll lose it at others for more insignificant things? Seems unbalanced to me. He really should've dismissed the two of them ages ago. I think the most I felt sorry for him was when Mary was temporarily angry at him. He obviously cares for her a lot, and his story he told about her as a child was really nicely performed, I thought. Mrs. Hughes was, again, likeable at times and a bit less so at other times, but on the whole she was fairly decent.
Mrs. Patmore was more amusing this season, I found, and she toned down the yelling at Daisy a bit...although her constantly telling Daisy to lie to William about how she felt about him did feel as though it got a bit much at times. Then again, Daisy still irritated me. Though I could see both sides of the argument. On the one hand, constantly being told by someone else to lie would get annoying (whereas if you choose to lie, at least then it's your own decision for better or worse), but on the other hand, considering that William was dying...being honest about not feeling the same way for him as he did for her would've just seemed like it was mostly for Daisy's benefit (so she could feel better about herself), rather than his (since being told by the person he loved that she didn't actually love him would've just made him die faster and with a broken heart).
So the lying, in this case, was probably for the 'better', as he didn't deserve to die with a broken heart, since he was one of the actual really genuinely good people among the 'downstairs' group. He saved Matthew and was clearly braver than Thomas, yet was always treated badly by Thomas, O'Brien and Daisy. He was one of the true heroes in the show, and it's annoying that he died while other horrible people got to live on. Farewell, William...you deserved better. I hope that Daisy doesn't mess up things with William's father, since he's now sort of 'adopted' her as a second child, now that his actual one has passed on. Mrs. Patmore was more tolerable for me this season (despite her still constantly being on Daisy's case), but I enjoyed her interaction with Sybil, and best of all...she got a couple of good shots in at Thomas's expense - which made me like her all the more.
Cora was okay, I think (I can't really remember much regarding her), though I kept wishing she'd see through O'Brien's attempt to 'make up' for what she did last season (causing her injury which resulted in the loss of her unborn child). I'm not sure why so many characters turn a blind eye to the clearly horrible people in the show. It's quite baffling. Still, I preferred Cora to Matthew's mum this season. Last season, she didn't bug me too much, but this season she did. I was SO glad when Lord Grantham wasn't having any of her trying to get rid of Isis the dog so she couldn't wander in on the soldiers who were being housed at Downton Abbey. Screw you, woman, that dog had more right to be there than you or them! You barged in there, trying to take charge and had the audacity to suggest that something be done to remove the dog who lives there? I finally sided with Violet after that and was glad whenever she'd make some snarky comment at Matthew's mum or try to get her away from Downton. Speaking of, I liked the Dowager Countess more this season. She made me laugh quite a few times, but I especially liked her reaction once Lord Friendzone was getting kicked out.
Of the new characters introduced, I didn't really think much of any of them. Ethel was no Gwen, Lavinia was just a speed bump in the road to Matthew/Mary and Carlisle was a jerk. At least Bates' wife carked it - so that was something.
And now to the two characters who make me want to stab the TV whenever they appear onscreen - O'Brien and Thomas. O'Brien might've mellowed slightly...but certainly not by much. It was still the case that whenever she opened her mouth, something snide would come out. She truly is a coward, since - if she had any honour - she'd come clean about how she caused Cora harm and cost her her child. But no, she just continues to be horrible to everyone *but* Cora (or those who she knows could fire her). Thomas was no better. Obviously he was scared when he was at war (who wasn't?), but he got himself purposely injured so he could get back home to Downton/safety. I felt no sympathy towards him, as he'd been such a bastard that he didn't deserve any (in my mind). And when he lost money on buying up goods to be used for cooking which turned out to not be so 'good', I could only think that he deserved it. However, the worst thing he did this season was trying to gain favour from Carson/Lord Grantham by dognapping poor Isis, taking her out to the middle of the woods and locking her up inside a shed, leaving her there overnight (or possibly longer). Right there he crossed a line, for me, where I'm fairly certain I'll *never* like his character. There's just no justification for doing something so cruel. The poor dog was so trusting, and he treated her so inhumanely. Thankfully, she was found by others (and I'm glad the show had a 'No animals were harmed' message in the end credits)...but it was so anger-inducing seeing Lord Grantham and Carson thinking Thomas was actually showing he cared about Isis by going out to find her and ending up looking rather rough - when clearly he couldn't care less about the poor dog. I was baffled why she ran over to him and acted like he hadn't locked her in a shed. It's one thing that prevents me from fully enjoying the show - that these wretched characters get away scot-free, while actual good people suffer/die (it's kind of like GoT in that way).
I liked the Christmas episode (though wondered who the seemingly random maid was - only discovering later that she was maid to Violet's daughter, Rosamund). It certainly looked very nice in all the snow and whatnot, plus several plots moved forward. The only thing missing was Sybil, sadly. Anyway, onto Season 3 now.
I breezed through rewatching Season 8 of The X-Files. Much better than its reputation (in spite of some clunky writing in its latter conspiracy building surrounding super soldiers) and its hard not to miss the chemistry of Duchovny and Anderson investigating x-files, but I do like Robert Partick’s inclusion to the fold. Still gripping entertainment.
I’m about 7 episodes into Season 9 now, but finding myself not all that engaged to rip through it like I did the previous seasons. Hopefully things change.