Saturday, February 11, 2012

Downton Dragout: Mr. John Bates

I don’t watch much television, but when I do there’s a few shows I’ve become addicted to, so much so I call it my crack viewing. My top 5 “crack” TV shows are:

CSI: Las Vegas
The Walking Dead
Mad Men
Game of Thrones
Downton Abbey

I became a Downton Abbey crack addict after the first season aired in America. I ended up getting the entire first season on DVD, and after watching the first episode, I was hooked.

Side Note: For the longest time I thought it was Downtown Abbey, as in downtown and not Downton, without the “w” *head smack*

Pam from Bookalcious and I talk smack to each other about the two male characters we adore from this show. Pam is on Team Matthew Crawley (cousin and heir to Downton Abbey). I’m on Team John Bates. Thus the name of this post: Downton Dragout. I adore Bates so much it’s not even funny. For those who aren’t aware of Mr. John Bates, he’s Lord Robert Grantham's Valet. Bates is an ex-soldier who knew Lord Grantham during the Boer War. He arrives at Downton Abbey to take the position of valet. Bates is a hard worker but was wounded in the war and it has left him lame.

At first Bates didn’t make much an impression on me. I thought he was a nice older chap very dedicated to his employer and takes pride in his work as a valet, which is a very coveted position. But then something happened. Bates became good friends with Anna, the head housemaid at Downton. And from that a sweet and tender romance grew between both.

The current second season has upped the romance factor on all sides and this is shown perfectly between Bates and Anna. Every time these two are together, I sigh because their love for one another is beautifully portrayed.

Unfortunately Bates and Anna can’t marry because Bates is already married to a witch of a woman, Vera Bates, a greedy and amoral woman who enjoys making John’s life miserable. So Anna and Bates, who are desperately in love, can’t be together because witch Vera won’t divorce John unless he pays her a certain sum of money. Anna is willing to live in sin with her dear Bates, but since Bates respects Anna too much and is a gentleman in every sense of the word, they don’t give into temptation.

*Spoilers ahoy!*

But as of last week’s episode, Vera was found dead. This means Anna and Bates can get married! Or can they because now the suspicion is on John because he was the last one to see Vera alive and it’s well known that he despise his witch of a wife.

Anna: Because… Because I love you, Mr. Bates. I know it’s not ladylike to say it. But I’m not a lady and I don’t pretend to be.
Bates: You are a lady to me. And I never knew a finer one.

The Anna and Bates storyline is one of the reasons to watch Downton Abbey and for Brendan Coyle’s portrayal of Bates. He and Joanne Frogatt (Anna) have great chemistry regardless of the difference in their ages (there is almost a twenty year age difference between them).

"I’ve lived in such a fog of misery since I left you.”- Mr. Bates to Anna

With a line like the one above, how can you not find a man like Bates to be a wonderful hero and the best male character on Downton Abbey?

Although my Downton Dragout is the ultimate and the best, there are others who have an appreciation for the other male characters on Downton Abbey. Please visit my fellow Dowton Abbey affectionados and who they admire:

Evangeline from Edwardian Promenade for Lord Grantham
Heidenkind at Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Books: The mysterious Irish chauffeur, Tom Branson
Pam from Bookalicious for pansy, emo Matthew

If you would like to create your own blog post dedicated to either a male or female character you admire from Downton Abbey please do! I'll link you here as a member of the Downton Dragout.

Proof right here why Anna and Bates are wonderful:



Pam said...

Crazy. Wife. Baggage.

KB/KT Grant said...

Matthew: Pansy. Sterile.

heidenkind said...

" left him lame." 'Nuff said. ;)

Pam said...


Evangeline Holland said...

He's a valet. How can a mere servant compare to a peer of the realm?

KB/KT Grant said...

Heidenkind: at least Bates isn't a stalker!

Pam: neener.

Evangeline: GASP! Without Bates Lord G would be walking around naked.

Vivi said...

I have loved Brendan Coyle since North & South!