Monday, January 23, 2012

Top Five Lines from last night's episode of Downton Abbey

 Are you watching?

Downton Abbey, in all its aristocratic glory is just about the hippest, happinest thing going on T.V. these days.

Go figure.

Even several men I know *ahem* are keeping a close watch on the goings on at the big house.

I mean, who can resist? A family with so much money that they have nothing better to do than walk around on their massive estate and talk about what’s going on downstairs with the servants. And servants who are running around ragged, making sure that the people living upstairs have nothing better to do than walk around on their massive estate.

The servants have no idea that the family talks about them all the time.

Or vice versa.

And the talking they all do is some of the most dry, well-written, perfectly-delivered British television screenwriting that I’ve heard in a long time. Especially the zingers.

Can those women deliver the zingers!

The men remain clueless. And lovelorn.

And so, in honor of the great writing, and the equally great acting, taking place on PBS every Sunday night, I thought I’d share with you my top five favorite lines from last night’s episode of Downton Abbey.

5. “Cook him what he likes; not what’s good for him.” Matthew’s mother, Mrs. Crawley, to her cook. Her just-in-case-he-comes-home-from-war-while-I’m-sulking-in-France advice.

4. “I may not be a woman of the world, but I don’t live in a sack.” Mrs. Hughes to Ethel the maid when she finds her in a compromising position with one of the *ahem* convalescing soldiers. Convalescence takes on a whole new meaning in that house.

3. O’Brien: “Be careful Mr. Bates. Thomas is in charge now, and it won’t do to get on his wrong side.”

Mr. Bates: “Is there a right side?”

Oh that Thomas. He’s a stinker!

Source: via Shelly on Pinterest

I think my favorite character is Violet, the Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith. Whenever she comes on screen, I can't help myself, I just start laughing. The woman can deliver a line like nobody’s business, so she gets my vote for the top two lines of the night.

2. “It’s like living in a second rate hotel where the guests keep arriving and no one seems to leave.”

And the best line of the evening, one which, I am sure, will become a part of our family vernacular for many years to come:

1. “I’m a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.”

So there you have it. My top five favorite lines from last night’s episode of Downton Abbey.

How about you? Are you watching? Who’s your favorite character? 



  1. I am full on obsessed with Downton Abbey! That exchange between O'Brien and Bates was one of my favorite moments of last night's episode. I adore Bates and Anna and am rather fond of Sybil as well.

  2. I love Dame Maggie for the way she can deliver a line, but my heart does belong to Bates and Anna. I hope so much this all works out for them.

    Hmmm. Sybil. I like how she's sowing her rebellious oats, but I don't like her choice in men to do it with.

  3. I just started watching about two weeks ago, but I'm currently all caught up!! I LOVE IT!!! It's bringing me back to my childhood days of watching Anne of Green Gables. I love all the lines you quoted, your top two are definitely my favorite! I also adore Bates and Anna. I would like to say all the characters are my favorite because they are just so amazing. But I am especially fond of Mary, Bates, and Lord Grantham.

  4. Meghan, couldn't you just watch it over and over and over again? ;)

    I'm with you on Lord Grantham. Every week I kind of sigh (partly from remembering him as Bernie in "Notting Hill") and say, "Isn't he just so nice?"

  5. I have said several times ... I mean to keep a pad and paper nearby ... there are some wonderful lines. Glad you got some down for us, Shelly.

    That Maggie Smith ...


  6. I think Maggie Smith speaks as much through her facial expressions as through words - love her!

  7. I totally agree, Sheroll! Her facial expressions are PRICELESS. :)

  8. I think I am the only person in the whole world who hasn't watched this programme - and you are well on your way to putting that right!! It sounds just up my street!


  9. You know how I feel about Downton Abbey, my friend. Oh. my. gosh.

    Dame Maggie Smith is one of the world's best actresses, hands down. Amazing, isn't she? Her talent may be matched only by that of the cinematographers and the costume designers. Wow.

    My favorites, besides the Dowager Countess? Mr. Bates and Anna. But I must say I love the way the characters of the ladies of the manor are growing and developing. Lord Grantham is so gracious; I believe his influence is beginning to pay off.

    Another great line? Delivered by Mary, I think in the second episode of this season: "We mustn't let Sybil have ALL of the moral high ground." Priceless!