Tag Archives: Joanne Froggatt

Dark Angel Review

Mary Ann Cotton has the notoriety of England’s first female serial killer. She is known to have killed at least two of her husbands, several of her children and a number of others. To this day, the exact number of the people she killed is a mystery.

The television movie Dark Angel told the story of Mary Ann as she begins to slide down the ladder toward murder and depravity. Airing last night on PBS, it starred Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt as the main character. The audience meets Mary Ann when she is an ordinary wife and mother. Life has not been easy for her, but she has found a way to survive the hardships that have been thrown at her. But as she begins to lose her loved ones, something breaks in her, sending down a path that once tread upon, cannot be un-tread upon.

After watching Ms. Froggatt play Anna Bates for six seasons on Downton Abbey, it was refreshing to see her step into an entirely different role. Mary Ann is very much the underdog, both as a woman and a member of the lower class in Victorian era England. While on one hand, the audience can feel disgusted and horrified by her actions, in a certain light, we can almost sympathize with her. She lived in era when women, especially women from the lower classes were denied the right to an education and a career. Mary Ann did what she thought was right to survive, if a modern audience may not agree with her actions.

While my only criticism is that it went a little fast for me narrative wise (even for a 2 hour television movie), it was still enjoyable.

I recommend it.

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Downton Abbey Series 5 Episode 2 Recap: Bye Bye Jimmy And The Not So Secret Secrets

Like all recaps, these posts contain spoilers from Sunday’s episode. Read at your own risk if you have not see the episode.

Upstairs

Mary is chugging ahead with her plans to go away with her semi boyfriend Tony Gillingham. She tells her family that is going away for a “sketching holiday” with a female friend.  I doubt that she will need her pencils and sketchbook. Before she goes away, she asks Anna to pick her up a little something to make sure that baby#2 does not come. When buying birth control Anna has to prove that she is not a slut by loudly announcing that she is married. The night before Mary is supposed to leave for her “sketching holiday” Charles Blake returns, they have a very interesting conversation on love and sex.

Mrs. Drewe is become increasingly suspicious about Edith’s curious interest in Marigold. I would think the same thing if I were in her shoes.

An art historian, Simon Bricker (Richard E Grant) has come to the Downton to examine a painting.  His interest lies beyond the painting (and towards the lady of the house) while her husband  is oblivious.

Speaking of Robert, the idea that Tom might take up with Miss Bunting and return to his old ways does not make the lord of the manor happy. Adding to the unease is the idea that Carson is heading the committee to build the war memorial instead of traditionally deferring to the Earl.

Rose, like many young people, is interested in the latest and greatest. To her, that is the wireless. Robert has to be eased (as he does into many things that modern) into the idea of bringing a radio into Downton.

Violet continues with her Emma like meddling and matching making with Isobel, Lord Merton and Dr. Clarkson.

Downstairs

After discovering Jimmy has been discovered in bed with Lady Anstruther, his pretty boy backside is out of Downton. Thomas admits to Anna that he and Jimmy had something going on, despite their history.

Mr. Carson is as bothered by Miss Bunting as Robert is. Daisy continues with her lessons with Miss Bunting.

Anna and Mrs. Hughes discover Edith’s broken heart when they begin to clean up her room.

Miss Baxter tells Mr. Molesley about her past. Mr. Molesley does not believe that everything she is saying is the truth.

Policemen come to the servants hall to investigate the mysterious death of Mr. Green last season.  Does this pose trouble Anna and Bates?

Analysis

I like the way the season is progressing. If the theme of this season is secrets, there is more than enough to keep the storyline going.

Dowager Line Of The Week– Unfortunately, I don’t have one. But I am so thrilled that Joanne Froggatt won the Golden Globe on Sunday for best supporting actress. It was well deserved.

 

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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 3 Recap

As usual, this recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you haven’t seen last night’s episode.

Upstairs

Tony Gillingham  (Tom Cullen) proposes to Mary. My initial reaction was that he is moving waaay too fast. Logically, he would be a good choice for her. He is handsome, titled, in love with her and they knew each other from when they were kids.  But she turns him down, using Matthew as her reason. Lord Gillingham also has an off screen pseudo-fiance. At the end of the episode, Mary tells her father and Tom that she may come to regret it. That may be true, but I have been spoiled enough to know that there will be another man vying for her affections in a future episode.

Edith and Tom do the walk of shame (cue the Pink song). While Edith disregards her aunt’s advice, Tom is kicking himself for letting Edna get him drunk and seducing him.

I feel bad for Tom, I can honestly understand why he is feeling lonely. He has married into this family, whose lifestyle is far different from the way he was raised. His wife is dead, he is a single parent and trying to navigate the social rules of his new lifestyle.

Dr. Clarkson is opening an outpatient clinic and bring Isobel into help. If this is his way to changing her status from widow to wife, he is persistent.

While visiting Rosamund in London, Rose insists that they all go to a nightclub, where she has a meet-cute with Jack Ross (Gary Carr), a black  musician. Mr. Ross comes in at the perfect time, rescuing Rose from her drunk and upchucking date. Of course Mary, Tony and Rosamund are horrified of this simple act of dancing together. And of course Tom to send to bring her back to the table My spoiling of this series also tells me that this is not the last we will see of Jack Ross. What else is a rebellious young lady from an aristocratic family to do than to start a relationship with a black musician?

Edith is clearly her father’s child. Michael Gregson asks her to sign a document taking over his affairs while he obtains his German citizenship. Of course she doesn’t read it before signing. Lack of business acumen seems to a family trait.

I just love that Rosamund brought up Sir Anthony while trying to convince Edith to end her relationship with Michael Gregson. Bringing up the ex-fiance who publicly embarrassed her by ending the relationship at the alter is really a good argument.

Downstairs

Anna is still raw from her ordeal. Everyone notices the change in her, even daft Robert, but only Mrs. Hughes knows and is still keeping her secret. John is trying to figure out what is going on with his wife, but she is pulling away from him, insisting on returning to the house instead of living with her husband in their cottage. Out of love for husband, she doesn’t tell him, afraid that he will go after Mr. Green and go to jail again.

We’ve become so accustomed to not just violence, but sexually  related violence that normally this type of story line would be just another story line.   For Julian Fellows to choose Anna represents so much more. The shame, the anger, the fear is universal. Joanne Froggatt is an incredible performer and deserves any Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG Award , etc for this past two episodes alone.

Raise your hand if you loved Mrs. Hughes during this episode. Elsie “Mama Bear” Hughes has a good heart and is a good person, but the claws come up when someone tries to hurt someone she cares about. Evil Edna was stupid enough to leave a book around telling her how to have sex without getting pregnant. Clearly Edna’s plan to seduce Tom, fake a pregnancy and force him to marry her was doomed to fail.

My favorite scene was the one between Thomas and Edna in the stairwell. Call it Bitchfest 1922. Thomas wins this round with his job intact while Edna is once more out a job.

Alfred sees an opportunity to train as a chef in London and leave the career doldrums of being a footman behind.

The Ivy/Jimmy/Daisy/Alfred love quandrangle is boring. Unless Fellows pulls something out of his hat, it will become my least favorite story line this series.

Analysis

My favorite character this episode was Mrs. Hughes. She is compassionate when she knows Anna’s secret and when she gives Carson a framed picture of his former sweetheart. She is instantly in charge and ferocious when she confronts Edna with her failed plan to force Tom to marry her.

Dowager Moment/Line Of The Week

“Another brick falls from the wall”.

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