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...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E8

Gonna 'afta be, innit?

Episode 8: Something Rotten in Denmark

More Meaningful Title: The person Annabelle spoils everything.

The opening segment is slow and creepy~~
Juliet wakes her children.
Caroline wanders around her giant closet, alone.
Marissa doesn't know the difference between bullets and shot.
Lady Julie...did someone just say wax her ass?

Marissa and Juliet attend a fashion show. Here are the words I heard them say:  Ebola. Fashion Week. Ass dust. Passion is fashion. NI-omi. The person Annabelle stalks the runway with a boob that is trying to run away. She almost smiles. It's heartwarming, like watching Pinocchio become a real boy. The other two women go out of their way to support her, the way you whisper quietly outside the door of a person on their deathbed. Then seal their friendship with a model walk-off, and Annabelle awkwardly hugs them both. 

Cut to... the person Annabelle and Naomi Campbell having a chat. Yes, the Naomi Campbell. (Point of process: The first is 'a' is long because it's followed by a vowel, 'o'. The 'o' is ALSO long because it in turn is followed by an 'i'. The 'i' is short because it is not followed by a vowel. So it's pronounced NAY-OH-MEE, not NI-omi.) I have adored this woman from her earliest days via Fashion Television. I know that she always carries Knorr spice in her purse in case a meal is bland and that she once had the George V in Paris cook her a roast turkey on American Thanksgiving, deliver it to her hotel room and ate it in her bathrobe with her friends. I mean, I sincerely am a fan...BUT I have never heard her speak! Naomi is so beautiful and sounds exactly like a whiskey-drinking jazz singer from the 1930s. I'm hyponotized. She says the most beautiful things to the person Annabelle, who almost smiles. I'm confused. If Naomi Campbell is asking you to call her - and saying her number hasn't changed - WHY AREN'T YOU CALLING HER?

The doctor will see you now.

Meanwhile ... at Gift Library! Kidding, you guys, it's still closed, but for some reason they are having an exit interview in the creepy abandoned warehouse. I would love to know what is really in those sparkling white binders that line the entire back wall behind Caroline's desk. All the embezzled cash, maybe? Caroline, wearing a large sheepskin rug as a shirt, and her last two remaining employees (Rania's back!) sit wet-eyed before retiring to the pub. Caroline does not follow them because they serve food there. With garlic.

Marissa, the inventor of toaster strudel the mafia-style sit down over cups to tea, arranges to meet Fleming to discuss - what else? - Marissa's big mouth. The last time this happened she straight up dumped Juliet as a friend. Chamomile flower tea is ordered. Shit's about to get mad real. Turns out, Fleming is STILL STILL upset about something Marissa said about something about someone about something. Marissa apologizes again. They hug. But Fleming STILL STILL does not accept the apology and I'm so bloody frustrated with this situation that I am secretly scared Fleming is fucking crazy for real.

This is Fleming rn.

Lady Julie poses nude atop a pop art painting in effort to advertise JUB, a la Top Dog. She looks amazing and has the best bottom. She says, "I do like my bottom". Fascinating.

Caroline, Sophie and Fleming (who uses the term darlingheart in a sentence) meet for lunch to discuss the scripted trip idea of all the ladies going to Denmark. Fleming tries to hug Caroline. Caroline requires therapy shortly therafter. Same, Caroline.

The ladies, wearing a selection of ridiculous black felt hats, skintight acid-washed jeans and spike heels, dressed as slutty rabbis apparently, all arrive at the ginormous warehouse that is Heathrow airport. All except the person Annabelle. They stand about like fools until she appears at the last minute in a sour temper. She fails to properly greet her host. The person Annabelle admits to needing "support", and then mumbles something on camera. I rewinded it several times and CAN NOT hear her. The upshot is: she can't ask for help out of her funk, someone has to notice her, then help her. That's the game of it all. Enjoy playing, ladies! She then lurks about in doorways, and refuses to wear a coat in subzero weather. This is absolutely going to end in tears.

On to Denmark, friends!!

Cellphone footage of them playing around in economy class did not live up to my expectations. Try harder, Bravo. 

The hotel is magnificent and immediately Caroline crawls into bed with Fleming. If I ever play hide and seek with Caroline Stanbury, I will know where to look. She is so fuzzy and warm she OFFERS Fleming a an unsolicited HUG >>> 1/1.1m1.fd[k[adpiah[efj (sorry, I fell on my keyboard)

Fleming is a national celebrity in Denmark and carries herself like a Queen amid paps. She authentically complains about losing her privacy (pronounced: "privah-sea") but needs to be treated with the utmost deference in person. It's a tough balancing act and she would emotionally drain me, personally, but Caroline has no emotions, enjoys the spotlight and sucks up to her at every moment, linking arms like a pair of Japanese school girls. It is a self-reinforcing feedback loop that seems to work. How utterly fascinating. Fleming speaks at length about her Danish royal heritage and it is truly awe-inspiring. She is the hostess with the mostess. They decide to hit a local furrier, 'cause that's what Danes do when they let their hair down? Dunno.

This is Fleming rn.

"I could not be wearing less clothing". - Caroline Stanbury, in winter

Lady Julie starts fussing because she doesn't approve of fur, also she's hungry. (Where are your JUBs, Lady Julie?) And like a Baroness, Fleming indicates everyone should do as she feels on holiday, so off Lady Julie goes to grab a coffee. Apropos of exactly nothing and having to do with nobody, the person Annabelle decides to attack Lady Julie, and assigns adjectives to Lady Julie that are better suited to herself, like "childish" and "rude". Being mean to Lady Julie is no-no, bitchface! You are on notice, the person Annabelle.

They attend a fur store and try a bunch of expensive coats. The person Annabelle sits in a chair and makes strange fashion suggestions like the drunk skeleton from The Last Unicorn. Go be unhappy somewhere else. It's becoming clear that she has fixated on the death of Alexander McQueen in an unhealthy way and is soon to follow him to the grave if she doesn't change her internal dialogue.

Best Line of The Episode
"You put so many bandaids on...they all fall off!" - Juliet Angus, further excerpt from her PhD thesis in clinical psychology

The Drama!
Darkness falls and all the ladies are a-flutter with thoughts of Annabelle exploding at dinner. Interestingly enough, Caroline indicates that the person Annabelle has taken advantage of Lady Julie. It takes one to know one, Caroline. Fleming indicates she intends call everyone on the carpet, Caroline warns her off. With Fleming, that's like trying to stop water moving down hill.

3, 2, 1... CONTACT

The person Annabelle - who is very likely very drunk - takes the bait and goes around the table insulting each of the women. Each is struck dumb with shock and embarrassment. Lady Julie - the person Annabelle's closest friend for heaven's sake! - bears the brunt of it and is STILL GRACIOUS. (In the talking head segment she says "This is not the Annabelle I know". You are classy, Lady Julie.)

Caroline, in a move that makes me love her because she can literally speak to a woman like a man, turns around and says "sometimes to you are too yourself, not with us".  Y E S

Go back and re-watch what she did there: She told the gentle truth. Caroline correctly understands that the person Annabelle is suffering and gives her an easy out. The person Annabelle, who was looking for a fight and reason to fuck everything up and leave Denmark in a huff is absolutely robbed of the opportunity. Mark my words, she won't stop there. She will find another way to throw the hook in next episode. And I think we are all agreed that in a past life Caroline was a military general and a zen buddhist monk. Fucking perfection! 

And what happens? The person Annabelle hears NOT A WORD OF IT. She claims Caroline is being "sneaky" in the talking head segment. Way to go, Me Me Me, you are the architect of your own prison.

Food Caroline Talked About In This Episode
Chicken Liver
White wine spritzer, the cocktail of upscale Vegas hookers everywhere. YES

Food Caroline Actually Ate In This Episode
Chewing - actually masticating - in the fabulous Danish restaurant. *chorus of angels*

Next Week: Unbelievable Balls

Reader's Note: The next episode is filmed in an actual Danish castle and looks so beautiful I could die...