BBC Costume Drama Matriarch Cage Match

For an appallingly long time, Kristy and I have entertained ourselves and others by starting discussions over the potential outcomes of fictitious cage-matches between characters, actors, random people we met at college….For the most part, you should imagine these matches in terms of American Gladiator, preferably the bit with the giant Q-Tip® things, although now and then the individuals and circumstance call for something a bit more violent and painful (or useless and stupid).

It’s been a while since we last engaged in this kind of speculation, but it came up in an e-mail chain last week (taken directly from the e-mail in which I posed this to Kristy):

Lady Catherine DeBourgh, Mrs. Thornton (aka, John’s Mom), and Lady Violet Crawley go at it Amer, er British Old-Lady Gladiator style.  Three will enter, only one will emerge victorious…..Discuss.

For those who are not so disturbingly acquainted with BBC costume dramas, that would be:

Lady Catherine DeBourgh from Pride & Prejudice

Mrs. Hannah Thornton from North and South

And the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley from Downton Abbey

All three are formidable, potentially scary, definitely overbearing gals.   Is it a balanced match which will drag on in agony, or is there a clear winner to dispatch the other two back to their needlework and smelling salts?

We challenge YOU to bring your comments.  Hit us with your take on the way this plays out.  We have our own discussion which we’ll share later this week….but the game’s more fun with others contributing.

One Response to “BBC Costume Drama Matriarch Cage Match”

  1. Mary says:

    I haven’t yet seen North and South, so I can’t comment on that part of the Trio just yet.

    As for Lady C and Countess V…things could get interesting.

    I imagine that Lady C would have Countess V over for tea with Mr. Collins in attendance to talk up the glories of Rosings. Countess V would appear suitably awed by the window glazing but then expound on the elegance of Downton. The conversation comes to a grinding halt and only noise heard in the room is the tea service and the audible breathing of Mr. Collins. Lady C, hostess and not one disposed to give up hometurf advantage, has positioned herself within the room to take full advantage of the light in displaying her gemmed finery. Countess V observes this and moves to walk about the room to shine the light on her Victorian broaches, along the way she compliments Lady C on her fine flower arrangements, but, of course, her roses are nothing to those grown and enjoyed at Downton. Mr. Collins begins to reconsider his safety and starts wondering, for the first time in his sycophantic existence, if he can leave without Lady C’s permission. Threatened, Lady C moves to action and starts a discussion of music. Seated at the pianoforte, she puzzles out the tune of chopsticks and pretends the instrument is out of tune. Countess V, hearing nothing wrong with the instrument, takes her seat at the instrument and plinks out the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with her index finger, all the while muttering the count. Mr. Collins inches closer to the door. Lady C has reached her limit, pretending to ring for a servant, she rips off a broach and sends it flying at Countess V, who ducks behind a chair just in time. It’s on. Mr. Collins fleas for his life as the jewelrey, hats, wraps, hairpieces, and tchotchke go flying. Countess V wins this round with a half nelson 23 minutes into the fight. She smooths her dress, finds her hat, and gives Lady C a kick to the stomach on her way out the door, thanking her for the hospitality and inviting her to tea at Downton. Her tea, of course, is both Earlier and Greyier than Lady C’s, but she’ll have to come and try it herself. Mr. Collins is seen slinking about the bushes as Coutess V exits the grounds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *