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The Dowager Countess’ sickest burns

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2016

As an unapologetic fan of Downton Abbey and Maggie Smith, I quite enjoyed this video compilation of the Dowager Countess’ best burns from all six seasons of Downton Abbey. If you’re having DA withdrawals now that the show is over,1 I encourage you to check out Gosford Park. Robert Altman directed it, Downton creator Julian Fellowes wrote it, and it features Maggie Smith as a snooty Countess — not to mention Clive Owen as a dishy valet. Scrumptious!

  1. Well, almost over in the US..it’s been done in Britain and on the torrents since the start of the year.

We Work Remotely

Gosford Park

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2014

Gosford Park

If you’re having Downton Abbey withdrawals, may I suggest Robert Altman’s Gosford Park? Written by Downton creator Julian Fellowes, it’s a proto-Downton of sorts: lots of upstairs/downstairs with a dash of mystery. And the cast! Clive Owen, Emily Watson, Stephen Fry, Kristin Scott Thomas, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Kelly Macdonald, Helen Mirren, Ryan Phillippe…and Maggie Smith plays a witty countess.

Watch it on Netflix Instant, at Amazon, or on iTunes.

Working draft of Downton Abbey season four first episode

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 28, 2013

The New Yorker’s John Kenney imagines what the first episode of the next season of Downton Abbey might be like, following on from the past season’s many twists and turns.

TOM BRANSON
Lady Crawley appears to have choked to death on a big hunk of meat.

THE DOWAGER COUNTESS
The lengths that woman will go to for attention.

LADY GRANTHAM
I think we’ll go through now, Carson.

Downton Abbey game for Super Nintendo

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 29, 2013

Help Lord Grantham find his cigars, puff up pillows for Anna, and spy on other staff for Lady Mary in this “tastefully exciting” SNES version of Downton Abbey.

Lady Edith with googly eyes

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 07, 2013

An entire Tumblr full of images of Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith Crawley with googly eyes.

Lady Edith Crawley with googly eyes

God, this makes me unbelievably happy.

Downton Abbey characters drawn as dogs and cats

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 05, 2013

These are all so perfect but I’m having a hard time deciding which is the most perfect….the Mrs Patmore tabby or the Dowager Countess Sphynx?

Mrs Catmore

Dowager Catess

Prints are $22 a pop on Etsy and likely to go quickly. (via @mathowie)

Downton Abbey season three trailer

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 15, 2012

This is apparently taped off of someone’s television so the picture is blurry and the sound is not so good, but you get the gist.

Season three of Downton is set to start airing in the UK in September and in the US in January (for those who don’t know what BitTorrent is).

Hunting for anachronisms in Mad Men and Downton Abbey

posted by Jason Kottke   May 14, 2012

Prochronism analyzes word usage in shows like Mad Men and Downton Abbey to hunt down anachronisms…like “a callback for” and “pay phone” from a recent episode of Mad Men.

Prochronism

The big one from the charts: Megan gets “a callback for” an audition. This is, the data says, a candidate for the worst anachronism of the season. The word “callback” is about 100x more common by the 1990s, and “callback for” is even worse. The OED doesn’t have any examples of a theater-oriented use of “callback” until the 1970s; although I bet one could find some examples somewhere earlier in the New York theater scene, that may not save it. It wouldn’t really suite Megan’s generally dilettantish attitude towards the theater, or the office staff’s lack of knowledge of it, for them to be so au courant. “call-back” and “call back” don’t seem much more likely.

(via waxy)

The real Downton Abbey

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2012

Downton Abbey (the house) on Downton Abbey (the TV show) is played by Highclere Castle, the county seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. Over on the Paris Review site, Meredith Blake has a brief history of the family that currently lives there.

Downton Abbey fans will note the striking parallels between Almina’s life and that of her fictional counterpart, Lady Cora Crawley. This is hardly an accident: Lady Carnarvon and her husband, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon, affectionately known as Geordie, have been friends with Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes for more than a decade. Though Lady Carnarvon calls Fellowes a “genius,” she’s too involved with the show to call herself a fan. “It’s too much of a bloody muddle,” she says.

Downton Abbey paper dolls

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 20, 2012

If you’re currently experiencing Downton Abbey withdrawals, try these awesome printable Downton paper dolls.

Downton cutouts

Downton Abbey Valentine’s Day cards

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 10, 2012

For the Anna to your Bates, the Matthew Crawley to your Lady Mary, or the cutting comeback to your Dowager Countess, a selection of Downton Abbey-themed Valentine’s Day cards.

Downton Valentine

Downton Abbey set to return in September

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 05, 2011

…but only in the UK (or to those elsewhere in the world who can use a BitTorrent client). The season will include eight episodes as well as a two-hour Christmas episode.

The first episode will open not with a witty but icy quip from the peerless Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Maggie Smith, but with the massive explosion of a shell in the battle of the Somme, where the heir to Downton, Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens), is fighting. The drama’s producers hope that the darker wartime storylines, and the aristocratic ensemble dressing down in the “we’re all in it together” clothing of wartime, will not deter the fans.

The US premiere is not until January 2012 (nice poster though). Oh, and Fellowes is already working on storylines for a third season. Yay! (thx meg)

Watch Downton Abbey for free online

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 17, 2011

The first season of Downton Abbey, which I highly recommend, is available to watch online for free in two places: on Amazon (for Amazon Prime subscribers) and at Netflix Watch Instantly (for subscribers).