A WEE COUGH: The return of Downton Abbey reminds us of period drama tropes that are now clichés. There’s the “TB cough”, when blood on the hand after a cough means demise is imminent. Here’s a cute Mitchell and Webb spoof:
A few language obsessives have been documenting the anachronisms in Downton too. Check out this video of several from season two and their explanations.
THE HORROR, THE HORROR: Speaking of tropes, Guillermo del Toro packs every horror monster he can think of into his opening sequence for the annual Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode (No XXIV), including a few from his own movies:
LOOK HOW FAR YOU’VE COME: You know you’ve made it when Tina Fey does a Saturday Night Live spoof of your show. Fey returned to open SNL’s new season with this Girls sketch in which she is the new flatmate, “Blerta from Albania”. Girls creator Lena Dunham, later tweeted that the parody was a “true honor”.
GREEN ACRES: Property-obsessed Aucklanders may enjoy this blog with the self-explanatory title of Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs. New Zealand has a sort-of equivalent with the Twitter feed @madpropsnz (“Putting the eh? into real estate listings since ages ago”), which is thanks to Listener book reviewer Jolisa Gracewood and friends.
THEATRICAL FREEDOM: A short film starring Jude Law and Nicolai Khalezin highlights the fate of many Belarusians arrested or sent into exile after the 2010 elections. Law is a supporter of the Belarus Free Theatre and has appeared in their shows at the Young Vic in London. In the film, called Connection, he and Khalezin find themselves stranded at that in-between place, the airport: