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Actors saying lies in hats
September 14, 2012 10:04 PM   Subscribe


 
I love him.
posted by smoke at 10:25 PM on September 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Honestly, there's a lot of good in his Soapbox Youtube series.
posted by inturnaround at 10:29 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I stopped watching like, halfway through season 2. It wasn't very good, but I still would like to finish watching it. Except I don't remember where I left off. I guess it's not a huge loss.
posted by Redfield at 10:33 PM on September 14, 2012


Also, his beard is very unsettling.
posted by Redfield at 10:40 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love David Mitchell. Thank you for linking this; I'll happily watch the others.
posted by Anitanola at 10:41 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Watched this last night. The line in the post title, actors saying lies in hats, made me laugh. We've been watching That Mitchell and Webb Look lately, too, which can be quite funny.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 10:50 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love Downton Abbey, and David Mitchell, so you'd think this would cause a dilemma for me. He's essentially right, so maybe I'm just in it for Maggie Smith.
posted by damonism at 11:00 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love David Mitchell (finished That Mitchell and Web look and caught up on Peep Show in the past year) but I found it disconcerting that I could see he was reading off a card or a screen.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:01 PM on September 14, 2012


Oh. Not that David Mitchell. Too bad.
posted by xmutex at 11:15 PM on September 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


I knew that it would be good no matter which David Mitchell it was, but yes, a wee bit disappointed.
posted by redsparkler at 11:28 PM on September 14, 2012


Series 2 was garbage but I have such a massive crush on Michelle Dockery I'll never stop watching the show.
posted by edeezy at 12:02 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I made the mistake of watching all 7 series' of Peep Show in a row over the course of no more than 5 weeks and it made me lose all faith in humanity.
posted by disillusioned at 12:36 AM on September 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


Those plants in the background are all waving in sync. That was unsettling.
posted by niccolo at 12:38 AM on September 15, 2012


My favorite sub-rant:

"... suggesting a quick hump to one of the lord's daughters. And in the next, you get her huffy and slightly aroused reply. Which would be fine, except it's eight months later. Even before email, people got back to people about stuff like that in less time than it takes to kill another four hundred thousand men in trench warfare. It was as if the First World War was taking place in Narnia."
posted by zippy at 1:04 AM on September 15, 2012 [23 favorites]


There's more than one David Mitchell?
posted by Redfield at 1:07 AM on September 15, 2012


After this, I want to hear Mitchell's opinions about Toddlers and Tiaras.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:14 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only two YouTube channels merit an actual subscription with me: "Cooking with Dog", and David Mitchell's Soapbox.

Those plants in the background are all waving in sync. That was unsettling.

If you watch closely there's always something weird going on in the background of his soapbox rants.

Also, his beard is very unsettling.

Yes, and with the heavy middle mustache and the long side part, he sometimes looks like...well, I don't want to Godwin this thread.

Mitchell fans should also search YouTube for his appearances on the British show "QI", lots of great stuff.
posted by sidereal at 1:41 AM on September 15, 2012


sidereal: ...well, I don't want to Godwin this thread.

"Are we the baddies?"
posted by Skygazer at 1:53 AM on September 15, 2012 [13 favorites]


I used to love David Mitchell. However, ever since I heard the man is marrying Victoria Coren, I've started to loathe and detest him.

Bastard.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:59 AM on September 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


The best thing about Downtown going all crap is it just brings the pro-Tory progranda into the foreground -KNOW YOUR PLACE! OBEY YOUR BETTERS! SOCIAL CLIMBING IS EVIL! INHERITED WEALTH IS GOOD! WE DON'T NEED THE HNS WHEN THE LOCAL LORD CAN PAY FOR YOUR OPERATION! Etc etc

Its fuelling of the iinner warmth of my Tory Hate is what gets me through the winter tbh
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:30 AM on September 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


At the rate they're tearing through history, they'll have Vivian, Rick, Mike and Neil squatting in the abandoned house in Season Three.
posted by zippy at 2:37 AM on September 15, 2012 [17 favorites]


I made the mistake of watching all 7 series' of Peep Show in a row over the course of no more than 5 weeks and it made me lose all faith in humanity.

I did the same thing but ended up with a crush on Super Hans.
posted by recess at 3:13 AM on September 15, 2012 [13 favorites]


I can generally agree with this rant, but:
"All the people that got into the enjoyable first series got into the bonkers second one without, apparently, blinking an eye"

Personally, I continued watching for the same reason I continued watching that train wreck "Lost"; I have a compulsion to finish watching shows once I've gotten into them. It wasn't that I still liked them, no. In fact, I complained bitterly about them. Making jokes about how ridiculous they were became half the fun of watching them (well, more than half). I've become numb to just how bad it is and continue watching for idle entertainment, to see where it goes, and to crack wise. I've become numb, but... I think I feel a tingle in my toes!
posted by Red Loop at 4:05 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lady Mary looks exactly like my wife, and there are some personality similarities as well, so it's kind of like watching my wife suddenly getting an English accent and running around in period dress all the time, which isn't too bad. My stepdaughter jokes as if it really were her mother in the show, chastising her for her Turkish indiscretion and congratulating her for her recent fortune.

Also, the angry stare that Lord Crawley had through much of the second season gave him the look of a Kate Beaton drawing.
posted by Jpfed at 4:43 AM on September 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


The problem with season 2.5 was that the show lost its narrative arc. Each individual episode suddenly became self-contained and their events only marginally advanced the overall story. Which made it really hard to give a damn after a while. It's as if the show started to get really popular and the creators suddenly became pigeons in a Skinner Box, frantically pressing the same lever, over and over, in hopes of another taste of the same dopamine rush they got when they first realized they had created a Cultural Event.
posted by R. Schlock at 5:05 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitchell completely nails the time problem with the series, which really is running on two different timelines simultaneously. It also didn't help that the episodes weren't introduced with dates until a while in, which caused severe cramp in my brainbox until I went and checked out an episode guide.

My girlfriend and I coined a phrase thanks to the show's favorite device of intimate moments being observed and interrupted when it's conveniently dramatic. If, say, a couple is on a park bench and they lean in to kiss and someone whizzes by on a bike and hollers "Get a room", well oh snap, they've just been Downton'd.

It can work quite well when you say it in Strong Bad's voice.
posted by Spatch at 5:09 AM on September 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


The problem with season 2.5 was that the show lost its narrative arc.

Nonsense, everyone was breathless over whether Matthew and Mary would wind up together. And Matthew's fiance dying, who could have guessed that would happen?! Or that Matthew would walk again?! The second season was packed with unexpected twists and turns!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 AM on September 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


I made the mistake of watching all 7 series' of Peep Show in a row over the course of no more than 5 weeks

Peep Show shall ever hold a place in my heart for introducing me the most sublime phrase in the English language: "Danny Dyer's Chocolate Homunculus". Also, Super Hans.
posted by MikeMc at 5:42 AM on September 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


This was great. TV shows really are like drugs, always needing less quality to keep people hooked, though sometimes they do make a turn back towards quality, as I believe Mad Men did after S.2 and I hear Friday Night Lights did too. Maybe S.3 of DA will return to the period drama we care about? It'll take a lot to get me back though, I don't take my shit stepped on.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:11 AM on September 15, 2012


I can't turn the volume on, so I watched it with the cc activated. "as a drummers basically simply an appeal but soup topic petticoat involvement. nothing wrong with soup ducks' soap ok tastes like so but mostly in c and soup is nice series one gave us baby interesting characters experiencing vatika live" Baffling yet awesome, kind of like season 2 itself.
posted by mochapickle at 6:19 AM on September 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


I realized midway through the second season (series, whatevs) that Bates and Anna are the most preposterously conflict-free good people ever written and therefore interminably boring.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:23 AM on September 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


But she loves Mr. Bates!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:26 AM on September 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


The second series of Downton Abbey was pretty terrible, went to excessive soap opera land. I sort of watched in the trainwreck sense and in the assuming it had to get better sense (it didn't), and also, yes, it's a "delivery system for Dame Maggie Smith". But the Christmas episode was better, and I'll be back this week too.

Also, I find Bates & Anna dull, dull, dull, but by the end of series 2 I found Mary & Matthew just as dull.
posted by jeather at 6:31 AM on September 15, 2012


Mitchell doesn't seem to have considered that we all know it's bollocks and that's part of why we love it: the silly soapiness of Downton Abbey is part of the fun.
There is a limit to the amount of bollocks one can ingest (True Blood comes to mind) but I don't think we've reached that tipping point yet.

There's more than one David Mitchell?
Philistine! (I think the other one is the writer who wrote the Booker Prize winning Cloud Atlas, now a major motion picture)
posted by Flashman at 6:33 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Bates and Anna.

I have to admit that when I love a show I find it very difficult to watch it with a critical eye. Unfortunately with Downton the cracks really started showing and even I started noticing-- and I am the most aristocratic loving little American you will ever find. But yes, it got to the point where I kept yelling at the TV "Christ just get on with your life, Anna, he is not that special!"

And the Mary-Matthew hook-up was pure cheese all the way ending with the hokiest kiss in all time. Yet I can't help feeling that now they are settled the series is going to suffer- the will-they-won't-they storyline was compelling.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:43 AM on September 15, 2012


The combined forces of Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith could sell me on pretty much anything outside of a literal dung heap, but even I don't know if I'll watch the third series. I either hate or am bored by all the characters, and only occasionally pity them. And the pity is probably for the wrong narrative reasons. I mean, think about it: that scullery maid has been a scullery maid for ten fucking years at this point.

It'd be a lot more interesting if they took the Mad Men approach to the two timelines, where there are often long, discrete time jumps between the seasons, shorter ones between episodes and half of the fun is trying to put together what exactly happened offscreen. I mean, that wouldn't solve all the problems with the series, but it'd solve some of the weird time issues.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:51 AM on September 15, 2012


And the pity is probably for the wrong narrative reasons. I mean, think about it: that scullery maid has been a scullery maid for ten fucking years at this point.

Which also adds to Mitchell's timing complaint, because the actor playing Daisy looks like she's 12 to me, and even though the character is probably twice that age, I keep disbelieving in a 12 year old widow.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:16 AM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Mitchell's beard is now talking to us. His beard thinks he is Charlie Brooker. Great stuff anyway.
posted by panaceanot at 7:52 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ugh. Bates and Anna.

OK, yes. But I'd still tune in to watch an hour of nothing but her going, "oooh, Mr. Beeats!" It's hypnotic.

What really annoyed me was that there were two times when Lord Grantham was talking to someone and asked, "Why would so-and-so do something like that?" And the answer basically was, "Well, there's this horrible secret that could destroy this family if it ever came out, but I'm really not at liberty to talk about it." And Grantham's like, "Really? Wow." And he never follows up. WTF m'lud??
posted by PlusDistance at 7:58 AM on September 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


For a great TV mini-series set in the exact same era, which you can easily obtain through Inter-Library Loan services or purchase it online, see Series 1 and Series 2 of 'The Duchess of Duke Street.' 'Twas made in the late seventies. So much better than Downton Abbey! And actually based on real people and real events of the time! BTW, Julian Fellowes himself had a small part in it as a young man.
posted by Galadhwen at 9:55 AM on September 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Downton Abbey is no Upstairs, Downstairs. But Maggie Smith and beautiful clothes.

I also loooooooove David Mitchell. And it would be amazing if someone would commission a little show where this David Mitchell and the author of Cloud Atlas just generally chatted about stuff in their David Mitchells manners.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ugh. Bates and Anna.

Oh, I'm such a sap. I kind of love Anna. Bates is a little eager to fall on his own sword at the slightest provocation, though.
posted by Jpfed at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and when it comes to old TV miniseries about the past, The Forsyte Saga is fantastic, but my favorite is Lillie, with Francesca Annis as Lillie Langtry and Peter Egan rocking the house as Oscar Wilde.

The Disraeli miniseries with Ian McShane was also good, even though I was terribly disappointed to find, when studying the Victorians, that the actual Disraeli was far from being the RAW. SEX. god that I had expected, because Ian McShane.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:02 AM on September 15, 2012


It really is impressive they way they managed to pack one year of plot into eight years of calendar time.

Personally my favorites are the scenes in which Mary has her hair angling across her forehead and a deep shadow under her nose, making her look amazingly like Hitler.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:02 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


But Maggie Smith and beautiful clothes.

Oh and Maggie Smith's hat. The one covered in seashells. I am particularly fond of that hat.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:03 AM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maggie Smith is like the ultimate, most well dressed GOTH PUNK Goddess I have ever seen, on that show...there was this one coat she wore to a funeral that was just beautiful beyond words.

And I say that as not much of a clothes person.

I watched a few of the D. Mitchell soapboxes and including this one and I thought the writing was a little on the weak side. I mean, David Mitchell is fun to listen too at any time, but when he just goes off like that, like an over precocious, over-bright kid who loves the sound of his own voice it gets wankery really fast. It needs some sort of tension or some sort of conflict. Maybe some better and slowed down pacing and not a rush of words...
posted by Skygazer at 11:39 AM on September 15, 2012


For the longest time I believed that hat was some horrible fungus that had germinated onto an unsuspecting Michael Caine, who had since taken to period transvestism partially as a means to mask his deterioration and also to thwart the ambitions of his cranial invader (which naturally wants political power, what being evil and all), as being an Edwardian woman means it will forever be a dowager and never a true countess - forced by society to concede title and privilege to a male heir. That is, until it finds a way to get a purple hat on Grantham......
posted by Seiten Taisei at 12:31 PM on September 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Downton Abbey is excellent but having watched the 1995 Middlemarch production by the BBC, Daniel Derona with Hugh Dancy, and recently Sense and Sensibility's amazingly 2008 remake, I keep thinking how much Downton Abbey owes to the BBC's perod adaptations by Andrew Davies.
posted by kettleoffish at 12:35 PM on September 15, 2012


I am willing to buy all of the schmaltz and cheese of Season 2 because old-timey clothes. Except! Except! Lord Grantham would not be thinking about sexing up the maid in extreme public because boredom. Becoming an alcoholic because of his frustrated manliness not being allowed to participate in the war? Okay. Joining some expeditionary force on a whim to go shoot at shit for the glory of the Empire? Maybe. But sexing up the maids? No. Just no.

If Lord Grantham is sexing people other than Cora, he's doing it hella more discretely than that. Like in London. He's also very good to the staff, by the standards of the era, and very aware of the staff. He's not so dumb he thinks he could get away with sexing up the housemaids at Downton. He might do it where Bates could catch him, but not where Carson or O'Brien might find out.

I felt like season 2 spent a lot of time skipping over plots I was interested in (Sibyl, Lavinia, Ethel's baby) and far too much time on boring plots (Lord Grantham's sad penis, Thomas sucking at life, random Canadian).
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:37 PM on September 15, 2012 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: Lord Grantham's sad penis
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:40 PM on September 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


I guess Julian Fellowes has a harder time since adapting an actual novel you can be forgiven for anachronistic classism or portraying an unrealistically sentimental servant master relationship sine it's based on source material... Downton Abbey is always sort of a guilty pleasure in that respect, obviously the series updates the relationships to what modern viewers expect...
posted by kettleoffish at 12:41 PM on September 15, 2012


I would like to make a case that it was actually Matthew Crawley's penis that was sad through most of series 2 (it even had its own twitter account!)
posted by dinty_moore at 12:45 PM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


For my money (none) Season 2 was worth it just for Matthew and Mary's kiss at the end. When he got all "oohh we can never be togetherrrr :( :( :(" at Lavinia's funeral I wanted to throttle him — I guess I really was hanging around just to see him and Mary make it happen, so when it worked out I was all smiles/tears.

The worst part of season 2 was the very end when it became clear that, yet again, Anna + Bates and Thomas were going to be back as central issues in season 3. Boooorrrinnnggggg. Make us some new characters to care about!
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:15 PM on September 15, 2012


I have a crush on Edith, but Anna is why my wife will not let us get a maid.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:16 PM on September 15, 2012


I don't know what you guys are talking about. The first bit, with the nighttime and the heather, was just OK. But it got a lot better when the helicopter, the Shard, Canary Wharf, and the pyramid of Giza appeared. The blast off of the castle late in the series was, I thought, an apt and satisfying conclusion to the narrative arc.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:55 PM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dear David Mitchell --

As a connoisseur of beards, I want to say to you BRAVO! You've decided to grow a beard! This is an excellent thing, and something which (IMO) most men should be doing most of the time. I applaud your effort and am happy to see you're taking this step.

However, I really do need to tell you -- stop trimming it so close. Let it grow out a bit. Especially since you seem to be allowing your moustache to be pretty bushy, and since the shape of your face is kind of... well, let's just say downward pointy.

Letting your beard grow out will allow you to balance out the much rounder parts of the top of your head with the pointy bits you have down below. Plus, you don't have a very good natural growth line at the bottom of your beard across your neck. So growing out the entire beard a bit more will help keep that from being so distracting while watching your web videos, and will still allow you to avoid actually touching any form of razor to your skin.

In all, I have to say that I'm really glad you're growing a beard. You have a great moustache and seem to have a lot of excellent beard potential. Just... please stop holding that back with whatever trimming regimen you've been undertaking. Just let it grow for a couple of months. And then go visit a barber whom you trust to shape what you've grown without cutting it down. You'll be ever so glad you did.

With respect,

hippybear
posted by hippybear at 2:01 PM on September 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


I guess Julian Fellowes has a harder time since adapting an actual novel you can be forgiven for anachronistic classism or portraying an unrealistically sentimental servant master relationship

Indeed. But as this is shit the Tory fucker actually believes, you are correct that in this case it is unforgivable. There is a special place waiting in Hell, full of demons wearing hats, where Fellowes will have his forelock tugged out by the roots for eternity. And when I say forelock, I mean penis.
posted by howfar at 2:02 PM on September 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


However, ever since I heard the man is marrying Victoria Coren, I've started to loathe and detest him.

Wait, what? That brilliant Observer column, appearing on DOCTOR WHO, those marvellous series with Webb, AND marrying the talented, witty and beautiful Victoria Coren?

If my own wife weren't EVEN LOVELIER I would be extremely envious.
posted by alasdair at 2:46 PM on September 15, 2012


For the longest time I believed that hat was some horrible fungus that had germinated onto an unsuspecting Michael Caine, who had since taken to period transvestism partially as a means to mask his deterioration and also to thwart the ambitions of his cranial invader (which naturally wants political power, what being evil and all)...

Apart from hat, wardrobe and noble self-sacrifice, you have described Donald Trump.
posted by y2karl at 2:49 PM on September 15, 2012


and that's Numberwang!

oh wait...
posted by special-k at 2:51 PM on September 15, 2012


Like most, I am increasingly frustrated with Anna RE: Bates.

However, there's this scene in season 2 when they share a bed together, presumably post-coital. I can't remember what Bates says to her, but she crinkles her forehead and squints her eyes at him in a playful way AND THEN I DIED and fell in love with her.

It was weird. The Christmas episode was good, and I will keep watching.
posted by King Bee at 6:20 PM on September 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I just spent an entire rainy Sunday afternoon watching all four series of those David Mitchell shorts. And an afternoon well spent it was.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:04 AM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really looking forward to the new season EXCEPT they missed a brilliant opportunity when casting Lady Cora's mother. I mean, Shirley Maclaine is great and all but it clearly should have been Jessica Walter. Imagine the fierce-offs between Lucille Bluth and the Dowager Countess! I would watch that forever.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:17 AM on September 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


I suppose at least this is one series they won't make the U.S. version of. After all, if they were to make a series about early 20th Century American aristocrats and their servants, they'd be forced to cast a lot of black people in it. What would that do to the ratings?
posted by Grangousier at 5:31 AM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a fascinating notion, Grangousier. What's more if they tried to pull the same trick and depict the the social structure as the natural order, the family as benign overlords who wish only the best for their underlings and those underlings-- with only the rare, mild, bordering on comic relief exception-- as happy with their lot and unquestioning of the status quo... Put it this way: you wouldn't want to be in the building where the writers and producers work when the mob arrives.

On the other hand, a genuinely realistic series of that kind could be amazing. The question is whether it could get produced. Deep down America does not care to have certain things pointed out to it which disagree with its mythos, and who'd finance it now we're well into the Second Gilded Age?
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:29 AM on September 16, 2012


Hey people, just FYI but David Mitchell is an actor and the growing of a beard seemed to coincide more or less exactly with the start of filming of the next season of Peep Show. Therefore, I hope and suspect that the rather patchy, unbecoming beard is simply part of a plot point in Peep Show rather than a serious fashion choice.
posted by gilrain at 9:02 AM on September 16, 2012


I suppose at least this is one series they won't make the U.S. version of. After all, if they were to make a series about early 20th Century American aristocrats and their servants, they'd be forced to cast a lot of black people in it. What would that do to the ratings?

If you will accept that "a lot" can mean "one," for very small values of "a lot," then I give you Benson!

"Season one's opening sequence of Benson starts with camera shots of the Governor's mansion....The sequence ends when Benson is chased up the mansion's front steps by the two Dobermans. He then peeks his head outside to mock the dogs, and then quickly shuts the front door."

Benson is the butler. The black butler who is being chased by dogs into his boss's mansion.

"The opening sequences were cut and edited when the series went into syndication."
posted by zippy at 9:11 AM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only thing that would make me love Downton more is an appearance from a young Mr. Grace.
posted by drezdn at 5:26 PM on September 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


"What is a weekend?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:31 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


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