IT'S A SUMMER OLYMPICS YEAR.
This is my most favoritest of things. Gymnastics! Diving! Swimming! More gymnastics! And this year, British things! Still hoping they can get that David Tennant thing sorted out.
Anyway, moving on--
I'm dog-sitting for my parents this weekend, which means I've actually been channel-surfing because they get ALL the channels and there's always something on. This led to me catching the repeat of the new-to-the-US airing of Downton Abbey S2E1 the other night, and OMG I forgot that this show makes me feel SO MANY FEELINGS. Even the characters I loathe are just so goddamn interesting and the relationships on the show are all so wonderful and well-written and I just want to step into the world of Downton and live there forever. (Not literally like as a human from the 1910s or whatever, more like an invisible fangirl ghost who spies on everybody all the time.)
I love that Lady Edith is getting in on the feminism thing (even if she doesn't think of it that way) by learning to drive and doing (gasp) actual work on an actual farm. I was a bit confused about that plotline though--is the farm dude married to the farm lady? Because I would think he would feel/act a bit more guilty about kissing Edith then--but if not, then why was farm lady so upset? What even happened there? I feel like I missed something. (Is this season airing with differences between the UK and US versions like last season?)
I kind of hate Thomas for deliberately getting himself shot in order to go home from the war. Like, serves you right if the wound gets infected and you die, you know? But on the other hand (lololol), I would NOT be able to deal with being on the front lines of a war. I might do anything to go home, too.
I hate Thomas so much but then the show goes and makes me sympathetic to his Tragically Gay plight. And then the dude that he liked killed himself and he cried and I was like AW THOMAS DON'T CRY EVEN THOUGH I HATE YOU.
I think that was the most important part of the episode for me, though, because of the scene with the guy who runs the hospital. You have a man explicitly dismissing depression as not being a real illness deserving of further treatment, and this directly leads to a suicide. Depression is real and it can kill you. I love Downton Abbey for saying that.
Bates and Anna make me cry all of the tears. I'm glad Mrs. Hughes was listening at the grate so now at least SOMEONE knows what's really going on, but it still breaks my heart that Anna doesn't know. She guessed enough, but I just want to give her all the hugs and find some way to get Mr. Bates free of his predicament.
On the other hand, Anna's heartbreak helps Mary realize that her feelings for Matthew are worth not marrying some random dude (who totally knows Lavinia and has some secret about her, what is that all about?). I don't agree with the "honesty is the best policy" thing here--if someone you love is getting married, you do not mess with that for your own selfish reasons--but I do love watching every scene with the two of them in it. ALL THE FEELINGS.
Carson sucks sometimes for insisting that women can't serve dinner and trying to keep Sybil from learning things, but he loves Mary so much that I can't hate him. Because I LOVE MARY TOO.
I also loved the scene between William, all fresh-faced and excited to go to war and Fight For His Country, and Lang, who has PTSD and knows that war isn't as glorious as the posters say. Just... yes.
I hated when O'Brien was sympathetic to Lang, though. Not the fact that she was nice to him--that's great. But the fact that she's so damn selective about who she can identify with and be nice to. Other people are going through awful shit as well! Stop being so judgmental and ruining all of their lives!
So after watching that, I was like MOAR, so I downloaded the entire season since it's already aired in the UK. But now I'm reluctant to watch it because if I finish the season then there will be no more Downton Abbey to watch and I will be sads. I want to savor it, like a box of really good chocolates. You don't just eat them all at once!
I started watching North & South on Netflix instead to get my period drama fix, and it's pretty awesome. Someone in a review described it as Pride & Prejudice meets Dickens, and so far that is completely accurate. The main actress reminds me SO MUCH of someone and I can't think who and it's driving me to distraction. Also it has Richard Dwarfitage in it so I'll be able to see what the fuss is about him before The Hobbit comes out.
(Also why did nobody tell me Anna Maxwell-Martin was in this? I adore her. And Bates from Downton Abbey plays her dad, so that's neat. He has such a cute teddy-bear face.)
All this period drama fangirling has led me to think I need to read more historical fiction. Anyone have recommendations? Preferably for a similar time period to Downton, but I'll take any recs you've got.