Monday, January 28, 2013

Pride and Prejudice's Birthday

I understand that today is the 200th birthday of Pride and Prejudice, but unfortunately have been burning the candle at both ends and have absolutely no time or brain cells to come up with any pithy clever thoughts, top ten lists, charts of favorite characters or anything else remotely worthy of the occasion.

Yet I just could not consider myself a proper fan (which I really and truly am) if I didn't at least half-heartedly attempt to mark the date with a post.

This is that post.

Sorry to have wasted your time

Monday, January 14, 2013

What do Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, Jack Lemmon and James Cagney have in Common? They are look alikes!

Oh wow. Sometimes I just astound myself.

Having nowhere else to really "put" revelations like this one, Lost in British TV gets them. Lucky it.

I recently discovered that Gene Kelly, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney and Bob Hope look alike. Bear with me. Pictures in a minute.

Here's how this came about. We watched Yankee Doodle Dandy recently, which stars James Cagney in a singing and dancing role. His style and general body build kept reminding me of Gene Kelly. So there's one connection.

Then, a week ago, we watched Mister Roberts. This film has the advantage of starring both James Cagney and Jack Lemmon and seeing both in the same film cemented the idea that when he gets older, Lemmon is going to look just like Cagney looks in Mister Roberts. (By extension, I guess that means Lemmon looks like Kelly, too, since he looks like Cagney!)

Finally, the other day, my son noticed (while watching one of his Road pictures) that Bob Hope looks like Jack Lemmon (or was it Gene Kelly?) I don't know. It doesn't matter, because I agreed. And so now, by extension, they must all look alike.

Don't give me that look. I'm prepared to prove it.

First, they all have a similar broad-faced, open countenance, with long horizontal mouths and squarish heads. Although Hope's is the most prominent in this way, they all have a similar long straight nose, with a strong tip. And its not just their faces. They all have a similar body type: not exactly stocky, but a solid compact frame. None of them were slender, lithe men. Cagney was the shortest at 5'5", Kelly, 5'7"; Lemmon was 5'9" Hope was the tallest at 5'10" -- not short, but certainly no giant. Obviously, Cagney and Kelly had the very fit dancers bodies, which I'm sure Hope and Lemmon would be pleased to be compared to, but though they were in different states of fitness, the underlying body type is cut from the same mold.

Now, what you've been waiting for, the photographic proof!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ten Reasons why Downton Abbey is a Hard Show to Stay Mad At

I can't lie. Being an Anglophilic enough American, I have already watched all of season 3 of Downton Abbey. Through extraordinary means, I found a way to see the show last fall when it aired in Great Britain.  

But have no fear, there are no spoilers in this post. I have no intention of giving away any details of the current season other than to say that throughout the season I grew unhappy with the show. Particular things became bothersome and I began to feel that the show had drifted from its most excellent roots. I was even planning to write a post giving vent to my frustrations.

And was NOT going to watch tonight's American premiere.

But, then I turned on the TV because there's been so much hype here about the show that even my husband wanted to watch. I thought I'd just sit with him for a few minutes to explain any backstory he might need and then wander off to do my own thing.

But now, he sits sleeping in front of the TV and I have been watching, rapt, for the last hour.

I see that even though I'm mad at the show, I'm still addicted. The addiction is fed by the following:

1. the clothes
2. the cars
3. Maggie Smith
4. the snappy one-liners
5. the fascinating insight into class distinctions
6. exposure to the details and social intricacies of living in high society
7. exposure to the details and intricacies of living in the servant class
8. the rich period details of wallpapers, decor, and kitchen implements
9. an insane hope that, at some point, Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson will discover they have the hots for one another
10. the incredibly beautiful and colorful English countryside, exquisitely filmed

With all these things working against me, I don't stand a chance, really.