Monday, September 22, 2014

livetweeting the living hell that is downton abbey, if any of you guys want to join me @hello_tailor.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


This floral blouse was most likely designed by Jenny Beavan for the film Howard’s End in 1992. Her costumes for the film earned her an Academy Award nomination for best costume design. The blouse was seen in the film on Emma Thompson as Margaret Schlegel.

It was next seen on Maggie Smith as Lady Myra Nalor in the 1999 film The Last September.  It went on to be used a third time in Death Defying Acts in 2007 on Catherine Zeta-Jones as Mary McGarvie.  It was seen a fourth time in 2011 in the second season of Downton Abbey on Michelle Dockery as Mary Crawley.

Costume Credit: Shrewsbury Lasses

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i love this one because it’s like maggie smith handed the blouse down to her onscreen granddaughter michelle dockery.

Monday, October 7, 2013 Tuesday, October 1, 2013

butlerbookbinding said: You mean you don't enjoy sitting there with your teeth clenched, cursing the writers every time they do something that doesn't make any sense, or actually contradicts the book from the Bible which they claim is central to the plot? (Because, you know, Death had an opening act or three. Although they did get the horse colours!) Sorry, about that, I'd missed your lengthy post about your feelings re: Sleepy Hollow.

no. why would i watch a tv show i don’t particularly enjoy or find interesting, just to make fun of it on my blog? that would just make me look like a total asshole.

i feel comfortable being a pretty harsh critic of teen wolf because i’m a teen wolf fan, i’m invested in the show, and i do genuinely enjoy watching it in all its campy glory. likewise, i feel comfortable tearing Downton Abbey apart every week because it’s an enormously overhyped show. it’s habitually mistaken for a classy historical drama rather than the poorly-written soap opera it actually is, and it’s riddled with nightmarishly transparent political messages from the writer.

but sleepy hollow doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment. i like to judge things on their own merits, and sleepy hollow is a cheesy, formulaic, and fundamentally ridiculous show. i know this, the showrunners know this, and the viewers presumably know this as well. and they love it! most of my criticism would probably boil down to “this show is silly, and the storyline makes no sense. it sucks.” meanwhile, sleepy hollow fans would reply with, “this show is silly, the storyline makes no sense, and it’s totally awesome, hilarious, and adorable.” why bother taking a shit all over someone else’s fandom? particularly if it’s some pointless nitpick like ~historical accuracy~, which is irrelivent to a show like sleepy hollow.

sleepy hollow has already succeeded in its main goal, which is to provide lightweight entertainment. plus, the cast all seem delightful, and are really great at engaging with their fanbase. sleepy hollow fans can watch sleepy hollow, i can watch agents of shield, and we can all peacefully coexist in —

— oh, wait. i just remembered something. none of the points i made in this post count for the new BBC show Atlantis. it is fucking terrible. if you enjoy Atlantis, you are OBJECTIVELY WRONG, and need to have your sense of taste re-tuned. Atlantis is the nadir of television and should’ve been cancelled halfway through episode one. anyone who makes fun of it is right and correct.

ok. good talk.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

toujoursgai said: I had the exact sam reaction to DA re. its connectino to Gosford Park. If you listen to the commentary track on GP I think it becomes clear just how much Robert Altman reshaped and undercut Fellowes' story. Fellowes actually thought that Kelly Macdonald's character and the Countess had a good relationship. I think Altman's distance from the subject made the depiction of the above stairs and their uselessness an evisceration rather than the cozy hug Downton is.


THIS IS SO INTERESTING. I’ve never listened to the commentary on Gosford Park because I’ve only seen it on Netflix but this really doesn’t surprise me at all. That little detail about Kelly MacDonald & the Countess is SO TELLING just on its own. IT IS SO OBVIOUSLY A TERRIBLE RELATIONSHIP! I wonder how Fellowes felt about the finished film - it must have been REALLY different from how he originally imagined it.

In sum: everyone go see Gosford Park, marvel at Altman’s magic, snicker to yourself about Julian Fellowes. Good times.

oh man, this really does confirm my suspicions about gosford park. i haven’t watched it since before downton abbey went on air, but it is SO different. like, ridiculously different for something that takes place in more or less same setting, with a very similar premise and using many of the same stock characters. gosford park is a BRILLIANT film, whereas gosford park is like… the poorly written fluff fanfic version of it, or something? plus bizarrely conservative, pro-aristocracy overtones?? i was talking to someone about this recently and he was like, “obviously altman just rewrote the whole thing.” WELL, APPARENTLY SO??

Friday, September 27, 2013

typhonatemybaby said: downton agony is the ultimate hate watch and i want everyone on the show to die except for mrs patmore and thomas and edith who are obvs all fantastic/entertaining.

julian fellowes seems REALLY obsessed over inheritance tax guys. like, the WHOLE FUCKING PLOT of downton agony is whether or not lord grantham ( whom I feel is a fucking twat and should be vented into high atmo) can sort his shit before he kicks it. UGH

i hate thomas, but at this point i honestly can’t tell if i ~love to hate him~ or if i just… hate him. i remember when i checked out downton abbey fandom last year, it turned out that thomas had a fuckton of fans because he was Tragic, Beautiful, and Gay. UM, NO. he may be beautiful and gay, but he’s a total asshole and he’s punished for being gay whenever he tries anything. HAHAHA SO MODERN, JULIAN FELLOWES. YOU INCLUDED A GAY MALE CHARACTER WHO IS HANDSOME, BITCHY, MANIPULATIVE, AND ALWAYS GETS SCREWED OVER WHEN HE TRIES TO FIND A BOYFRIEND. nope nope nope.

the inheritance tax thing is HILARIOUS though. like, if you haven’t seen downton abbey? basically the ENTIRE plot of the show is about who will inherit Downton. Lord Grantham has three unmarried daughters, and whoever they marry will inherit it. but then this long-lost cousin shows up and it’s like, OH SHIT, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE CAN FIND SOME WAY TO MAKE IT OK THAT THIS RANDOM COUSIN IS GONNA INHERIT DOWNTON ABBEY? so the primary star-crossed romance of the show is a) incest, and b) essentially an arranged marriage. BUT IT’S VERY AGONISING ANYWAY, like, you do end up shipping it. but once the’ve FINALLy got married, Cousin Matthew dies (HILARIOUSLY) on the same day that Lady Mary gives birth to the new heir. truly, i have never laughed so hard at any fictional character’s death. i momentarily turned into a complete serial killer. IT WAS HILARIOUS.

but anyhow, Cousin Matthew is dead now, so we begin the fourth season… with another round of inheritance bullshit. Lord Grantham (as the direct mouthpiece of Julian Fellowes, CROL) complains about inheritance tax ~bleeding him dry, and the Abbey estates are having to be split between him and the baby. (Mary doesn’t get any control, of course: WOMEN.) Lord Grantham is an unmitigated shitbag but the show keeps attempting to indicate that he’s an OK chap really. no!! no!! just vent him out the airlock already!!! fuxxake.

passiveaggressivegummybear said: if you ever feel like, it would be really cool to read a evisceration of downton abbey. that show, [insert preferred epithet]. that show.

downton abbey is so perversely entertaining to hatewatch. the first season was reasonably good, but now it’s a M E S S. but it’s not really the quality of the show that bothers me? like, the acting is good, the production values are AMAZING, and it’s entertaining to watch. however, i do have two major problems with it:

  1. it’s COMPLETELY unclear just how seriously it actually takes itself? also, how seriously does the audience take it?? i can never tell. in the UK there’s definitely an undercurrent of “we’re aware this is ridiculous garbage” in the few TV reviews i’ve read, but OTOH it gets a fuckload of coverage in fashion magazines, broadsheet newspapers, etc. i don’t know if this is purely because of the star-power and budget involved, or if there really is a huge number of people out there who think downton abbey is a Serious Drama, with Serious History People involved. in the USA it seems to be worse, because the audience is less likely to be aware of a lot of the nuances of british classism that are involved? which kind of brings me onto my second point:
  2. downton abbey is a vehicle for julian fellowes’ catastrophically snobbish class issues.

i feel like people either ignore or just completely fail to notice this because the show takes place in ~the past~, but seriously. oh my god. it is BEYOND conservative, and often not in a very self-aware way. obviously i’m not expecting, like, a vast quantity of racial diversity etc in a story that takes place in 1920s Yorkshire. BUT!!! downton abbey still portrays this preposterously sunny concept of the servant/master relationship, couched in faux-historical “accuracy” in the hopes that you won’t notice. julian fellowes genuinely seems to wish he still lived as Lord of the Manor somewhere, with all the commoners slavishly thanking him for giving them a job tilling his fields. seriouslyyyy. i could probably deal with this if it was handled in an intelligent way, but downton abbey is just SUCH a hackneyed soap opera that i can’t I CAN’T.

this year’s season premiere was 90 minutes long and included a salt-of-the-earth farmer telling his unemployed son to pull himself up by his bootstraps, PLUS another plotline about inheritence tax, PLUS more endlessly circular subplots about the maids being Dangerous Harlots or Well-Meaning Ninnies. it’s not always fair to conflate the content of a TV show with its showrunner, but with downton abbey it seems preeeetttty fair because julian fellowes is a Baron, a Conservative, has a personal stake in the concept of hereditary peerages (GOOGLE IT), and quite obviously fetishises a completely imaginary version of early 20th century england. downton abbey expends enormous amounts of energy on making sure all the sets, props, etc are as historically accurate as possible, but in spirit it’s an offensively classist fantasy — written from the perspective of the aristocracy who benefited from that fantasy in the first place.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

mariusperkins said: my main motivation for actually sitting down and watching SHIELD is legitimately "I will be able to read the hello tailor review"

hahaha, I LIKE THIS REASON. v flattering, thank you. ;))

i think i might make SHIELD my new regular-review show, to replace teen wolf. i was thinking of doing downton abbey, but realistically how many of you guys want to read a ritualistic evisceration of downton abbey every week? maybe 3 or 4, including @typhonatemybaby, who would be unofficially co-writing it anyway because his downton abbey rage-tweets are hilarious.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow I(BTS - Downton Abbey S4)

jesus god thomas is SUCH A DOUCHE.


Sunday, September 22, 2013
  • hellotailor: Oh no. Downton Abbey starts tonight. Will I survive another season of hate-watching??
  • typhonatemybaby: Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira les aristocrates à la lanterne! Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira les aristocrates on les pendra!