Monthly Archives: March 2014

Late Winter Sunset

Late_Winter_Sunset

From my walk yesterday.

Do you know what your cat is up to when you are at work?

Cat_Laptop

By two_kittehs

Loud Americans and Grasping Peers, Season Finale, Downton Abbey Season 4, Review

 To London to look at the King or have him take a look at you

The season is finally over, after moving at a snail’s pace for the last seven episodes.  We had a time jump of over a year from the seventh episode. For the season finale, most of the action took place in London, since that’s where Rose was coming out, to the society that is, not as a lesbian. How many houses do the Crawleys have? Beside this house in London, there is the Abbey, and the  slightly smaller one they were going to move to, when they were in financial trouble in one of the earlier seasons.  They are always complaining about the lack of money but they do seem to live rather lavishly.

Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t the marriage to Cora that saved estate? The pompous parasites  look down their noses upon on their American side of the family for being loud and crude.  There was lot of eye-rolling on the parts of Mary, her father and her grandmother.   It would have made Robert, Mary and the Dowager countess a smidgen more likeable in this episode, if they were slightly more self aware.  Even the Dowager countess seemed more peevish in this episode rather than her usual ironic self.  Although she still had the best lines.

We are  a match made in heaven, I have the title and you have the money

The caricature of all the Americans as rude, crude and lacking in taste was formulaic and felt off-key.  No one was spared,  Cora’s mother and brother as well as the brother’s valet fit the stereotype to the T.  Has Fellowes never read Edith Wharton? Perhaps, he should have rented Scorcese’s Age of Innocence.

Also, lack of good manners seems to be a far more forgivable sin than whoring yourself and your title for money by marrying into a family you clearly disdain, just for their dollars. Something that Robert did back in the day and what Mrs. Levinson’s geriatric suitor was trying to do in the season finale by courting Mrs. Levinson and thrusting his daughter at Harold Levinson.  Both Harold and Mrs. Levinson seem far brighter than clueless Cora.  I now have a suspicion that she might be adopted.

The tale of two sisters

Mary still has her two suitors, Curly and Shorty,  following her everywhere.  Shorty’s stock suddenly went up in snobbish Mary’s eyes  when she figured out that he was going to inherit his uncle’s title and estate.  Mary came across as colder and more obnoxious than she has the entire season.  Quite an achievement, she was rude to her American relatives and bratty towards her sole surviving sister.  Although I must say, I am finally coming around to Mary’s point of view about Edith, who is whiny and never seems to be able to think things through or stand up for herself for that matter.  Sister Chopped Liver,  back from her Europe trip after giving birth, now  wants her baby back.   She wants to bring the baby back to Downton but have one of their tenant farmers be the parents.  This plot has disaster written all over it.  Either she needs to the let the child go or bring her daughter up herself come what may.  She is not going to be able to have her cake and eat it too.

Jack who?

Four paragraphs in and I have  only briefly touched upon the reason the Crawleys are in London, and the Levinsons are visiting;  Rose and her coming out.  Just like the Rose of Titanic, our Rose has forgotten all about Jack. Fortunately for our Jack, he  is still alive and well.  The coming out ritual seemed archaic even for the 1920s. Rose’s dress looked awful too, probably was considered the height of fashion then. Why are the debutantes being presented to the King? What’s the significance?

Baker Street, Downton Edition

The other plot that took up most of the episode,  was the whole plot about the Prince of Wales  and the purloined letter to his mistress. It was a snooze fest, except we learned that Bates may or may not be a killer but is definitely an accomplished  forger and a pick-pocket.  Anna’s rape plot became too much about Bates, as I was afraid. Well now that Bates is happy, Anna is back to her chirpy self.  Backing up a bit, a railway ticket stub, does not a murder prove.  Fellowes should stick melodrama and leave the who-done-its to someone else.

Plotting Thomas

Downstairs, Thomas’ invisible mustache twirling came to a naught.  He was wasted this season, after he got the nanny fired, he has hardly done much except threaten Baxter. Thanks to Molesley’s gentle encouragement and friendship; she impervious to the under-butler’s incessant bullying.  I do like her and Molesley together. This episode Thomas was also giving Tom an attitude.  Speaking of Tom, why does let Sarah Bunting walk all over him? She is ill-behaved and unattractive,  I hope she is not brought again another season as Tom’s romantic interest.

The day at the beach

The day at the beach for all the hardworking folks downstairs was a great idea and  Carson and Mrs. Hughes were cute together, holding hands and all!  Even better, Ivy is going to America, I hope she takes Rose with her.

Overall a tedious episode to cap a tepid season.  At least, nobody died this season, so that was a definite improvement over the last.  How did you like this season of Downton? Will you watch the next season?

Grade: C

Overall grade for the season: C+

Full IMDB credits here

Links to reviews of previous episodes:  episode 1 , episode 2 ,episode 3 , episode 4, episode 5 ,episode 6 and episode 7

Caturday Kitteh Is Messing With Your Religious Dogma

Ceiling Cat meet the Colander Cat

Colander Cat

LoL by: two_kittehs

I loves me some Shiro Neko

86th Academy Awards Ceremony Round-Up

Best Dressed Male

image

LoL by: two_kittehs

Although, this year the only Oscar nominated movie I saw was Gravity, I still watched the somewhat entertaining and overly long award show.  Oscars is pretty much the only award show I watch, mostly for the pretty clothes on the pretty people and to figure out which movies to catch later on DVD.  I will  definitely be on a lookout for Philomena and  American Hustle , not sure whether I have the stomach to see Twelve Years a Slave and the Dallas Buyer’s Club.  Which movies did you see?  Any must see, recommendations?

I may be among the minority that wasn’t a big fan of Ellen’s hosting of the show, it seemed off to me, the selfie and the pizza stunt included.

Best Acceptance Speech : Lupita Nyong’o

Runner-Up:  Darlene Love, former back up singer featured in  the documentary, Twenty Feet from Stardom

Weirdest Speech: Matthew McConaughey

Best Dressed Female :  Amy Adams, in a perfectly fitting unfussy navy gown.

Runner-Up: Sandra Bullock,  she was elegant and picture perfect in her navy gown.

Best Dressed Male: Tuxie Kitteh

Runner-Up : Benedict Cumberbatch

Anyone else, stand out for you?

Do They Give Awards For False Equivalence?

Nicholas Kristof’s latest column on Ukraine would be a strong contender, for such an award.  In a column  that is supposed to be critical of  GOP’s unabashed Putin love, Nicholas Kristof spends one third of the column dissing the Obama administration.

Look, it’s true that Obama’s foreign policy has often been disappointing. Tripling the number of American troops in Afghanistan was a mistake. So was rejecting the advice of Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus to arm the moderate Syrian opposition. The Obama pivot to Asia has stalled, serious engagement with Pakistan ended with the death of Richard Holbrooke, and Obama has appointed some appallingly uninformed campaign donors to be ambassadors.

In one paragraph he slams Obama for being too hawkish and not being hawkish enough.  Brilliant suggestion there by Villager Kristof, since arming the Afghan rebels in the late 70s and early 80s turned out so well.  Better stick to writing about brothels, Nick.    As for the ambassador appointments, even if we take GOP stooge Jonathan Karl’s story at face value, Kristof is blaming Obama for playing the game by the Citizen’s United rules.  Isn’t it  curious how the so-called liberal pundits of the main stream media want the Democrats to fight with one hand behind their back.  Besides, what do all these criticisms have to do with the bizarre GOP behavior about Putin, is something I fail to understand.

And I will Always Love You

The Curious Case of the Conservative Crush on Vladimir Putin

Putin_Comic

Comic by: two_kittehs

Before he sent troops to Crimea, and became the personification of evil, they loved his tough talking, gay bashing, bare chested swagger.

Pat Buchannan via the Atlantic

While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites, Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, via The New Republic

Putin is playing chess and I think we’re playing marbles

And the best for the last,  Victor Davis Hanson  of the National Review, via Balloon Juice,

Bare-chested Putin gallops his horses, poses with his tigers, and shoots his guns — what Obama dismisses as “tough-guy schtick.” Perhaps. But Putin is almost saying, “You have ten times the wealth and military power that I have, but I can neutralize you by my demonic personality alone.” Barack Obama, in his increasingly metrosexual golf get-ups and his prissy poses on the nation’s tony golf courses, wants to stay cool while playing a leisure sport. It reminds us of Stafford Cripps being played by Stalin during World War II. “Make no mistake about it” and “Let me be perfectly clear” lose every time. Obama’s subordinates violate the law by going after the communications of a Fox reporter’s parents; Putin himself threatens to cut off the testicles of a rude journalist.

That these same jokers have the temerity of calling anyone, least of all the President out of touch, is hilarious.