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Downton Abbey Marathon

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Today sept, 3 on PBS !! I had to get a new DVR so I lost everything. But today I can replace it all , woohooo. Happy days !

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Been watching all day and I'm appalled at how many things I've remembered incorrectly.

Lavinia just died.  That speech of hers, just before her relapse, when she tells Matthew that she saw him and Mary dancing and kissing  -- she says (as I can best remember, it having been ten minutes,)  " I've loved you since I first saw you, but I'm just a little person and when I saw you two together, I saw how magnificent you both looked,"  (or something like that.)  Really Uncle Julian, what perfectly lovely young woman sees herself as unworthy of love because someone a bit taller or more confident is in the running? Aren't any other  qualities important?  I could understand Lavinia saying that she realized Matthew had stronger feelings for Mary, and she had no desire to be married  out of pity, but I'm not buying the whole "I see you prefer the prettier girl  and I want you to be happy so you have my blessing."

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I watched a tiny part of the Pamuk episode (he wasn't in the part I watched) but I was stunned at how much softer and likable and interesting all of the characters appeared ... including Mary, who was witty and catty and conversational about Greek mythology at dinner,  even Violet was not all-knowing and unapproachable -- she suggested to Matthew that money changes everything and was met with his earnest assurances she was simply wrong (wrt Mary), after which she seemed to give him a look of -- OMG -- reappraisal (such subtlety was obviously lost shortly thereafter). 

I'd forgotten Clarkson was so much younger and much more Scottish in the first season ... as was Isobel and Robert unrecognizably boyish ... my DISH cut out for reasons I never figured out but managed to cleverly evade after some unplugging and re-booting. 

Mary, as such a central character, was utterly unrecognizable ... as was a much younger, kinder gentler and surprisingly humorous Thomas... quite a revelation after "the later years." 

Edited by SusanSunflower
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I forgot how much I liked Mary at first. When Matthew was hurt I felt she really loved him. I still love the scene when Matthew proposed. Awww

memories.

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21 hours ago, dory said:

When Matthew was hurt I felt she really loved him.

I love Season 2 for this very reason.  There is so much more emotion in Season 2.  I get that Season 1 was establishing the characters. Matthew and Mary are having a friendship (with undertones of more) and everyone is likable (except Thomas and O’Brien of course).  I liked Daisy and Carson so much in the beginning of the show.

I have the entire series on iTunes. I have watched the show everyday since March 2015.  Over and over and over.  I just love it.

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2 hours ago, PBSLover said:

I have watched the show everyday since March 2015.  Over and over and over.  I just love it.

 

I love that you do that!   Some shows just seem to answer everything you want from fiction, and it's a little different for each person. I have the old version, Upstairs Downstairs all 68 episodes, and I watched it everyday through two viewings.  My favorite was Lark Rise to Candleford, three rounds of the set. 

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I am just finishing season 2 on the marathon.  I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed the first two seasons.  I admit, my eyes have teared up a bit throughout these episodes.  I really can buy Mary and Matthew's relationship after the rewatch, mainly becuase she is so much more dimensional than I felt she was in the last seasons.  Also, Robert was much more kindhearted than I remembered.  I so get why I really liked this series and why it was such a hit right off the bat.  

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 I could understand Lavinia saying that she realized Matthew had stronger feelings for Mary, and she had no desire to be married  out of pity, but I'm not buying the whole "I see you prefer the prettier girl  and I want you to be happy so you have my blessing."

What, you mean Lavinia didn't purposefully infect herself with Spanish Flu so as not to stand in the way of Matthew and Mary?  I almost wished she had lived, if only so we didn't have to go through what felt like forty episodes of Matthew fretting over whether to accept her father's inheritance.  

I think my favorite thing in rewatching the show is seeing Isobel and Violet go from frenemies to BFFs.  

And I have to ask, were Spratt and Denker really popular in the UK?  I never understood why it felt like we spent so much time on those two during the last two seasons.   

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Sadly, I missed all but the last ep of the Season 1 repeat (because -- aaarrrggghhhh -- I didn't know about it until my late-night channel surfing). A sharp reminder that I adored the series from the beginning, and my decision to stop watching after Dan Stevens left is high on the list of Smart Things I Have Ever Done.

Man, do I adore Matthew's proposal in the snow.  And the sweet agony of their dance & his, "Mary, you ARE my stick!"  And Robert's playing the Earl card on Carson's blackmailer.  And I confess I laughed without shame, the first time I saw Mary, Anna, & Cora "Weekend at Bernie's" Pamuk back to his room.

*sigh*

Wish BBCA would take a leaf & do the same for some of their Gone but Not Forgotten series.

Edited by voiceover · Reason: because the damn thing posted before I finished!
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I watched the marathon this weekend on and off while I did housework.  I would let the DVR get ahead for a while and then I could sit and watch and FF through the pledge drive breaks.  I mainly looked for my favorite parts to watch again.  I missed this bit the first time I watched the episode where Bertie visits after becoming Lord Hexum (or whatever it was), but I laughed when Robert exclaimed 'Golly gumdrops!' when Edith told them about Bertie's good fortune.  I have to find a way to work that into a sentence.  Speaking of Robert, I just loved the scene where he went down to the servants area and found the new puppy.  His joy was so great to watch!  (I did miss the episode where they lost Isis, but I'm glad I did.  Too sad.)

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I enjoyed the marathon too, except for the many commercials by WTTW hawking the $300 box set.  

It was nice to see Downton again.  Some great moments like Matthew and Mary getting married, Edith's wedding, even the introduction of Teo (the new dog), etc.  It's interesting how many characters were introduced later on.  Baxter was probably one of the better additions to the cast.  

But there was some stuff I didn't miss, like Daisy's petulant whining about everything.  Mr. Mason not getting the house she foolishly promised him.  The shitty love triangle between her, Alfred, and Ivy.  

And I really hated Mrs. Patmore chastising Andy for not being sensitive to a woman's feelings, because Daisy had finally come around to him.  The problem was that Daisy wasn't acting like a grown woman, but a stupid teenage girl playing games.  He's not interested, suddenly she is.  He's into her, and then she can't give him the time of day.  I didn't miss that at all.

Also didn't miss: whatever saga the Batezzz were dealing with.  Good Lord, I was surprised the baby didn't come out with two heads, the luck they had.

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I just finished season 3 (I dvred the marathon).  Daisy is already tiresome-her constant complaints about not having a kitchen maid due to her promotion, and then her combativeness with Ivy because of "boys".  Interestingly, I am realizing that Edith created a lot of her own drama.  One negative word and she is all 'everybody treats me horribly...'  Rose's mother Susan didn't seem that bad to me on this go round.  

Oh, and I fast forwarded all of the Bates prison drama which really helped with my enjoyment of the marathon thus far.

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23 minutes ago, seacliffsal said:

I just finished season 3 (I dvred the marathon).  Daisy is already tiresome-her constant complaints about not having a kitchen maid due to her promotion, and then her combativeness with Ivy because of "boys".  Interestingly, I am realizing that Edith created a lot of her own drama.  One negative word and she is all 'everybody treats me horribly...'  Rose's mother Susan didn't seem that bad to me on this go round.  

Oh, and I fast forwarded all of the Bates prison drama which really helped with my enjoyment of the marathon thus far.

You DVR'd the ENTIRE marathon?  Geez, I hope you have enough space to record other shows! :P 

I watched the marathon on and off.  Every time I watch the later seasons (especially the last), I wonder how the family could be so open-minded (e.g. regarding Marigold - and even little Sybbie).  It's as if some of them (especially Donk) were taken on a time machine back to the early 20th century.

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I saw a few moments of the last episode, and was struck at how bizarre Edith's position wrt Marigold was ... especially, keeping Marigold's "real" identity from Bertie when everyone else knew. She DECIDED to go through with the pregnancy and then she DECIDED to virtually steal the child from her adoptive parents and then FOIST the child onto the Drewes and then virtually STEAL her from them ... nothing going according to plan. Even when she might have taken herself and Marigold to London to live "quietly" while working at the magazine, she chose to hang with the family, meeting Bertie during one of their treks to the estate of other conservative "people like us" ... She encouraged Bertie and then at the last moment by default placed a banana peel in his path ...

In between proclaiming her vast love of HER child, she seems to legimize the stigma attached to being born out of wedlock by insisting she will be understanding if Bertie can't deal with his parents disapproval ... This was not a unmarried mother defending her child's place in the family or at the table of life.... but then, for instance, outraged that Mary tattled on her to Bertie ... which also was NOT because Bertie deserved to know but rather plainly to spite Edith for being catty at breakfast about Henry and to punish Edith her for being a coward and failing to tell him herself. Did Mary want to ruin Edith's relationship with Edith? Probably not ... it was too impulsively catty. 

To think, Edith might have chosen London, hobknobbing with Gregson's creative-type friends. She might even have chosen to give Bertie an ultimatum about Marigold ... she and Bertie might even have never told his parents ... 

I can't remember, did we ever know what she was going to do about the magazine and her column? 

Edited by SusanSunflower
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meeting Bertie during one of their treks to the estate of other conservative "people like us"

Ironically, one of those other conservatives had a bastard child of their own lol And technically, the estate was a rental...weren't Rose's in-laws renting it from Bertie's cousin at the time?

Edited by AndySmith

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still, I don't think she's even remotely a rebel ... She was briefly independent and a career woman. Her child was her souvenir of that brief encounter with "Beyond the Downton Triangle" and I was disappointed she didn't escape, but in fact seemed to be trending conservative, rather than liberal .. while Mary (of all people) became the one most likely to break free and run wild (if she didn't instead utterly break Henry's spirit).  My memory of the last season is spotty. I had so wanted Edith to become a Bloomsbury hanger-on, if she couldn't become a more central figure, having found someone to love her and champion her becoming a libertine, even a suffragette (unmarried mothers / fallen women and free love being intersecting causes). I had ambitions for Edith, damn it. 

Edited by SusanSunflower
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I just finished the fourth season (and yes, there still was room for more shows to be recorded, but I am trying to get through the seasons/episodes so that I'll have plenty of room when the fall season begins), and Edith is really uncaring about her wake of ruined lives.  The finale of season four is when she makes arrangements with Mr. Drew.  Very hard to watch when I already know how that turns out when he and his family are forced out of the house and off of the estate.  Thanks Edith.

I know it was a big deal for Shirley Maclaine (sp) to play Cora's mother, but I wasn't impressed by her.  Found her too over the top to be a real person.

I think there really was a tonal change after Matthew's death.  I wonder how different the series would have been had Dan Stevens not left the show.  Oh well.

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Hard to know how much was Stevens and how much was Matthew, although I admired at the time Stevens' ability to deliver stodgy contorted dialog as if it "sprang from his lips" ... not having Matthew -- who had lightness and humor, even detachment and bemusement  of someone who woke up to find himself heir -- led the writers to expand Tom Bransom's role -- but Tom Bransom was such an earnest voice with his ongoing  "accepted as part of the family" and "deciding where he belonged" themes.  Of course Edith was also expanded after the deaths to do more than sulk. Blake, more than Gillingham, but both convincingly had Matthew's  "take it or leave it" sangfroid about Downton and being "accepted" by Robert and Cora and Violet (granted Downton was now secure and Mary no longer "needed" to either marry Matthew or find a plan B).  Of course, then the Peter Pan perpetually juvenile Henry was necessary to preserve the Mary and the family before the hearth in winter tableau.  Blake and Gillingham would probably have spirited Mary away to a grown-up but more age-appropriate life (at least until Robert and Cora started doddering). 

I was shocked in the bits I saw how much -- it wasn't my bad memory -- Violet aged for a few seasons to fairly suddenly drop 20 years and 20 pounds and get a new lease on life ... Seeing bits of the season so close together made the transformation into "old lady on death's door" and back again quite unmistakable. 

Edited by SusanSunflower
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I was shocked in the bits I saw how much -- it wasn't my bad memory -- Violet aged for a few seasons to fairly suddenly drop 20 years and 20 pounds and get a new lease on life ... Seeing bits of the season so close together made the transformation into "old lady on death's door" and back again quite unmistakable. 

I was a little confused by everyone's ages by the time the show ended.  It felt like everyone should be older than they appeared.  It was essentially a house full of vampires, as I think the only one who showed much age was Tom, and that was more a weight gain than anything else.  

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Baxter was probably one of the better additions to the cast.

 

I liked the actress, but they really, really dragged out that storyline.  Cora must have left Baxter dangling in terms of whether she was going to fire her for months.  And I didn't really understand why Baxter didn't just tell the full story to Cora to begin with.  I mean, Cora already knew that Baxter went to prison, so it wasn't like telling her that she was manipulated by someone she thought cared for her was too horrible to tell. 

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On 9/4/2016 at 11:04 PM, voiceover said:

Man, do I adore Matthew's proposal in the snow.

That was some awesome filming/editing there.

On 9/6/2016 at 1:26 AM, Amethyst said:

 

I enjoyed the marathon too, except for the many commercials by WTTW hawking the $300 box set.  

 

It was pledge drive season.  I hate it too.  I would DVR each episode in advance while watching the previous episode and flying through the pledge drive.

I caught things I had missed too.  I had no idea that Lord Merton's son had his cap set for Sybil and that's why he went after Tom.

I hope when Fellowes does his NY historic drama it is set in nearly the same time period.  It would be great to see characters from Downton show up.  I know the new show is supposed to be NY in its heyday which is late 1800s to the turn of the century.  Maybe we can see the contract of Cora and a young Lord-to-be Granthem.

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On 9/9/2016 at 7:55 PM, txhorns79 said:

I liked the actress, but they really, really dragged out that storyline.  Cora must have left Baxter dangling in terms of whether she was going to fire her for months.  And I didn't really understand why Baxter didn't just tell the full story to Cora to begin with.  I mean, Cora already knew that Baxter went to prison, so it wasn't like telling her that she was manipulated by someone she thought cared for her was too horrible to tell. 

Oh, the storyline was boring as hell.  But I would rather watch Baxter go through something than the Bates.  

I could see why Baxter didn't tell Cora the gory details.  She didn't just go to jail, she stole jewelry from her mistress.  And to make matters worse, she was a kind woman who had trusted Baxter.  I can imagine a lot of wealthy people would balk at hiring someone they knew had stolen from their employer.  Especially if they were in such close contact with the person, like Baxter was with Cora.

Part of the problem is something else you mentioned; the show's timeline.  It's hard to believe the show spanned 13 years.  None of the characters physically changed, really.  The reality felt like less than a decade, especially with some of the drama and poor characterization.  

Edited by Amethyst
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I could see why Baxter didn't tell Cora the gory details.  She didn't just go to jail, she stole jewelry from her mistress.  And to make matters worse, she was a kind woman who had trusted Baxter.  I can imagine a lot of wealthy people would balk at hiring someone they knew had stolen from their employer.  Especially if they were in such close contact with the person, like Baxter was with Cora.

I might be misremembering the storyline, but I thought Baxter initially told Cora almost everything except why she had decided to steal. 

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12 hours ago, jumper sage said:

 

I hope when Fellowes does his NY historic drama it is set in nearly the same time period.  It would be great to see characters from Downton show up.  I know the new show is supposed to be NY in its heyday which is late 1800s to the turn of the century.  Maybe we can see the contract of Cora and a young Lord-to-be Granthem.

Except casting ANYONE to play a middle aged Violet would be an EXTREMELY DIFFICULT task.  No one can top Maggie Smith.

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I thought Baxter's story was that she was even more ashamed of falling under the sexual spell of  that man than she was of the actual crime. He  had managed to make her do his bidding about something that was totally against her values and it galled her.  I thought that was the main reason she was afraid to see him again, a fear that it might happen again. I thought it was one of the more interesting story lines.  I wanted to see this devilishly handsome man who I pictured with shiney black hair and two-toned shoes.

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14 hours ago, Amethyst said:

I could see why Baxter didn't tell Cora the gory details.  She didn't just go to jail, she stole jewelry from her mistress.  And to make matters worse, she was a kind woman who had trusted Baxter.  I can imagine a lot of wealthy people would balk at hiring someone they knew had stolen from their employer.  Especially if they were in such close contact with the person, like Baxter was with Cora.

I can’t.  If you hired someone to live in your home, have intimate dealings with you (dressing, bathing) and oversee and care for your JEWELS, and they told you they stole jewelry from their last employer and went to prison for it, my first question would be WHY?  Sorry for the very long sentence.

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6 hours ago, PRgal said:

Except casting ANYONE to play a middle aged Violet would be an EXTREMELY DIFFICULT task.  No one can top Maggie Smith.

Touche (please imagine the accent mark)

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This is my second weekend in a row of a Downton marathon thanks to my Comcast Cable being out the entire weekend.  I have come to the conclusion that Daisy and Mr. Mason/Mrs. Patmore are my favorite relationships on this series.  I just love how they have the love and patience to be "parents" to Daisy.  By the end of the series, with the addition of Andrew the four of them, all of whom would have been alone in life, have become a family.  It just warms social worker heart.

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I just love how they have the love and patience to be "parents" to Daisy.  By the end of the series, with the addition of Andrew the four of them, all of whom would have been alone in life, have become a family.  It just warms social worker heart.

By the end of the show, I figured they had to be saints.  Daisy ruined Mr. Mason's chances with the new owner of his farm, and nearly left him homeless.  Then when there was the slightest chance that Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason might have a friendship (or more), Daisy steps in and acts like a 10 year old to try and keep them apart.  It was ridiculous.   And I can't even get into Daisy nearly telling off Cora for not keeping a promise to Daisy that she never actually made! 

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I can’t.  If you hired someone to live in your home, have intimate dealings with you (dressing, bathing) and oversee and care for your JEWELS, and they told you they stole jewelry from their last employer and went to prison for it, my first question would be WHY?  Sorry for the very long sentence.

I agree.  I think Bates did a similar martyr act when Lord Grantham was questioning him as to why he went to prison the first time.

And watching a marathon does give you a nice idea of how many plot points seem to repeat themselves.  Both Bates' end up in jail for murders they didn't commit.  Mary, Edith and Tom all lose loved ones (all right around the time they are either pregnant or have just given birth).  

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Also, didn't Mrs. Patmore have a sister?

I believe so.  I think her sister's daughter ends up working for her at the whorehouse/bed & breakfast she ends up running. 

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23 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

By the end of the show, I figured they had to be saints.  Daisy ruined Mr. Mason's chances with the new owner of his farm, and nearly left him homeless.  Then when there was the slightest chance that Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason might have a friendship (or more), Daisy steps in and acts like a 10 year old to try and keep them apart.  It was ridiculous.   And I can't even get into Daisy nearly telling off Cora for not keeping a promise to Daisy that she never actually made! 

I agree.  I think Bates did a similar martyr act when Lord Grantham was questioning him as to why he went to prison the first time.

And watching a marathon does give you a nice idea of how many plot points seem to repeat themselves.  Both Bates' end up in jail for murders they didn't commit.  Mary, Edith and Tom all lose loved ones (all right around the time they are either pregnant or have just given birth).  

I believe so.  I think her sister's daughter ends up working for her at the whorehouse/bed & breakfast she ends up running. 

 

Re: Mrs. Patmore's sister -- is the mother of the boy who was shot for desertion?  Or was that the son of another sibling?  Or do we even know?

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As per the Downtown wiki, she had 2 sisters. The first one, not named, had died off-screen before the show started. The second one, Kate, was the mother of both the deserter and the woman working with Patmore at her inn.

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21 hours ago, AndySmith said:

Also, didn't Mrs. Patmore have a sister?

She might have had two. In the first episode, she said “When my sister died, I four plates of sandwiches and slept round the clock."

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Yikes, the marathon is bringing back my dislike of Edith. Her pushing in on the Drakes so she can feel useful and then having a brief affair with Mr. Drew? Damn, Edith. Then in season two when Carson accidentally spilled wine on her when he was having a spell she actually said, "But what about my dress?" when her mother told her to go get Dr. Clarkson. I say again: yikes. Edith could be downright hideous when she wanted to be and often got a free pass for it. It strikes me upon rewatch that most of the people she's an ass to are less privileged; servants, farmers, etc.

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Edith was pretty desperate when it came to men but she never had an affair with Mr. Drew.  Farmer Drake, the Patrick Crawley imposter, and Anthony Strallen were her toads before she met princes Michael and Bertie.  Edith even went after Matthew for a hot second. 

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On 9/25/2016 at 8:25 PM, slf said:

Yikes, the marathon is bringing back my dislike of Edith. Her pushing in on the Drakes so she can feel useful and then having a brief affair with Mr. Drew? Damn, Edith. Then in season two when Carson accidentally spilled wine on her when he was having a spell she actually said, "But what about my dress?" when her mother told her to go get Dr. Clarkson. I say again: yikes. Edith could be downright hideous when she wanted to be and often got a free pass for it. It strikes me upon rewatch that most of the people she's an ass to are less privileged; servants, farmers, etc.

Yep, this is why I always got so frustrated in the Mary vs. Edith thread.  I'm not an Edith hater but I'm also not afraid to admit that just like Mary, she had her horrible moments--hers just weren't as vocal and in-your-face as Mary's.  Edith usually didn't say mean things directly to people but she tore apart Marigold's adopted family which broke the mother's heart and very nearly tore another marriage apart in her dalliance with a married man.  She did deserve sympathy for her bad luck but she also played a strong hand in many of her unfortunate situations.  

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On 9/26/2016 at 1:15 PM, PBSLover said:

Edith was pretty desperate when it came to men but she never had an affair with Mr. Drew.  Farmer Drake, the Patrick Crawley imposter, and Anthony Strallen were her toads before she met princes Michael and Bertie.  Edith even went after Matthew for a hot second. 

Oh was Drew not the farmer's name? My bad. I had rewatched that ep right before making my post so you'd think I would've remembered his name but hiding behind a pillow during his scenes with Edith might've impeded my hearing. 

5 hours ago, NumberCruncher said:

She did deserve sympathy for her bad luck but she also played a strong hand in many of her unfortunate situations.  

This. She did have some bad luck - her boyfriend turned out to be married, they had unprotected sex, then he was killed by, essentially, time-traveling Nazis -  but she was responsible for more than a few of her own misfortunes. To say nothing of her lack of appreciation for proportionate responses; I still say writing the Turkish embassy as revenge for Mary being catty is bringing a gun to fistfight. 

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Why Mary never outed her to the family/her mother was a bit shocking.  Maybe Mary wanted to just stop talking about it altogether but she really could have gotten Edith in trouble.  

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On ‎27‎.‎9‎.‎2016 at 8:02 PM, NumberCruncher said:

very nearly tore another marriage apart in her dalliance with a married man.  

If you mean farmer Drew, one kiss hardly tears a marriage apart, espicially as a farm needed both a wife's and husband's work. In addition, as it was Drew who kissed Edith and was older and married (not to speak of being socially inferior and dependent on Robert), why nobody blames him?  

In the script book, Fellowes says that it was the first time Edith got admiration for her abilities. About the scene where Edith drives in Strallan's car and gets him to talk about his late wife, Fellowes says that she got him where she wanted, i.e. she showed empathy in order to make a good impression to him and succeeded. 

I think the difference is essential. With Strallan Edith tried deliberately to catch him (although she also liked him). With Drew Edith simply wanted to help him and, as she was unused to admiration, she was simply carried away.

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On ‎27‎.‎9‎.‎2016 at 8:02 PM, NumberCruncher said:

but she tore apart Marigold's adopted family which broke the mother's heart

I think that the most important thing were neither Edith or Mrs Drewe's feelings but how Marigold was influnced by constant movings from one home and caretaker to another home and caretaker. The series completely ignored this.

The famous Swedish writer of children's book, Astrid Lindgren, expected a child to a married man and had to go Denmark to get birth and leave her son in a foster home. She visited her son and later took him to her, but she also saw understood how he was influneced by hanges : although it seemed outside that the child had adopted, little happenings revealed that in the backgroud hid "limitless fear and uncertainty".   

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14 hours ago, Roseanna said:

If you mean farmer Drew, one kiss hardly tears a marriage apart, espicially as a farm needed both a wife's and husband's work. In addition, as it was Drew who kissed Edith and was older and married (not to speak of being socially inferior and dependent on Robert), why nobody blames him? 

I think the difference is essential. With Strallan Edith tried deliberately to catch him (although she also liked him). With Drew Edith simply wanted to help him and, as she was unused to admiration, she was simply carried away.

Sorry but the difference is not essential.  For the record, I do blame the farmer but that doesn't negate the point that Edith allowed the kiss to happen and that was very wrong.  You don't kiss married men.  Full stop.  

14 hours ago, Roseanna said:

I think that the most important thing were neither Edith or Mrs Drewe's feelings but how Marigold was influnced by constant movings from one home and caretaker to another home and caretaker.

I also don't buy this but to each his/her own.  By how the show presented it, Marigold would have likely been just as happy with the Drewes as with Edith.  What Edith did was just as horrid as any mother who willingly puts her child up for adoption, allows the adopted family to become attached (not to mention support the child both temporally and emotionally), and then rips the child from the home once she changes her mind.  It's awful.  Thank heaven there are now laws that protect people from those situations.

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On 10/2/2016 at 3:06 AM, Roseanna said:

If you mean farmer Drew, one kiss hardly tears a marriage apart, espicially as a farm needed both a wife's and husband's work. In addition, as it was Drew who kissed Edith and was older and married (not to speak of being socially inferior and dependent on Robert), why nobody blames him?  

Well not everyone's okay with their husband macking on another woman. For some people it crosses a line. And while a woman of Mrs Drewe's station wouldn't really have the option to simply pack up and leave, for plenty of woman that would alter their feelings. Even if they were able to get past it and continue on it would change the way they saw their husband. Plenty of people do blame Mr Drewe, I recall people spitting nails about him stepping out on his nice and loyal wife. But the discussion was about Edith. I'm not sure what Drewe being socially inferior has to do with it; if anything that reflects even poorer on Edith given she had all the social power in that relationship. Had it ever gotten back to Robert....

On 10/2/2016 at 3:06 AM, Roseanna said:

With Drew Edith simply wanted to help him and, as she was unused to admiration, she was simply carried away.

Edith was a grown woman and well aware of Mr. Drewe's marital status. She was still absolutely responsible for her actions. 

On 10/2/2016 at 3:27 AM, Roseanna said:

I think that the most important thing were neither Edith or Mrs Drewe's feelings but how Marigold was influnced by constant movings from one home and caretaker to another home and caretaker. The series completely ignored this.

I don't disagree that Marigold's feelings were paramount and the show brushed over that to prioritize Edith. But Mrs. Drewe isn't inconsequential. She was a lower class woman, a farmer. She had no money and no prospects and her home was full to the brim. Each day was long and full of hard work that would've left her exhausted. The Drewes couldn't really afford another child, in so many ways, but they took Marigold in and loved her as if she had always been theirs. Mrs. Drewe was Marigold's mother in every way that mattered and that poor woman, who already had to watch her husband kiss Edith, had her daughter taken by Edith and had her feelings treated as a nuisance and an inconvenience. I mean she was written as crazy at one point, the show was so up Edith's butt on this. (ETA: Nope, Edith kissed Drake not Drewe. My mistake! The rest stills stands tho.)

On 10/2/2016 at 5:44 PM, NumberCruncher said:

What Edith did was just as horrid as any mother who willingly puts her child up for adoption, allows the adopted family to become attached (not to mention support the child both temporally and emotionally), and then rips the child from the home once she changes her mind.  It's awful.  Thank heaven there are now laws that protect people from those situations.

Yes, this. I mean, I'm not insensitive to how terrible Edith's situation was; society was cruel to women back then. But that doesn't change how she exploited the Drewes. Edith could have always made Marigold her ward, right from the start. It might've been unusual but no less so than what ended up happening. Instead she bounced Marigold around and used other people until she personally felt confident enough to bring Marigold into her own home. That's incredibly shitty and I think you've really got to stretch to separate Edith's actions from Edith's station; most women in her situation didn't behave that way if for no other reason than they couldn't afford to, financially and socially. Edith could so Edith did, with little thought to anyone else's feelings or well-being.

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On ‎9‎/‎25‎/‎2016 at 8:25 PM, slf said:

 Edith could be downright hideous when she wanted to be and often got a free pass for it.

I have to disagree there. Edith never got a free pass on this show (or this forum, for that matter). She was easily the most dumped-on character in the show, by her family and by fate. If things could go wrong, they always did; the happy ending was practically a miracle. I think a lot of sympathy comes for Edith not because she's a great person exactly, but because other characters who were equally hideous rarely suffered for it (Mary, Robert, Carson, Daisy, Violet, Thomas, O'Brien, etc.). For example: Mary kisses a married man, his fiancé immediately dies and they get married. Robert kisses a woman in his bedroom, nobody within the show ever finds out and there are no repercussions. Edith is kissed by a married man, she's sent packing. Or, with Gregson, she ends up pregnant and he dies immediately.

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1 hour ago, TheGreenKnight said:

I have to disagree there. Edith never got a free pass on this show (or this forum, for that matter). She was easily the most dumped-on character in the show, by her family and by fate. If things could go wrong, they always did; the happy ending was practically a miracle. I think a lot of sympathy comes for Edith not because she's a great person exactly, but because other characters who were equally hideous rarely suffered for it (Mary, Robert, Carson, Daisy, Violet, Thomas, O'Brien, etc.). For example: Mary kisses a married man, his fiancé immediately dies and they get married. Robert kisses a woman in his bedroom, nobody within the show ever finds out and there are no repercussions. Edith is kissed by a married man, she's sent packing. Or, with Gregson, she ends up pregnant and he dies immediately.

I guess mileages vary. When I say Edith got a free pass what I mean is that she could be hideous and it wouldn't be acknowledged by the show (and I disagree that fandom often dumped on Edith; literally everywhere I've gone online she's well-liked but I guess we've just had different experiences with fandom). The way she used the Drewes, that she contributed to the ruin of her relationship with Strallan ("my life's work" DEAR GOD), her sneering when she saw Jack Ross with the band at Downton, writing that letter to the embassy (one of the best examples of Edith getting away with something awful), etc. The characters might've seen Edith as pathetic but that's neither here nor there where it comes to the things she was responsible for. Personally I don't consider Edith being sent packing to be her suffering, either.

The thing is, the show isn't about people getting their comeuppance; the writing could be cringe-worthy when it came to class and social issues but one thing I appreciate is that the good people didn't necessarily win and the bad people didn't always get punished. That bit of realism, for me, helped ground the more outlandish soap opera-ish aspects. I didn't want Edith to suffer for everything she ever did; I wanted her to be acknowledged by the show as something more than poor pathetic Edith who can be nice but always has to settle.

(LOL I swear I tried to keep this short and to the point but no matter how much I deleted it still ended up kind of long and, I think, rambling. I feel like I should apologize.)

Let me see if I can say this right. In the first two seasons Edith made it plain she wanted praise for her actions and for her parents to express pride and love for her but when they did she almost always seemed to take it as a pity thing (except for, for example, when Cora told her she saved the evening with Strallan at dinner); I seem to recall one or two moments when her parents complimented her or told her they loved her and Edith basically said "yeah right". (I appreciate that she might've sometimes heard them say something that hurt her feelings, but dang, they basically called Mary cold or heartless plenty of times.) Which always struck me as hilarious because if you want praise for doing something you have to do something. She wasn't a social butterfly, she didn't have a hobby she seemed to be skilled at or even put much effort into, she wasn't especially kind or funny, etc. She had immense privilege due to her class and yet rarely utilized it in the earlier seasons. She wanted her parents to tell her "Bravo! you did that so well! You've done a great job w/r/t your social obligations!" or whatever but...how could they? Edith sometimes tried and when she died she was applauded but more often than not she sat around moping. Yeah, sometimes when she tried something Mary or Robert said "why are you doing that?" and maybe that felt different to her than when Robert lost his mind over Sybil going to protests, or how everyone was like "???" when Sybil wanted to become a nurse. But Robert and Mary weren't endlessly supportive people, of anyone. (Neither was Edith- she took a dump on Sybil's interest in politics, aligning herself with Violet and Robert.) She took things so much more personally, I'm surprised anyone ever managed to have the right reaction around her.

She was disadvantaged in some ways, not being as pretty as her sisters, but when Edith finally tugged on her big girl panties and tried, she succeeded. Because Edith was smart, and was willing to do some work, and could be charming when she tried to be. She spent most of her life trying to out-Mary Mary, which of course she always failed at, and when she finally started being Edith, the best Edith she could be, her life turned around. Yeah, she had heartache. But Mary had a man die on top of her. She became a laughing stock in a way Edith had never known. The man she loved was horribly wounded in battle. She lost her husband right after giving birth. Mary's life wasn't all roses and things didn't always just fall into her lap. Sybil faced all kinds of opposition due to her interests, her desire to become a nurse. While she was a nurse she saw horrible things and watched people die. She lead a very humble life in Ireland that Edith can't imagine. And Sybil died a terrible death. Maybe it was easy for Edith to look at Sybil's life and think she just landed a husband and a career but Sybil had to work hard and fight for those things. It wasn't always easy. Edith always compared her outcomes to theirs but didn't make a point of comparing the work that resulted in those outcomes. (I think she honestly believed things just fell in Mary's lap and so she expected the same and was bitterly disappointed when it didn't happen. Like it honestly didn't seem to occur to her that you have to give people a reason to like you, admire you, etc.)

Edith could be caring, passionate, clever, and brave. Edith could also be rude, even cruel, thoughtless, a snob, entitled, passive aggressive, and self-defeating and it would've been nice and interesting if the show actually acknowledged that.

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2 hours ago, slf said:

I guess mileages vary. When I say Edith got a free pass what I mean is that she could be hideous and it wouldn't be acknowledged by the show (and I disagree that fandom often dumped on Edith; literally everywhere I've gone online she's well-liked but I guess we've just had different experiences with fandom). The way she used the Drewes, that she contributed to the ruin of her relationship with Strallan ("my life's work" DEAR GOD), her sneering when she saw Jack Ross with the band at Downton, writing that letter to the embassy (one of the best examples of Edith getting away with something awful), etc. The characters might've seen Edith as pathetic but that's neither here nor there where it comes to the things she was responsible for. Personally I don't consider Edith being sent packing to be her suffering, either.

It does on this subject, very. lol She did get away with using the Drewes, I'd agree, but she was suffering during the ordeal since Violet and Rosamund pushed her into it, with all this happening after the man she loved was pretty much assumed to have died. She didn't get away with writing the letter to the Embassy either considering Mary ruined her relationship with Strallan the first time before Violet and Robert finished the job the second time around. As for not using her status to do good, that's pretty obviously wrong looking at the second season. The family didn't even compliment her or notice her for her work during the war until Dr. Clarkson focused on her at dinner. They didn't pay attention to her unless she forced their attention onto her, which is why any praise they gave was often hollow. I can't see her as taking things too personally considering everyone's general disinterest (Cora, Violet, Robert, Matthew, etc.) or dislike (Mary) of her. Mary would not take any negative comments to her personally from their parents because it was obvious at the end of the day that everyone was working overtime to make life work out for her. I'd say Edith did work hard towards making her relationship with Strallan work, too, nearly as much as Sybil. Robert did not approve of Tom or Strallan, and Edith pushed to try to make it happen despite their counter-efforts. Unlike Sybil, her efforts didn't succeed. Mary's public scrutiny for her affair with Pamuk wasn't that different than Edith's embarrassment at being jilted at the altar. Actually, replying to you reminded me how often the writing took the piss out of Edith. lol

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14 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

She didn't get away with writing the letter to the Embassy either considering Mary ruined her relationship with Strallan the first time before Violet and Robert finished the job the second time around.

I don't know that losing out on one guy, for a time, is comparable to having all of upper society saying you're a ruined slut who basically killed a guy with your vagina, lol. In terms of getting away with it I mean the fact that she did it was shielded from others. Only a handful of people know it was her and the only one she consistently interacts with is Mary; any ill will from Mary toward Edith would be seen as the same ol' same ol' by the rest of the family. Cora, Robert, Violet, etc., never became aware of the part Edith played in their family being scandalized (after all, everyone thought Pamuk died of natural causes and moved on until Edith told them the truth and brought it all back up), and Mary (and I think Anna?) would suffer from this on and off through several seasons.

14 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

As for not using her status to do good, that's pretty obviously wrong looking at the second season. The family didn't even compliment her or notice her for her work during the war until Dr. Clarkson focused on her at dinner.

I disagree. Throughout the entire first season which covered about two years, Edith did pretty much nothing. She's an Earl's daughter, first class, and has immense social privilege in their town. A woman of her age and circumstance would've been expected to participate in local charities and the like but Edith never did. They were often also expected to have talents, or to at least try to be accomplished in some way. There's a two year gap between seasons one and two and we saw or heard nothing to indicate Edith accomplished anything in that time period; she certainly gave every impression she found her life boring and unfulfilling so I think if something had happened in those years she'd have mentioned it at some point. So now we're four years in by the beginning of season two, which started in 1916. Edith doing work for the soldiers was in episode two which took place in 1917. That's five years from the series premiere. Now the work she did was great, I'm not denying that. As I've said I do think she was capable of hard work when she actually decided to do something. But that's one thing, two seasons and five years into the series, you know? Not exactly putting your resources to good use. I didn't say she didn't use her status to do good, I said she rarely utilized her status to do anything. Which is true. The only other thing she really did was learning to drive, which was cool. So that's two things. And that's it for the first two seasons, the second of which ended in 1919.

I'm really, really not trying to come off as mean when I say this but is it really some insult to Edith that people didn't notice her helping to tend to the soldiers? There was a war on and Downton Abbey was full to the brim with patients and medical staff on top of the day to day running of things. Everyone's life was turned upside down those first two episodes. And it's not as if no one noticed, singled her out, and complimented her though she was hardly the only doing the work.

14 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

They didn't pay attention to her unless she forced their attention onto her, which is why any praise they gave was often hollow. I can't see her as taking things too personally considering everyone's general disinterest (Cora, Violet, Robert, Matthew, etc.) or dislike (Mary) of her.

I don't think they gave her hollow praise much, much less often. I think Edith was self-aware enough to know she was basically getting the verbal equivalent of participation trophies because there wasn't much else to give her. I think the first two seasons especially made a point of showing that Edith felt her life was less fulfilling than her sisters' lives because she wasn't really trying to have one. Even she nailed it down to "having a purpose". I suppose they could've set aside time every now and then to just focus on Edith for the sake of doing it but again, when they'd tell her "you're my darling daughter" or something she'd shrug them off. Relationships, like conversation, require effort- you gotta give people something to work with. My mom, bless her, tries to text me and it's "hi" "yes" "i'm fine" ":)" and I'm just s i g h i n g because Lord. I can't carry this conversation myself, ma'am. And one day she flat out asked me if she sends boring texts and I affirmed that immediately. And she just laughed and now she sends me the dorkiest jokes and pictures of gross things she finds and even though those things aren't my speed we have a great time texting now because I can work with "How many witches does it take to light the jack o lantern? A coven!" You know? And that's kind of what I mean about her taking things so personally because some people can handle knowing other people find their obsession with cars or SNL boring, or their one word texts excruciating, and they can deal because... it's okay? It's not the end of the world. Talk about other things, type more than one word into your text, whatever, you've gotta give to get. You have to be involved. Edith however isn't that sort of person. It occurred to me that she would've been better off as a first child rather than a middle child. She would've automatically gotten attention, would've been the one they pushed off on Patrick, etc. But knowing her she'd have probably just complained that the attention and interest wasn't about her specifically. And she's way too bitter in the earlier seasons for her to not be taking things personally, I think. 

15 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

Mary would not take any negative comments to her personally from their parents because it was obvious at the end of the day that everyone was working overtime to make life work out for her. 

"Haven't you heard? I don't have a heart." I do think the comments struck at Mary but Mary liked to pretend she was above being hurt (though never above being challenged). I just think she, like Edith, knew there was some truth there. I think I said before months ago, so forgive me for repeating myself, that I think there were actually more similarities between Edith and Mary than either would've ever cared to admit. Problem is they were similar in all the wrong ways.

15 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

I'd say Edith did work hard towards making her relationship with Strallan work, too, nearly as much as Sybil. Robert did not approve of Tom or Strallan, and Edith pushed to try to make it happen despite their counter-efforts. Unlike Sybil, her efforts didn't succeed.

Oh boy do I not see it this way at all, lol. Robert didn't approve of Strallan but there's a world of difference in how he treated Strallan (a man he felt was too old for Edith) and how he felt about the poor, socialist, and Irish servant he accused of seducing his daughter and tried to pay off.

I appreciate that that relationship didn't come easily to Edith but my point is that she often seemed to see struggling as something just she went through. Edith had a very Jan Brady "why does everything bad always happen to me?!" outlook on life. She could have a narrow way of looking at things (gotta love her "What about my dress?!" when Carson was having an episode).

15 hours ago, TheGreenKnight said:

Mary's public scrutiny for her affair with Pamuk wasn't that different than Edith's embarrassment at being jilted at the altar. Actually, replying to you reminded me how often the writing took the piss out of Edith. lol

I touched on the way Edith's letter to the embassy affected Mary (and the family) above. I felt awful for Edith, that was humiliating, but I can't say more so than what happened to Mary. Strallan would've been seen as in the wrong and he was; people might've pitied Edith but that's quite different from what was done to Mary's reputation.

I don't know how often Fellowes took the piss out of anyone, except maybe Tom. I think he, like most western writers, believes that conflict should drive the narrative and he thinks the best conflict is suffering. Look at poor Anna and Bates; hard to deny Fellowes liked St. Anna and St. Bates, but look at what he put them through. Public humiliation, painful medical treatment, a psycho ex who killed herself as revenge, being arrested for murder, rape, Anna's arrest, etc. 

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23 hours ago, slf said:

Well not everyone's okay with their husband macking on another woman. For some people it crosses a line. And while a woman of Mrs Drewe's station wouldn't really have the option to simply pack up and leave, for plenty of woman that would alter their feelings. Even if they were able to get past it and continue on it would change the way they saw their husband. Plenty of people do blame Mr Drewe, I recall people spitting nails about him stepping out on his nice and loyal wife. But the discussion was about Edith. I'm not sure what Drewe being socially inferior has to do with it; if anything that reflects even poorer on Edith given she had all the social power in that relationship. Had it ever gotten back to Robert....

Edith was a grown woman and well aware of Mr. Drewe's marital status. She was still absolutely responsible for her actions. 

I don't disagree that Marigold's feelings were paramount and the show brushed over that to prioritize Edith. But Mrs. Drewe isn't inconsequential. She was a lower class woman, a farmer. She had no money and no prospects and her home was full to the brim. Each day was long and full of hard work that would've left her exhausted. The Drewes couldn't really afford another child, in so many ways, but they took Marigold in and loved her as if she had always been theirs. Mrs. Drewe was Marigold's mother in every way that mattered and that poor woman, who already had to watch her husband kiss Edith, had her daughter taken by Edith and had her feelings treated as a nuisance and an inconvenience. I mean she was written as crazy at one point, the show was so up Edith's butt on this. 

I'm loathe to defend Edith but Drewe actually wasn't the farmer she kissed. That was Drake. Oh Fellowes, your knack for naming characters is unparalleled.

However, I do agree with what you've said about Edith, even though I've never looked at it that way before. She had so much potential and could be really interesting when she put that potential to good use, but it was consistently hindered by her self-involved, poor-me attitude.

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18 minutes ago, helenamonster said:

I'm loathe to defend Edith but Drewe actually wasn't the farmer she kissed. That was Drake. Oh Fellowes, your knack for naming characters is unparalleled.

Damn. I had thought it was Drake but someone told me it was Drewe. Oh well, but thanks for pointing that out. I hate getting those details wrong.

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8 hours ago, slf said:

And she's way too bitter in the earlier seasons for her to not be taking things personally, I think. 

Most of the above I just thought I should file under agree to disagree (for instance, Edith losing Strallan at the end of season 1 was a pretty huge deal, imo, since the show made her out to have no options or prospects at all by that point--neither event had a lasting impact, but they were painted as a tit for tat at the time), but just wanted to correct here because I do agree with you that she was taking things personally. What I meant is she didn't take it too personally, imo, because being ignored entirely by your family--even Cora and Robert who give fake praise to everyone all the time wouldn't muster up much for her--is pretty personal.

Although I will say the not-doing-anything argument for her in season 1 isn't, well, a fault to me? Does Mary do things in that season? (Besides spending the season being auctioned by her parents to every available man in sight, I mean?) Sybil is really the only person in the family who thought they should do things rather than sit around in luxury. Even after the war, Robert criticizes her for writing and Mary rolls her eyes. We never really saw any of the characters going to charities or public gatherings; the only two I can think of is the roses thing with Violet in the first season and the pigfarmers in the last season (and Mary/Violet were both competitors in one way or another).

I don't agree about Tom really having it that bad on the show. Bates/Anna, I'd agree, but besides them, I can't think of other characters who were served the worst luck all the time. Maybe Moseley, who was often an object of derision? The problem with Edith's writing is that the suffering/conflict rarely lead anywhere, and just ended up repetitive and pointless. For instance, Mary suffers throughout 2 for the Pamuk affair, but it ends with her standing up to Carlisle and ending up with Matthew. Edith's suffering mostly just lead to more suffering and then more suffering and then more suffering. Was it the writer's intention for the audience to be shocked or overly satisfied when a happy ending finally came around? lol The only other thing I can come up with is Fellowes wanted to show the worst aspects of a woman's life through the Edith character. What it's like to be unattractive in that time period, what it's like to be an unmarried mother, to be jilted at the altar, to give opinions and have a career (writing), etc.

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