J.J. Abrams is a Downton Fan


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JJ. Abrams may be the mastermind behind Lost, Alias and Felicity and the future of the Star Wars franchise but he is also a fan of Downton Abbey.  During a a recent interview with a British newspaper, he took time to gush about his love of the series.

“It’s absolute soap opera done triple-A plus. The characters go places you never expect and the rules of that society allow for wonderful storytelling because there is behaviour that’s forbidden, which barely exists any more.”

Abrams continued, “It’s cleverly written and brilliantly cast. It lets you enjoy what is, at the core, a pulpy family drama but done with such respect and regard for the characters, you feel they’re all alive.”

“And think of how many [characters] there are—I thought we had a lot of characters on Lost but it’s amazing they’re able to spin that many plates and make you feel for them all.”

J.J. Abrams was lucky enough to visit the set of Downton Abbey this past May and step in to the role as Mrs. Patmore in the kitchen.  (See tweeted photo above.)  Maybe there will be a future episode of Downton Abbey directed by J.J. Abrams himself???

Depressed over Downton


Dearest Readers,

I must beg your forgiveness over my lack of posting these past weeks.  Life has gotten in the way of many things.  Between traveling, illness, and a general depression over Downton Abbey not winning any Emmy Awards and the fact that Downton Abbey is airing in the U.K. and not in the U.S., I haven’t been able to post as much as I would like.

My depression over not being able to see Season Four of Downton Abbey is severe I am afraid.  I know it is going on and I can’t talk about it since I vowed to not spoil it for my fellow U.S. Downtonians.  I miss seeing that adorable doggie’s backside with its wagging tail on Sunday nights. I can’t stand the fact that Mrs. Hughes got a new hair style and I can’t see it.  I need to know how Anna and Bates are getting along now that they are together.  Alas, it is like seeing all of your Christmas presents under the tree on December 1st and not being able to open them until Christmas day.  (((sigh)))  And, if you ask my mother, I have never been known for my patience when it comes to opening presents.

But I promise you, dear readers, to do better and get back on the proverbial horse.  If Lady Edith can overcome being jilted at the altar, then surely I can overcome having to wait a few months to see Season Four of Downton Abbey.

Yours truly,

Downton Tonya

Today is the Day!!! Season 4 Begins!!!

If you haven’t been counting down or have just plain forgotten, today is the day!!!!  That is right, Season 4 of Downton Abbey starts tonight for the lucky U.K. viewers. (The rest of the world will be watching the cast of Downton Abbey at the Primetime Emmys.  Of course, we will also be outwardly jealous of our U.K. friends.)   The show can be seen at 9 p.m. on ITV.

According to the ITV website,

The fourth series sees the family reeling in the aftermath of terrible tragedy but with new life, in the form of babies George and Sybbie, comes new hope, as the much-loved characters take tentative steps into the Roaring Twenties.

If you haven’t planned your viewing party menu, might I suggest the following to set the proper tone:


Deviled Eggs. A staple on Edwardian appetizer platters, according to blogger Pamela Foster.

Broiled Oysters With Peach and Paprika. The bivalves were another Edwardian favorite.

Main courses

Basic Roast Chicken. Mrs. Patmore, the cook, saw hers fall on the floor.

Beef and Guinness Stew. Fitting for the downstairs staff.

Hearty Beef Pot Roast With Red Wine and Thyme. Stereotype or not, it’s still a classic.

Shepherd’s Pie. Something else that might be enjoyed in the servants’ hall.

Shiitake Beef Wellingtons. Every guest gets his or her own phyllo-enclosed packet.


Irish Whiskey Cake. Show solidarity with Branson the chauffeur’s advocacy for Irish independence.

Victoria Sandwich Cake. A very British dessert named after the famed queen.

White House Sticky Toffee Pudding. This take on the British treat comes from White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses.



Happy Viewing!!!

Downton Abbey wins at Creative Arts Emmy Awards


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Congratulations are in order to John Lunn for winning a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) for “Episode 6” of Downton Abbey.

In case you are wondering, Episode 6 of Season 3 is the episode after Sybil dies and Lord and Lady G aren’t talking and Lord G and Matthew aren’t getting along very well either.  Of hand I don’t recall the music but now that it is award winning music I will have to go back and listen closely.

The 65th Annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards were held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Sept. 15th.  A two-hour, edited version of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will air Saturday, Sept. 21st on FXX.

Sadly though, none of the other nominees from Downton Abbey won awards.  Either way, we congratulate them since being nominated is still an honor and achievement.  So take a bow because we applaud you:

  • Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera SeriesDonal Woods, Mark Kebby and Gina Cromwell
  • Outstanding Casting for a Drama SeriesJill Trevellick
  • Outstanding Costumes for a SeriesCaroline McCall and Dulce Scott
  • Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single Camera SeriesMagi Vaughan and Vanya Pell

The 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, airing Sunday, Sept. 22th.

Just as a reminder, here are the nominees from Downton Abbey for Primetime Emmy Awards:

Lady Carnarvon goes Online


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The Countess of Carnarvon, the real resident of Highclere Castle (which is where Downton Abbey is filmed) has started a blog. http://www.ladycarnarvon.com/

Chest of arms


She has only just started it but has already given her readers a little insight to her light at Highclere Castle.  (Apparently, she like to ride her bike with the dogs but she seems to lose one along the way.)  I can’t wait to see what tidbits she might dish on next.

Merchandise Monday – Jewelry for the Downtonian on a Budget


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Monday means MERCHANDISE!!!!  And really, who doesn’t like pretty things???

I happened to get a Victorian Trading Co. catalog in the mail the other day.  Not sure why because I have never heard of the company.  As I was thumbing through the catalog before I put it in the recycling bin I happened to notice the words “Downton Abbey”.  Well that got my attention.  Upon further inspection I found some affordable and pretty jewelry under the trademark of Downton Abbey.  What a happy occurrence!!!

So, if you ever wanted to feel like a Crawley but your budget didn’t permit it, the following might just be your ticket.

23060Downton Abbey Brooch  $29.95

23065Lady Edith’s Bell Necklace  $29.95

23064Downton Abbey Estate Bracelet  $29.95

23059Downton Abbey Jeweled Heirloom Silver Necklace $39.95

23063Downton Abbey Hair Barrettes  $19.95

23061Lady Mary’s Crimson Earbobs  $39.95

23062Downton Abbey Crimson Bracelet  $29.95

Being the savvy shopper that I am, it is a little concerning that aren’t any descriptions of the items.  No sizes are mentioned or what exactly the jewelry is made out of.  (I am quite certain with those prices they aren’t 14k or sterling.)  So with everything – caveat emptor.

Happy Shopping!!!

Dan Stevens is Dashing in Toronto for The Fifth Estate Screening


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Dan Stevens is looking very un-Matthew Crawley-like at The Fifth Estate screening at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival.  Since his Downton Abbey days are behind him, he has slimmed down and shunned his blonde locks – and I think I like it.

Read all about The Fifth Estate here.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Dan Stevens poses for a photograph on the red carpet at the gala for the new movie “The Fifth Estate” during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. Jason Merritt/Getty Images


But the fandoms really collided when Benedict Cumberbatch entered the picture with Dan Stevens – Sherlockians, Trekkies and Downtonians.  Oh my!!!


Benedict Cumberbatch, Dan Stevens and Daniel Bruhl look smoking hot for debut of “The Fifth Estate” at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival on September 5, 2013


Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Benedict Cumberbatch arrives on the TIFF red carpet for The Fifth Estate. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Will you be going to see The Fifth Estate because of Dan Stevens or Benedict Cumberbatch?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Romeo & Juliet’s Hailee Steinfeld on Cover of Teen Vogue


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The latest film adaptation of Romeo & Juliet is about to hit the silver screen and the film’s Juliet, Hailee Steinfeld, is gracing the cover of October’s Teen Vogue.

The screenplay for the movie, due to be released on October 11, 2013, was written by Downton Abbey‘s own Julian Fellowes.  Click here for all the details.

Check out the trailer by clicking here.

More pics of Hailee at her Teen Vogue photo shoot.