Monday, May 7, 2012

In Which We Very Nearly Ruined A Perfectly Good Mr. Bates




We finished Season 1 of Downton Abbey a few weeks ago then began a frantic search for Season 2. Netflix? Nope. PBS online? Yeah, but it'll cost you.

We nagged friends and scoured those shady internet sites under the cloak of night.

Finally, we tried the library. Geesh.

2 days later, we topped the wait list. I made a bowl of guacamole and we hunkered down.

Then we watched the first episode.

You might say we were underwhelmed. Confused? Sure. We kept pausing to ask questions that we couldn't possibly begin to answer. I'm sorry to report that it was scattered and just plain strange.

I tweeted this: "Downton, Season 2, Episode 1. Verdict: Not impressed. (hate me)"

I kept thinking about the story, the writers. How did this happen? How could something so good go so terribly wrong? How does a novice writer such as myself inherently know that you can't just drop your audience into chaos and expect them to stay around, but the Downton writers clearly didn't? Why would they just phone-in the follow-up to a legend?

We almost hung it all up. I was grumpy for a straight 36 hours.

But people implored us to stick with it. "It gets better, I promise!" "The season finale makes it all worth it!"

So we did, and yes, it did. It got better. We started to fill in the gaps and of course, there's that cuddle-bug of a butler, Mr. Carson. I die.

Matthew started looking cuter. I sensed trouble brewing between His Lordship and Her Ladyship. Cousin Violet is still the role of the century, nailing every. single. scene.

Last night we finished episode three. There was just one more on the disc.

Cory: There's just one more. We have to watch.
Me: It's almost midnight....
Cory:  But it's the season finale. We have to know how it ends!
Me: No way. It can't be the season finale.
Cory: Uh, yeah. I think we only have one more.
Me: (voice getting shrill) What kind of jacked up show only has 4 episodes for the season? There's gotta be another disc.
Cory: (jumps off the couch faster than lightening, opens dvd case, loses all his color)
Me: What's wrong?
Cory: This says disc 2.
Me: NO.
Cory: Yeah, we skipped disc 1.
Me: How? How did this happen?
Cory: Well, I saw that it said disc 2, but I thought they just considered Season 1 "disc 1".
Me: Please stop. Please stop. You knew it said "disc 2" and you didn't bother to flip back and see if there was a disc 1? That's not a normal way to think. I don't even know you.
Cory: Yep. That's exactly what happened.

Ya'll, we started with episode 4, but thought we were watching episode 1. We skipped the entire stinking first disc.

Cory queued up disc 1 (the real disc 1) and within five minutes was saying, "Oh, now that makes more sense..."

This is our life, people. I couldn't make this stuff up.

79 comments:

  1. I haven't even seen one episode. I am holding out : )

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  2. Holding out for what? I have no idea! All I know is that I am usually like 3 years behind the trends, so in 2015, I will be singing the praises of Downton Abbey : )

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  3. Oh. my. goodness. Real life for sure.

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  4. OH MY GOODNESS! here I was, wondering how the heck you were so mad about episode one. How frustrating!
    Personally, I did not enjoy the finale. Let me know what you think, but I thought they slapped it together rather quickly.

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  5. We were up until 2:00 am Friday night finishing it up...as I was going to be a day late getting it back to the library...I found that they made Cousin Violet a lot funnier this time around as well. Such a fantastic show...after watching so much of it these last couple weekends I feel myself longing to hear the theme music...oh wait...I still get to hear that...why you ask??? Because on his own, MT has changed all of his incoming ring tones to Downton Abbey!!! When we go to bed at night...he has been turning his phone on so that we can go to bed being serenaded with the theme song!! It seemed so out of character for him...but yet so funny to me at the same time!! ; )

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  6. I spoke in a British accent for WEEKS. Left a pocket dialed voice mail for my daughters volleyball coach which prompted her to ask if I had an English exchange student living in our house. I DIED.

    Alli Wood

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  7. We dropped the ball before the finale. I guess we better get to watching it.

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  8. I laughed out loud at this post. Lucky girl having the Mister watch with you. I had to watch it solo when he was occupied and kids were asleep, so yes, there were some midnights... and later. "Just one more..."

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  9. never even heard of this show but dang, that's a funny post.

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  10. Hilarious. Who even needs Jim Gaffigan?! I have only watched Episode 1 of Season 1. I kinda am still grossed out over the man kiss. But everyone says it's worth it. I believe you.

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    1. Keep watching! We were thrown off by that too but it doesn't happen again. Promise!

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    2. i stopped watching after that too...

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  11. oh shan!! my heart is breaking for all you missed...

    it's like watching Coach Taylor in RED before seeing him get the boot.

    Oy.

    Make it right. make it right.

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  12. I agree with Joann. The season finale wasn't great. Not so bad as to stop me from looking very forward to season 3...that doesn't come to the U.S. until JANUARY! Torture!

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  13. oh my gosh...laughing my head off! who is that man of yours? what goes on in his head??

    i had season 2 from the library for a week and couldn't carve out time to watch any of it so i sadly returned it unopened! i will be getting it again!

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  14. This sounds so much like me that it isn't funny. Well, yes it is actually.

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  15. Love Downton Abbey--and still waiting for it to hit Netflix. guess i should have tried the library!

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  16. Oh this makes me giggle. My mom and I stayed up late for a week watching both seasons in March. (My mom, in Downton Abbey Fever, went and purchased season 2 so we could watch it together - that's love.) I love Carson, and I have this strong desire lately to wear hats and dresses from the early 1900s.

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  17. ohhhh I really really needed that gut busting chuckle you just threw me.
    omg.

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    1. I'm with you, changed to whole mood of my day, it did! Thanks, Shannan

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  18. I was getting all defensive of Downton! That is too funny. If you're like me, you'll have to watch the whole season over in order now.

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  19. LOVE LOVE LOVE Downton Abbey. There is a Christmas Special that is after the season finale of season 2. Probably my favorite of all the episodes... OH, and the behind the scenes stuff is so interesting! Waiting excitedly for season 3!!!

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  20. Haha. This is too funny. I was really perplexed the other day when you were hatin' on it. :) I'm so glad you get a re-do. We actually watched most of season two on the illegal internet sites back in February before it hit PBS in America. We just didn't think too hard about the moral implications... :)

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  21. rofl. hahahahaha. i was wracking my brain (before i got the latter part of your post) about what in episode 1 was so bad....and i was kinda dying that you didn't like it. i heart "mistah" bates and you!

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  22. Oh my freaking hilarious. I know one of your posts is good when my husband starts laughing as he's reading over my shoulder. At first I thought your story was going to be like the Battlestar Galactica skit on Portlandia. But it was better. So much better.

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  23. SO glad it's not as awful as you first set it out to be. Does that mean you watched the finale before you watched the first episode? Also, the library is simply genius! I'm doing it!

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  24. I laughed so hard and then had to read this to my husband (another die hard Downton fan). He laughed and said, "That reminds me of that time you cooked that frozen pizza with the cardboard still on the bottom. Yep. "That's not a normal way to think." Ha! Ha!

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  25. Love it!! So glad I'm not the only one with these type of mishaps in my day. Enjoy the beginning of season 2 - I know I did.

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  26. oh too funny!! i love that show. DYING for season 2...maybe i should check the library??

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  27. I'm glad to hear there are other people in the world who have done this!

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  28. Shut up! I *knew* something must've been crazy wrong when you tweeted that. Now I get it and I'm happier than a peach that you worked this out. All is right again.

    Y'all are too much.

    Mr. Carson + Mrs. Hughes = Cutie Pie Cuddle Bug Couple indeed. I die happy.

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  29. Sean and I are hooked. We watched religiously every week online. Let me tell you...it's a LONG wait until next season. You're smart to have waited a little longer. You're so smart.

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    1. @ E May ... Seriously me too! I wanted to know that the big deal was about Downton Abbey... Loved it! Next January is much too long to wait for Season 3! Yikes! I'm sure I'll want to watch both seasons again right before it starts.

      Bridget

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  30. oh goodness gracious! that's what i figured may have happened when you were so confused with what you thought was the first episode of season two...how completely aggravating to know you skipped the whole first disc! well, at least you got to make some sense of it all now. matthew is just scrumptious to die for cute and violet is just simply amazing and hilarious!!
    i cannot wait for season 3!

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  31. Haha! Glad you didn't let any spoilers slip, as we are still waiting for it over here. Last year we borrowed the DVD "Young Victoria". We had the same confusion with the plot, and I commented that there was not very good continuity between the scenes. After only about 45 or 50 minutes we got to the final scene, and I then I eventually realized that the disc had been skipping. I couldn't be bothered going back to the beginning to watch it again!
    Kathy from Tasmania

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  32. By the way, have you seen the spoof of Downton Abbey? It is called Downtown Upstairs Abbey, or something like that. It has lots of well known English comedians in it. You can find it on Youtube.
    Kathy from Tasmania

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  33. Oops! It is Downtown Upstairs Abbey!
    Kathy From Tas

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  34. I knew I liked you...but.. I can't fight this feeling anymore. Excuse the REO Speedwagon. I can't believe I never thought of the library. I gave up on Season 2 on Netflix two months ago...I moved on to Little Dorrit and Great Expectations. I couldn't read the rest of your post until I went to the local library website and held my copy. Who knows, in the time it would taken me to read the rest of it, I may have lost it. Anyway, wanted to say thank you for being smarter than me.

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  35. Have you ever watched Cranford? I could give you a slew, of titles, most of which we all got at the library. Our library will order in for you, from the BBC. Start asking the local library to bring them in and put your name at the top of the list.

    You will not be disappointed. Also Costco has all sorts of BBC productions. My most favorite is Northanger Abbey.

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    1. We just finished watching Cranford and Return to Cranford! We loved it! We started Lark Rise to Candleford last night, but I'm not sure what I think yet. Although, it took me a bit to get into Cranford. That young guy from the Return was DREAM-AY!

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    2. Sometimes they take a while to "get the gist" of what is going on. Hubs and I have watched so many of them, the list is long.

      Last week we found a video store that rented all these series and we found Catherine Cookson's books made into video also by the BBC...and let me tell you there was so much ACTION in those hubby kept commenting on it!!!

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  36. Once upon a time we moved from AK to FL. My MIL gave us an audio book on CD. It was very hard to follow, scenes would appear and then be revisited at very odd times with seemingly key pieces of information strewn about. My husband and I were both puzzled by the piece and figured it must have been purchased out of the clearance bin...until we realized that the CD player was set to the "random" setting. Once we turned that off and played the book straight it made a lot more sense!

    Your plight is far worse. Downton Abbey in reverse, horrors!

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  38. ...bless your hearts...this is too funny...but you are right...this is exactly like life...and if we didn't have scripture...it would BE life...blessings laney

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  39. ...bless your hearts...this is too funny...but you are right...this is exactly like life...and if we didn't have scripture...it would BE life...blessings laney

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  40. ...bless your hearts...this is too funny...but you are right...this is exactly like life...and if we didn't have scripture...it would BE life...blessings laney

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  41. Season 2 is scheduled to arrive in the mail today! Yay! I was concerned when you said you were not impressed with season two. Way to rain on my parade! Thanks for clearing that up. Phew! What a relief! Now I am totally pumped for my date with Mr. Bates tonight.

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  42. I want to be Cousin Violet when I grow up. Oh wait. Maybe I am.

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  43. you may not like me and the way i look but, I just have to meet you sometime!

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  44. We are waiting for season 2 to be available at our library and can't wait!

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  45. You are cracking me up! Love Downton Abby. Can't wait for the next season. I heard there's a contract for 5 seasons. I'm hoping. :-)
    ~FringeGirl

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  46. I almost didn't read this morning because I was afraid you would spoil it. I should have known better! Thanks for sharing without sharing too much. Of course, as always, you have the perfect balance with that! Can't wait for season 2 myself. So sorry that you missed those 4 episodes!!!!! Ugh. Did you stay up all night (like a crazy teen or twenty-something?!) and watch ALL of it??? :)

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  47. I requested Season 1 for Mother's Day. Thanks for the laugh!

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  48. Um, I had never heard of this until I saw it on your blog...I just looked it up at our library and there are 186 hold requests for Season 1 and 111 for Season 2. What in the world? Now I REALLY need it! And I will pay very close attention to the words "season" and "disc"... Thanks for the heads up on that. :P

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  49. That Cory! What a crack up! I don't even know how that could happen. Glad you are back on track! And yes, Mr. Bates is TDF! Matthew does grow on you, but I still don't care much for the girl.

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  50. Wow. This is a popular subject. I just wanted to thank you. I hadn't even thought about the library! I'm off to put my name on the wait list.

    (I cheated and watched the last half of the second season because I had heard so much about it. Netflix caught me up to the second season, but how was I going to find out what happened in the first part of the season? See how you helped me?)

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  51. We are re-watching 24.
    Well, I'm re-watching it. My husband is watching for the first time.

    You should know...
    He gets home from work at 10pm so sometimes we're falling asleep while watching.

    So, we were in episode 9, thought it made no sense, sorta, but somethings were kinda familiar. We shrugged and pushed on - thinking we had just fallen asleep.

    Apparently we had skipped episode 8.
    I guess we're re-watching 23.

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  52. ha, i committed the exact same sin as cory (borrowed disc 2.2 from the library, thinking it was COPY 2, not PART 2), but fortunately i realized the error of my ways before diving in.

    oh, dear people of downton. i love them all. even the ones i despise.

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  53. I just started watching Season 1 on Netflix. I'm rationing them out because I know it'll be a while before Season 3 airs. I'm hoping to borrow Season 2 from a friend...if not I'll also check my library. And I'll be sure to start with Disc 1 ;)

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  54. Thanks for the laugh. This was just too funny. I watched the first season, and have been dying to watch the second season. Thanks for the tip about the library and for giving me a good laugh today.

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  55. Am currently dying LOL b/c I have had the EXACT same journey seeking Season 2...but did not think of the library--I will get on this! Thanks :)

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  56. I can't stop laughing. This so would be us! I watched by myself in bed...but I think hubs is coming around! Just wanted you to know that I have foregone reading a book for a while. Blogs like yours sustain my need for the written word. Wish you lived closer!

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  57. For your amusement...http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/04/downton-abbey-is-the-edwardian-battlestar-galactica

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  58. Hahahahahahaha! I can't stop laughing!!!! :)

    By the way, YOU are my favorite writer...EVER!

    I. WANT. YOUR. BOOK.

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  59. Ahahahahaha!!!! Your conversations sound just like our conversations. I really think we should have us a good sit-down with some salsa and tostitos with lime (!). And...what's this series you're talking about? Haftacheckitout!

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  60. That hubby of yours should pay dearly for that. We are watching the finale of season 1 tonight and I am picking up season 2 from a friend this morning. It's so stinking addictive!

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  61. That sounds just like us...only I would've been the one with the backwards thinking! Glad you got it all straightened out!

    XOXO,
    Angie

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  62. That is downright tragic! I haven't yet committed to the Downton experience but I really, really hate watching things out of order. (I blame it on Netflix.) I've been known to avoid current shows I love because I missed a couple of episodes. I would have been DEVASTATED to find myself all out of order!

    p.s. Buahahaha!! :):)

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  63. Long story short. I was listening to a book on cd the #1 CD looked like this l so when I went to put the #2 CD in it looked like this ll. Right, a Roman number. Wrong! The first cd was a couple meeting for the first time. The 2nd CD was someone getting shot and the couple is getting married. I was like, what? That's aweful fast and this is the stupidist book ever, this is the worst. I'm done!!!! I take the CD out and go to put it back in the #2 spot and there was the #2 cd just like that. I had listen to #11, the last CD. OMG I felt so stupid for cussing out the author. I told the library lady what I did and she had a similar story. And now you do too.. :)
    K-RO

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  64. Loved Downtown abbey right up to the very end...I thought the ending a bit anti-climatic. But, otherwise, I loved it. And most importantly that my husband was entrenched in it as much as I was. Every Sunday night you would find us putting the kids to bed early so we could catch the next episode, together!

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  65. I can't say it enough, I love my son in-law!! You need to write a book of " The view of the world through Cory's eyes". It would be a best seller, next to your first book. Your family sure gives you plenty of writing material.

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  66. My sister and I got a laugh out of this and not at your expense! I watch Season 1 and did not realize there were three episodes in disc two so entirely missed one and felt confused at the next one as well. Thank you for making me smile!

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  67. Ok, I just read this post and your previous one (Ramsey) at the same time - this is why I love the way you write and share! I love your humor; this post made me laugh right out loud - my hubby and I could have had THE SAME conversation.... Then I scrolled back and read the Ramsey post. AMEN!! I've had the same discomfort, the scratching of my head, the - wait a minute, I want to sacrifice now so I can have the dream later, but is that really what Christ said?? The more we sacrifice in the present, the more convicted I am to give that excess away. I realize a 401K and retirement money is important, but isn't there more to life than that? more to being a disciple and making them? I want to live with reckless abandon for Christ, not to save up for that retirement dream - that dream is in heaven, and the lover of our soul says that dream is more than we can ever ask or imagine! Keep writing, I really resonate with all you say....

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  68. You're not crazy. Our library had season 2 first, and since that's all I could find, I watched it first. Too confusing. I prayed for season 1, and that's what I finally got this week at the library. It explained so much. I am currently working my way through it. Crazy how we like the same shows. I mean, I couldn't get enough of FNL!

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  69. We did the very same thing with Season One! I could have have written that word for word, about us! That's hilarious. I am glad we aren't the only weirdys out there. HA!

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  70. That is one of the saddest stories I have ever heard.

    FYI, if you are twitchy from Downton withdrawals, check out Gosford Park on Netflix. You can see how Julian Fellowes springboarded (sprungboard?) from that movie to Downton.

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