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  1. I simply couldn't believe the level of conceit, haughtiness, and self-absorption that every single member of the Crawley family exhibited with respect to that wedding. Not only was the scolding tone of voice that Cora used absolutely disgraceful, even her apology was filled with conceit. Although she was generous in lending the coat for the wedding, the fact that she decided to make it a permanent gift was extremely insensitive. No matter the cost of the garment, she was taking her used clothing and acting as though it was some type of legitimate wedding gift. She treated it as though her used clothes were something that Mrs. Hughes "deserved," rather than something she had been putting her underarms into for years. She saw it as an honor. It reminded me of the time she ran into Mr. and Mrs. Bates in a restaurant and apologized for not being able to join them. She just assumed that having her join them would have been a great honor, whereas having her crash the dinner they had planned would have ruined the romance and privacy of the dinner. That's quite a level of conceit to assume that inviting yourself to join someone at dinner would be an honor, rather than an intrusion. I also really disliked that the Crawleys sat in the front of the church. That place belonged to the most important people of the Hughes and Carson families. I also think that Tom should have entered quietly. It wasn 't his place to be the person to second the toast. None of the Crawleys offered a handshake to the couple, as all other guests were doing. I guess that was too far beneath them. And, of course, Mary's offer of the great hall was very conceited despite its generosity.
  2. One thing that I do find interesting about the Edith/Marigold/Drewes story is that it seems to be the greatest example this show has ever had of how dramatically one's position can vary between different hierarchies. We are used to viewing Edith within the hierarchy of the Crawley family, in which she is at the bottom. However, with this particular story line, we see Edith as part of the whole system, as part of the family that is clearly at the top of the larger social hierarchy. That's why I find some of the scenes of Edith's utter lack of regard for the feelings of the Drewes to be so interesting. In this episode, Edith was really portrayed in her role as a member of the family at the very top of the hierarchy. We're used to seeing EDITH Crawley at the bottom of the Crawley system; seeing Edith CRAWLEY so prominently featured in her place at the top of the larger social system is so interesting to me because it really demonstrates how very formidable the power at the top is. Whether in the outright conflict of this episode, or in the somewhat friendlier interactions of the past, a family like the Drewes doesn't stand a chance against a family like the Crawleys, even against its evidently least cherished member.
  3. Although I think you make some nice points, one of the problems with the help that Mary gives to servants is that she picks a very specific type of solution, and insists that the person accept. Rather than ask the person if she/he wants help, Mary usually picks a specific solution, and insists that the person take the offer, even if the person has concerns. For example, Mary insisted that she was going to help Anna avoid seeing Mr. Green again by having a discussion with Tony. Anna didn't like the idea, and expressed some of her fears, but Mary insisted and that was that. Mary is not alone in this. When Mrs. Patmore was losing her vision, Robert came up with a solution (that I assumed would be handled at his expense and thus was quite generous.) Yet Mrs. Patmore was forced to accept the offer exactly as is, and Robert either didn't consider or didn't care that Mrs. Patmore was terrified of having surgery on her eyes, may have wanted a different traveling companion than the one he had chosen, etc. And again with Anna's fertility problem, not only was Anna not alliwed to change the terms of Mary's offer, I don't think declining the offer was considered an option. So despite the fact that I believe Mary is motivated by kindness, these offers are essentially commands, even when they are potentially frightening or embarrassing or painful.
  4. A few random thoughts: I'm giving Caila the benefit of the doubt with respect the breakup with her boyfriend -- partly becaue the story was split up between her intro package anf her date with Ben. She said that her chance meeting with him 2 weeks after they met on the plane had had her thinking that it must be fate. When Ben asked her what led her to change her mind, she said something like, "the actual relationship never caught up to the fantasy." I actually think this was a very insightful comment, and indicated that she had moved away from believing in the importance of fate in serious relationships. However, her interpretaion of the importance of fate with respect to Ben is a little fuzzier. It could indicate that she has merely replaced the importance of fate with the old boyfriend with a new belief in the fate of her and Ben. But she never actually said that. It could also be that having an immediate attraction upon seeing Ben on tv jolted her into realizing that the fate element with the boyfriend was false -- but not necessarily that Ben was the new, more "accurate" represntation of her fate. I'd have to hear more before I would think that she was merely shifting her belief in fate from Man A to Man B. My respect for Ben went down a litle this week. He was purposely trying to make Jackie mess up the apple bobbing. This could have been interpreted as being cute or playful, except that he didn't end up giving her a rose. Also, no matter if it were true or not -- and I totally blame the laundry if it was actually true -- I was very disappointed that Ben didn't come up with anothwr word than "sour' for Samantha. And an oppotrunity fell in his lap to let her save face by giving her a rose when L.B. dropped out. Now he obviously has no romantic interest in Sam, but he clearly doesn't have any interest in whoever it was that got the L.B. rose, either, and at least that woman hadn't been already been humiliated twice, once accidentally by Ben, and on purpose by whatever mean-spirited person decide to read the last place woman's name and score.
  5. Agreed! Both the one-on-one date and the group date would have been a lot more fun if the 2 men had gone some place with the group of women instead.
  6. This is one of my biggest pet peeves about this show. In interviews, the show's creators have been claiming for years that they are showing how much this way of life is changing. And at first glance, it seems to be true: several times over the last few seasons the Crawleys were shown to be cautious about automatically replacing lost staff members. So it looks like they are reluctantly changjng their lifestyle in accorandance with the changing times,However, absolutely nothing about their way of life has changed. If they are operating with one less cook, the Crawleys are not eating less; if they are short one footman, they still get served the same number of courses. Their clothing is as beautiful and expensive as ever, they still have as many bouquets on the dinner table as they've always had, and still have the door opened by a servant in any room or vehicle they enter. So the only people suffering through all these "cutbacks" are the servants. If the family is spending less on staff, but still receive every single service they did in the show's premiere, then the only answer is that the already overworked servants are all doing even more chores than they used to. But this is never acknowledged. The only exception was one episode when Mr. Carson heaped first, second, and third footman duties on the sole footman, Mr. Molesley, in an effort to punish the "foolish" Molesley for acting "above himself." So, yes, there have been many cutbacks at Downton that reflect the changing times, but it's only the servants that have suffered.
  7. I agree! Plus, he's very handsome and nicely groomed. He seems genuinely nice, too. I can't remember the last time I liked the lead on "The Bachelor" this much. If he stays like this, I think he'll be my all-time favorite.
  8. Yikes! In the space of that tiny article, the author managed to mix up the words "woman" and "women" twice!
  9. A few weeks ago, I made a post in the media thread about the little bit of information I had about tonight's show, which had been called a "2 hour special" in a commercial. My TV guide is now listing this as the season 3 premiere. Unfortunately, Hallmark sometimes will do this with a series: showing a 2-hour special weeks or a month or two before the regular season starts. They sometimes do only one or two reruns of the special well in advance of the start of the regular season. So people who tune in at the beginning of the regularly scheduled season find that they have missed the season's premiere! So, I hope that those of you who aren't expecting to see the new season for several weeks/months from now don't end up missing the show. If you catch it, enjoy!
  10. Hi, everyone. I only caught the tail-end of a commercial, so I have very little information on this, but there will be a 2-hour "When Calls the Heart" special aired on December 26. I'm looking forward to this. I hope that with this special, the shown returns to its essence, and focuses on the things that made it so unique and enjoyable in season one.
  11. jordanpond

    Home Fires

    It was very interesting (and in my opinion, very sad) to see that the two most powerful women in the village were not only rather powerless in their own marriages, but they didn't seem to mind their lack of equality. It was very clear from the way Joyce described her family's upcoming move was that the decision had been entirely her husband's. And although she wasn't happy about the move, she didn't express any objection to his making the decision without her input. And although it was a much more subtle example, the empty place setting at Frances' anniversary dinner had her husband sitting at the head of the table, with Frances not facing him, but rather sitting on the side. And when Joyce told Frances anout her upcoming move, Frances did not seem to think it unfair for Joyce's husband to make such a major decision without consulting his wife. Perhaps I wasn't so surprised that women who were leaders among other women could have marriages that were less than equal partnerships, but I was surprised that neither of these women seemed to mind those gender inequalities.
  12. jordanpond

    Home Fires

    Dcalley, yes, both the lower estimate supplied by Dustoffmom and the higher one supplied by you cleared up my confusion about the value of their goal. Whether it translates to somewhere in the high hundreds or the low thousands in 2015 US dollars, the local WI would be contributing a small portion of the cost, not 4 or 5 ambulances. MischaMouse, I'm glad you shared your opinion on this. Although I sometimes find Miriam delusional or even selfish in her thoughts and actions, at other times I think she is absolutely right. The thought of innocent young men getting maimed or killed because of Hitler's incredibly evil ways is horrifying. Although I respect all the sacrifices made by the troops and their families, I sometimes feel like Miriam's zeal is the sanest response of all.
  13. jordanpond

    Home Fires

    Thanks to all of you who gave input on this. So, from what I've learned from all of you, it seems that the fundraising goal broke down similar to this: The local goal of 50 pounds would translate to about 75 US dollars. A really rough estimate of both the above figures in 2015 figures would be somewhere around 500 pounds or 750 US dollars. It appears that the local WI contribution would be added to other WI contributions around the nation to arrive at a figure that would enable the purchase 4 or 5 ambulances. Nick was dismissive of this because he felt that 4 or 5 ambulances would be next to nothing when even 1000 ambulances would probably not cover the need. (By the way, I thought Sara's response to him was excellent.) I think that even a few seconds of explanation by the show could have gone a long way to clarifying the above, as the WI's fundraising goals were at times treated as unrealistically high, and yet not nearly sufficient. Both perspectives were actually accurate, but the show gave such little explanation that it appeared to contradict itself.
  14. jordanpond

    Home Fires

    I had a difficult time grasping just how unrealistic it was to have a fund-raising goal of 50 pounds for the village. Is anyone able to clue me in as to how much that would mean in 2015 US dollars? And was 4-5 ambulances the village's goal? A combined goal for all WI branches across the country combined? The WI members seemed to think the goal was unrealistically high, while Nick seemed to treat the number of ambulances as too smallI to even botherIng pursuing. I was rather lost trying to understand how big of a goal this was.
  15. jordanpond

    Home Fires

    But, in any given time, there are always people who do not follow what the majority is doing. Besides, Laura is an adult. One thing that I dislike about scenes in which one woman slaps another woman in the face is that these scenes seem to occur rather frequently in shows with female-dominated casts. They seem to be some ugly stereotype that just mindlessly gets thrown in.
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