Monday, February 11, 2013

Today's Top Stories: February 11, 2013

In reality, Tommy would be lucky to get out of there with his shirt.
"Time to get up for footman school, Poodle."

Downton Abbey is historically inaccurate ...and impossible.


So they overlook Thomas' homosexuality - a crime in those days as well as something considered so vile as to be never spoken of in polite company - and yet they railroad out of town Ethel, a former prostitute, illegitimate mother, now reformed and rehabilitated, working as a housekeeper/cook for one of the relatives.  Oh the scandal.  The Lord of the manor even jokes with his valet how he had to fight off kisses from amorous fellow students during his college days.  He then defends Thomas as born that way and unable to help himself and goes so far as to promote him to 2nd Butler.


What does Janet Smith have to say about that?


  1. And Eaton College - a boarding school for 13-18 yr old boys.

  2. Anonymous7:38 PM

    I HATE it when a period piece gets politically correct AND rams a lesson in 'tolerance' down my throat. ugh.
    Angela M.

  3. I agree; I was bothered by the cover-up of Thomas' behavior. It reminds me of too many things I have read about in Church scandals which have been covered-up and glossed over. Sneaking into someone's room in the dead of night and attempting to engage them in sexual behavior while they are asleep is unacceptable. There are too many people whose sexual assault and abuse by others was initiated by such behavior. It is a shame that the innocent young men are the ones who ended up being scolded but that is how things were done then and how they are still done now, sadly. The English boarding school culture was always rife with homosexuality, with the older boys preying upon the younger boys.

  4. This is one of the best tv shows I have ever seen by far, but this was disappointing.

    However, let me play devil's advocate here: no one ever denied that sodomy is vile or shrugged it off - the general idea among the characters, from Carson to Bates to Lord Grantham to Mrs. Hughes is that he committed no *actual* crime in the house, but is rather inclined that way (Carson says he is twisted that way) - they see it as a twisted nature, not something "okay."

    It rather seems that for the characters involved, they all have individual reasons for not wanting to toss him out - in Lord Grantham's case, he himself had tried to initiate an adulterous relationship with a maid, and Mrs. Hughes seems to be willing to extend the kind of mercy she showed to Ethel.

    There is also general concern that this would in fact ruin him.

    And finally, with the exception of Lord Grantham, the ones who want to railroad out Ethel are not the same ones showing Thomas mercy.

    Yes, it is propaganda, and yes it is historically inaccurate, but at the same time, they seem to be showing a decently Christian response - and it is pity, not approval. If Thomas had committed an actual act of sodomy on the premises the characters may not be so forgiving.

  5. Also, Elena is right - the boarding school culture was a hotbed of homosexuality, so Lord Grantham's reaction may not be that off.

    The promotion is not meant to reward Thomas's behavior here, but to compensate for his being fired from being a valet. Though it would have been better to see him made a footman again, under Alfred.


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