Monday, February 20, 2012
Downton Abbey, Season Two
Unless there is a clue forthcoming in the show, we don't know anything about Lady Cora's American Mom, Shirley MacLaine, due to be introduced next season.
And in today's Times, the executive producer, Julian Fellowes, isn't even asked the question about Ms. MacLaine. This is reporting? Anyway, some educated guesses:
Ol' Shirl is Annie Oakley, who rides up to Downton on a horse. She's dressed in fringe bucksin and leaves Carson speechless as she asks him to give the animal water and oats.
She unloads her saddle bags, and cleans her rifles before dinner. At the next pheasant shoot she sweeps the sky of every bird set to fly from the brush. The tweedy-types haven't even raised their shotguns and the shooting show is over. She offers them a "spot" next time out.
Shirl is Jessica Fletcher, the American Miss Marple, who solves the mystery of Mr. Bates's wife's death.
Shirl is Carry Nation, who goes on a Temperance speech spree in England that somewhat embarrasses the Granthams and the Crawleys, but shows off just how much Americans can be characters.
Shirl is a Jenny Lin character who swills gin and jumps up on the parlor piano, singing dirty mining ditties and exposing her legs. She's a hoot.
Whatever Shirl is going to be, she is not going to be boring.