Friday, November 13, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E10

You were. Never doubt it.

Episode 10: The New Queen Bee Bikini (Season 2 Finale)

More Meaningful Title: Ladies of London, brought to you by the makers of alcohol.

well, golly sheesh...
In the last (maybe the last, no NO not the last) opening sequence, I fall in love with these ridiculous fools all over again. Marissa speaks with her darling boy, setting the day's agenda and he adorably agrees to be a part of it. Juliet roasts a chicken for her dog's 2nd birthday and they sing happy birthday to it as a family. Lady Julie is playing with the wind. Caroline wanders around aimlessly in her closet is chipping toothpaste out of her son's hair. 

And we're back!
The person Annabelle visits Fleming and complains that Lady Julie has not been attentive enough. This is a lie. No one can ease Annabelle's suffering except Annabelle. Then Juliet and Lady Julie arrive, so basically the person Annabelle was talking behind the back of a woman who was DUE TO ARRIVE FOR LUNCH. Classy, weirdo. I thought it was going to be another silly round table, when suddenly...Get ready for a bomb to dropped, Dear Reader. Are you ready? Because I was not ready.

Fleming turns to Lady Julie and says that Caroline Stanbury had told her many months ago that Lady Julie was "afraid" of Fleming joining the princess protection program their little group. So what? Lady Julie is afraid of everything! Lady Julie is the only one on this show that should drink MORE. Lady Julie apologizes. Why did you bring it up, Fleming?

But that is not the bomb, here it comes...

Ever one to dance on someone's grave, the person Annabelle jumps into the fray and somehow thinks this conversation is about her. She tearfully attacks Lady Julie complaining that she didn't "kiss and cuddle" Annabelle enough when she was crying in Denmark. Lady Julie apologizes again. But the person Annabelle does not accept the apology BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THIS FUCKING SHOW HAS GONE THUS FARRRRRRrrrrr

Right now I literally hate Annabelle for manipulating this situation...

Actually, this is too horrible. I need a breather. You should take one too, Dear Reader.


Okay, I'm cool. Let's continue. 
Lady Julie flees the murder scene the luncheon (good for you!) to a hobbit-style second lunch with Marissa where she orders a white wine spritzer. What did I just say? Alcohol can solve this problem. Marissa correctly identifies that Lady Julie's first priority is to her(self) husband and children, then her business THEN her friends, plural. Lady Julie has gotten sucked into Annabelle's swirl; she signed on to be a friend and inadvertently became her mother.  Poor person Annabelle is her jealous fifth child throwing a tantrum, needing attention.

Meanwhile, at Gift-Library... I'm kidding, fuck off.
Caroline is a domestic goddess, drinking tea while her children engage in riotous hooliganism play. She misses Gift-Library. I can't see why, her handsome husband Cem has the greatest accent. I could put on a unicorn onesie and listen to him all day...

Marissa is hosting the person Annabelle's children's book reading at her restaurant Bumpkin. It's being organized at the last minute because Annabelle "lost her venue". Sounds familiar. The person Annabelle downplays the torture she put Lady Julie through. 

*the sound of nails on a blackboard

Because Marissa is DOING SOMETHING FOR FREE for the person Annabelle, Annabelle crowns her as new best-friend-in-training. Watch yourself Marissa, it's only a matter of time before she turns on you. That is how unresolved grief works.

Juliet is a fashion blogger, apparently. Good of the producers to make this revelation at the very end of Season 2. It is an idea born from the brain of Marissa. This Marissa woman is on fire, eh? She should be teaching at Harvard Business School, if that was the place you went to engage in collaborative experiences, which it isn't. Juliet markets herself as a "fashion guru". IF you say so, honey. She attends a store with a tall woman and proceeds to dress her. Cool. Is that it? Don't you need to write stuff, too? 'Cause "blogger" is what people call me, and it's because I write stuff in a blog... Am I being old-fashioned? Pedantic? OH! UPDATE: She means people take her picture wearing clothes, she puts it in a blog and that's it. Like a electronic scrapbook. Cool.

A mafia-style sit down between the person Annabelle and Caroline happens. Peppermint tea is ordered. As we already know, shit is about to get mad real. The air crackles with anticipation. What does Caroline do? She orders a glass of wine! I love her. She knows one of the unalterable rules of the universe is: Do not send tea to do alcohol's job.

Caroline has been unofficially elected to speak to Annabelle about her behaviour. She is a master surgeon, deftly pulling apart the layers and offering Annabelle a way out if she sincerely wants to break ties. The brilliance is that the unspoken is thereby laid bare: Stop abusing us if you want to stay friends. Then she invites the person Annabelle to a Tikibar-themed pool party at her home. No mixed messages there

Most Profound Statement of the Season
"Everyone was having their own personal drama as well as having a great time" - the person Annabelle, on the human condition

To Caroline's Estate in Surrey, everyone! 
I can't freaking wait!
The person Annabelle arrives without pants, in winter. What is with these women? Lady Julie patiently listens while the pants-less person Annabelle spews more of her fountain of bullshit. They hug. Annabelle is perfectly aware that she can control people by accusing them of being a bad friend. She lives in chaos. Caroline gives a small speech indicating that she thankful for her friends, closing the chapter of Gift-Library and then jumps in the pool followed by Fleming and everyone else. The evening ends with everyone drinking champagne in the hot tub. THE END

And how does this magnificent Odyssey end, Dear Reader? As we began, with each of the ladies in a talking head segment. But what they say is not nearly as interesting as what has happened since... 

The person Annabelle has decided not to return for a third Season. This is attention-grabbing bullshit, of course. She will, have no doubt. Speaking of which, it would be prudent if the producers spent the extra money to get some grief therapy for Annabelle to unwind the years of hatefulness she has been building up. (Writing a book ain't gonna do it.) She is currently directing her unbridled rage at Caroline, but this is a ruse and do not give it any creedence, Dear Reader. 

Lady Julie is her own man. Good for her. I predict she and Fleming will bond a bit more over a shared love of soup. 

Maybe they can bond with Marissa, who is busy building her food and drink empire. 

Caroline hates food so that relationship was never going to work. But Caroline and Juliet are the closest friends, vacationing together with their families. This does make sense because they both love fashion. (FA-SHUN!)

Food Caroline Talked About In This Episode
"Tuna Poke"

Food Caroline Actually Ate In This Episode
Tiny Chocolate bars

Don't forget to write! (Put it in her box.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E9

Same, Caroline.
Episode 9: Unbelievable Balls

More Meaningful Title: Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Caroline Stanbury

The Place: Hotel D'Angleterre, Copenhagen, Denmark

Opening Sequence...
They all exit their rooms like some sort of off-Broadway bedroom comedy. Caroline is not going anywhere, though; she is hiding in Fleming's bed, awaiting her man servant makeup artist. Fleming answers the door FOR Caroline. Get this! Caroline's got Fleming - a Baroness, in her own country - acting as her butler! You blow my mind Caroline.  In an act of upmarket social grooming, Caroline's makeup artist picks bits of caviar out her hair. Is there a more glamorous woman on earth?

Then it's time to pack up and move to Fleming's family estate in a short bus. This has never happened before, but they actually re-used footage of the ladies exiting the hotel. You can see that the person Annabelle is wearing a white shirt and NO coat in the scene, moments later she's wearing a black outfit WITH a coat on the bus. 
They arrive at the Valdemar's Castle and it's heartstoppingly beautiful and full of magic. Caroline crawls into a bed (I SAW THAT COMING) and orders her man servant makeup artist to get the champagne he was storing in his luggage. This woman is fantastic. Juliet's room is a canopy bed attached to the family chapel and my heart leaped out of my chest for the beauty of it all.

The first formal dinner happens... They all look stunning but the person Annabelle looks more beautiful than I've ever seen her and yet is behaving like she is possessed by a demon. 

Do you see the person Annabelle here?

Then stupid stupid Marissa starts shit when she asks what was said on the bus over to the palace... SHUT UP SHUT UP MARISSA! You do have a big stupid mouth. Her look of fuckery from underneath her eyelashes is psychopathic. A fairly heated exchange ensues between the person Annabelle and Caroline. Lady Julie is collateral damage in the form of the ragged doll they both have in their clenched jaws.

Drink the poison.

Best Line of the Episode
"I want to say to my husband, this was the best four days of my life!" - Lady Julie, on the disaster that is Denmark. I love that Lady Julie wants to share the best fun of her life with her husband, I love Relaxed Lady Julie (TM) right now!

Caroline beautifully resolves that Lady Julie has gained strength in recent months and that she need not be in Annabelle's shadow. This sends Annabelle into apoplexy. She sits at the end of the DINNER TABLE smoking like a chimney, laughing at the air and being miserable. Not to mention Fleming who is terrified these wild animals will tear apart her dining room and embarrass her in front of her family. 

Cut to... 
The Next Morning! 
They have all slept through breakfast! 
Fleming is incandescant with rage! 

Sophie apologizes and Fleming absolutely lets her have it!  That's a bit unfair, really, because they were ALL late. Sophie continues to be gracious in the face of it, while Annabelle cackles madly in the background when Caroline and Fleming get into it. 

I am Annabelle's misplaced rage.
The Drama!
IN the most hilariously scripted portion of the entire series, the person Annabelle exercises her acting chops while Sophie bites her lips to keep from laughing. A tell-all book as been written about he-who-shall-not-be-named (Hint: Alexander McQueen) and now a small little stupid tabloid has written a blurb about a man who died FIVE EARTH YEARS AGO and Annabelle blubbers like her home has burned down. The women - sans Caroline - band together and pretend her bad behaviour is forgiven and understandable. How manipulative. So grateful Caroline didn't fall for that shit.

Then shit gets really real. Fleming and Caroline attend the family plot where Fleming's mother is buried. Losing her mother at such a young age is *extremely* painful for Fleming and my heart breaks for her...

Enough real life... Back to the palace! Wearing a selection of - seriously - the most marvelous full length evening gowns, they attend a formal dinner in room so beautifully appointed I thought I saw roses floating above the table. I found the cocktail hour of the evening a little awkward: the person Annabelle behaves (drunken?) flirtatiously, Caroline is perfect, Marissa is surprisingly adept (because she a budding sociopath?), Lady Julie is silent and calm and Juliet is late. Fleming makes a speech to greet everyone ...and suddenly she and Marissa are sharing meaningful looks across the table! They exchange warm words, hug and now all is forgiven and forgotten! Marissa even gives a little speech about how much she "loves" Fleming! Wha'?

The final few minutes are back to being a surrealist hodgepodge of images. Am I too understand that Sophie gets so drunk that she literally physically assaults people in the grand ballroom, kicking them with her bare feet? Dear Reader, I will let you be the judge. They appear to jump around, screaming like lunatics; Sophie the ringleader and Lady Julie her loyal follower. Mark my words, Dear Reader, we are going to find out that Sophie is actually allergic to alcohol and/or secretly a werewolf and her behaviour is a result of mild poisoning and/or the full moon.

Food Caroline Talked About In This Episode
She attends two palace dinners and a breakfast

Food Caroline Actually Ate In this Episode
None << No one else could do this.

Next Week: The New Queen Bee Bikini

We need to shed a collective tear, Dear Reader, because this is touted as the "Season Finale" - not the Series Finale, thank God - just the season. I'm almost seriously depressed, if depression were a thing you could turn on and off. I've never had so much fun watching a show, what will I do with my time? It's like my own personal Gift Library is closing...