PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Fixer Upper

 

With Downton Abbey upon us once again, I am pinning my hopes for this season on a couple of simple plot fixes, which I conveyed to the show’s producers last year via rambling, five-page “open letter” (open in that I cc’d most of the world’s email addresses – did you get it?)

1     Reintroduce Lady Sybil. This is a must. I’ve said it before: not having Lady Sybil return in some spirit-in-the-flesh capacity would be a huge ripoff. How much am I paying for this series? Give me at least an hour, interspersed throughout the course of the season, of the lass tormenting the widower Tom, prancing around in the undergarments of 1920s England (or maybe something more recent, hmmm? To hell with historical accuracy!) such that he is kept in her thrall and cannot make the dumb mistake of falling for the irritating Lady Mary, as all men do on the series (for some unknown reason. “Cuz she’s real purty!” Is she? Is she really?)

2     A new character, the chisel-featured six-foot four-inch hunk named Percival H. Rumblecocke, arrives from Germany where he was employed in the British embassy, ostensibly to attend an impromptu ball thrown for the sole purpose of aggravating the servants, but in truth there to tell Edith of the fate of her long lost love (what’s his name again?). Turns out the missing father-of-her-son actually went off to India to throw back a few pints with Shrimpy (good old Shrimpy!), taking with him the leggy Fraulein Winkelmann as his “traveling secretary.” Played by Tom Brady, which shows off the famed quarterback’s incredible versatility while foreshadowing a possible direction he might turn when his football career ends (and, let me add, may he never retire), Percival will divulge to Lady Edith that his own wife had died of eclampsia just like Sybil, “and what say we sneak off with a case of your father’s finest claret and see where it takes us?”

Please understand: the latter of the two subplots is merely a vague hope of mine, offered to thicken the gravy, while the former is necessary if the producers’ hope to resurrect their reputations after having inexplicably killed off the show's most beguiling character.

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Bring Back Lady Sybil!

If Lady Sybil isn’t brought back this season of Downton Abbey as a ghost or, at minimum, a fond memory, I’m going to launch an international protest. You’ve got every conniving Shakespearean backstabber this side of Sochi embedded in the script, but what, you can’t find a way to insert a ghost? And not just any ghost: this would be a totally amazing ghost. Lady Sybil? Come on!

Picture it: Tom and Mary fall into bed together (you know it’s going to happen!), and they’re about to – well I won’t say what they’re about to do – when suddenly Sybil flings open the door. Tom screams out and covers his privates. “What’s wrong?” asks Mary. Tom ignores her and instead addresses Sybil: “She’s feeling unwell, my sweet, and I was just…um…er…taking her temperature. Yeah, that’s it! It’s the latest technique.”

Mary sees nothing of her dead younger sister, but who comes traipsing through the door? The ghost of her husband Matthew! Of course, he pays Mary no mind, preferring to mime a modern-day playboy, looking over the tops of his Ray-Bans at…who or what the heck is he checking out up and down? Mary wonders.

Unlike Tom and Mary, we, the viewer, are able to see both apparitions, who make eye contact with each other and exchange highly suggestive nods, as though to say, What’s say we get out of this stodgy old mansion? And then they’re gone! (Until next week).

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Post Eclampsia

If the BBC asks me to write an epilogue to the 3rd season of Downton Abbey, I’m ready. In this 2-hour post-finale episode, the ghost of Lady Sybil will be hugely prominent. Dressed in the same night gown she wore when she perished in a fit of seizures, she sneaks back to retrieve part of her ample wardrobe and abscond with it into the afterlife, but accidently runs into her husband, the Irish republican chauffer Branson, on the stairs. Branson has been secretly going into town clad in tatters to down pints anonymously at local pubs, returning home later to raid the sherry and eventually stumble and belch his way up to bed. Coming upon his beloved (and sheet-white!) Sybil on the stairs really freaks him out, but he keeps telling himself it’s the alcohol talking, it’s the alcohol talking while she explains (unprompted) that she’s come back to snag ball gowns for some parties they are throwing in the afterlife, and no William isn’t involved! Before leaving, she plants a wet one on Branson. She’s real! So he starts making out with her just as Robert comes to the stairs to see what the hell the ruckus is. What does Robert see? Branson making out with the air! “Get hold of yourself, man!” says Robert.

Sybil has evaporated, and Branson jerks his head around and sees what would apparently be the trail of her nightgown disappearing around a corner. And you know what? Cora sees it too! But Robert doesn’t (metaphor? he’s blind!).   Cora’s all, “Who was that?” and Branson pushes past her mumbling about needing to barf. Robert gives Cora a hopeful look, and I swear the glare she shoots back just about knocks him on his ass and down the stairs.

In his bedroom, Branson finds a note from the ghost of Sybil saying that she’s going to be coming back now and again to retrieve stuff like tiaras and pretty things, and please try not to be freaked out. The next night Branson gets himself tangled up with half a bottle of Irish whiskey and comes to the dinner table weaving. There are two empty chairs beside him because Matthew and Lady Mary are “under the weather” (yeah, right, wink-wink!) and can’t make it. Sybil materializes in one of the chairs and this time has brought William with her. Robert is speaking but notices Branson staring at an empty space at the table, his eyes wide and jaw slack, and looks over at Edith, who shrugs, and then at Cora, who’s all, “Sybil!” Branson says, “You see her!” She does! But a close up of Cora reveals: she’s out of her mind! During the ensuing silence, where Robert, Edith, The Dowager Countess, and Mr. Carson all look at each other like “What the...?”, Sybil suddenly demands that Branson release her so she can move on with her afterlife, which includes marrying William. Branson’s thinking, You're taking up with the dead second footman?, but he can’t say anything because: a) he’s hammered; and b) he’s speaking to an empty chair.

The rest of this episode pretty much writes itself.

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Trumpian Tweetage Haiku Continuum

 

 

It's unlimited
Presidential harrassment
Dems are going nuts!

 

Isn't it nice when
Countries help rebuild neighbors?
Thanks to Saudi A!

 

NBC FAKE NEWS
The Harvey Weinstein Story
Look at their license?

 

Investigations
Republican Congressmen
Two wins now in doubt.

 

Dems love Sessions now
Same thing: lyin' James Comey
Saint-like. Really sick.

 

Russia: "nothing to
do with meddling." Why isn't
Hillary looked at?

 

The Special Counsel
Is UNCONSTITUTIONAL
I’ve done nothing wrong

 

 

The phony witch hunt

The soon to be released book
Looks like a big hit

 

Fake News Media

Together with the witch hunt:

My best poll numbers

 

“Caravans” coming

Must go nuclear option.

NO MORE DACA DEAL!

 

We don’t have a wall

Not going to have a country

FUND THE BORDER WALL

 

Trade Wars are good and

Easy to win. They get cute?

Don't trade; we win big!

 

Gun-adept coaches

Weapons-talented teachers

Instantly Shooting

 

Promote the Fake Book

Mentally Deranged Author

False Information

 

Now that collusion

With Russia: a total hoax

FBI/Russia

 

Kim Jong Un, I too

Have a nuclear button.

And my button works.

 

 

Tax cut/Reform bill

Massive Alaska Drilling

Incredible Year

 

 

United Nations

Sanctions on North Korea

World wants Peace, not Death

 

 

False Accusations.

Women I don't know. FAKE NEWS!

Collusion. Russia.

 

Army Navy Game

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S TROPHY

Congratulations

 

Pelosi/Schumer

He's bad on Crime, Life, Border.

Vets. Guns. VOTE ROY MOORE!

 

 

Time Magazine Called

Prob'ly "Person of the Year"

I took a pass. Thanks!

 

The Christmas Story

Mother, Father, Baby Son

Jesus Christ. Bahrain.

 

Matt Lauer just fired

When will top executives

Be fired for Fake News? 

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