Friday, January 13, 2012

Three bright spots

Since posting that amazing champagne office cooler earlier this week, I've been working from my company's suburban office. And wouldn't you know it, there's not a champagne delivery system to be found! Oh well. Despite the week being a general blur of work and budgets and spreadsheets oh my, I did have three fun bright spots:

1. Lunch with two of my high school favorites. I adore the hometown (even though none of us live in our hometown anymore) crew.

2. Downton Abbey. I originally assumed this show wasn't for me, as I have little patience for Victorian comedies of manners and Jane Austen, and figured this show was a sendup of the same. HOWEVER, this show is none of those things. First, it's set in a fascinating period, a more modern one than I first realized (Season One ends with the announcement that England has entered World War I). Politics is fascinating at this time, particularly in regard to gender and class. Society is changing entirely, and we can see all of it through the lens of one estate. Second, the cast. THE CAST. Oh, Maggie Smith. Oh, these characters! Third, the show is written by Julian Fellowes, he of the brilliant 'Gosford Park.' Had I realized this last year I would've been on this show something fierce. But instead, I Netflix'd all of Season 1 Wednesday night in a glorious marathon session, which was insanely rewarding, so much so that it felt gluttonous.



And of course, I'm totally on board with Season 2. I watched the first episode last night.



I found this description of the show randomly, and thought it was perfect:

If Stefon, the in-the-know city correspondent for “Saturday Night Live’s” Weekend Update, were to describe it, the breathless missive might go something like this: “The hottest show on TV right now is “Downton Abbey.” This British import, found on your local PBS station, has everything: housemaids, stable boys, lords and ladies, secret passageways, conspiratorial whispering, scandalous affairs, scheming servants, stolen kisses, garden parties and snuff boxes. It’s packed to the hilt with formal dinners and fox hunts, carriage rides and clandestine glances. You’ll be struck by the grandeur of how the upper crust lives, and marvel at how the lower ranks make it all possible. New this year: A world war holds the household’s rapt attention, but not rapt enough to forget about sibling squabbles and manservant maneuverings. Don’t miss taking a look at this world, where valet is pronounced “valette” and a ringing telephone is a “devilish thing to behold.”
Who else is on the Downton Abbey train?

3. Emmylou. This song was brought to my attention by this longtime fave, but originally showcased by this new fave. I can't get it out of my head. Bonus: these Swedish phenoms are playing DC in a couple of months!




Happy Friday, folks - here's to a calmer week ahead with more time to write and relax!

8 comments:

  1. Oh, Downton Abbey. We got hooked on season one and watched the whole thing over one week while drinking cheap champers. It was fantastic. Michael now wants to wear nothing but tweed and tails for dinner. Hmm.

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  2. a) I find myself genuinely, legitimately, to-my-core upset about the lack of champagne delivery systems in my office, which I've been working from home for the past few days (where the only champagne delivery system I need is my mouth, incidentally).
    b) Downton! This will sound hideously snobby or reek of la-dee-dah oneuptitude (it's a word now), but I'm so happy that my American friends have finally caught on to Downton. I've been riding this train since the beginning, and am stoked that others are on board. Next stop, the new 'Upstairs, Downstairs,' which I luff. Also 'The Hour.'
    c) Lord, one day I will not suck at html tags and quit that cretinous single-apostrophe flanking business.

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  3. Downton is divine! I watched the first season last year on PBS after a coworker (and devout Masterpiece watcher) suggested it. I was immediately hooked! Favorite quote from the whole series is Maggie Smith's "what is a weekend?" It says so much.
    If you're jonesing for more things British, check out BBC's Sherlock. The first season (only 3 episodes) is streaming on Netflix. It's set in modern-day London and is delightfully dark and quirky and interesting.

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  4. Oh gosh! Thank you:). I wish you many more happy Naurnie listening hours. And I'm of course a Downton fan - it's all so perfectly articulated. How it's possible to so love a) The Sopranos b) Friday Night Lights and c) Downton Abbey, I don't know, but I suspect it's just that sweet devil narrative.

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  5. OK, I really need to jump on the Downton Abbey train.

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  6. Love love love Downton Abbey. I just happened to stumble upon the 1st season and am so glad I did. Although, it really is just a soap opera parading in the clothes of the seemingly more sophisticated British. But, oh well. Still worth every minute.

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  7. my brother-in-law has been talking about downton abbey since the summer and i've been waiting for my maternity leave to start watching it. CAN'T WAIT.

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