"Downton Abbey," please
The "Downton Abbey" finale ["'Abbey' Gives Fans a Feel-Good Finale" by Mary McNamara, March 7] was utterly predictable but in the happiest sense of "all's well that ends well."
I especially liked the return of a reformed Mr. Barrow, who has a special relationship with Mary's young son, George, to take over for the ailing Mr. Carson, who had a special relationship with Lady Mary as she grew up. I only hope the Crawleys will learn something about their vast art, book and furniture collection before the next public open house. Perhaps, Mr. Molesley can offer assistance.
Just wait till ABC gets to Samson
The idea that ABC-TV is somehow "amping up the sex and violence" in its depiction of the scriptures ["Sunday School Skipped These Parts" by Mary McNamara, March 8] is either naive or disingenuous. The biblical tales that "Of Kings and Prophets" depicts are the epitome of King James' first 39 narratives: vengeful, sordid, cruel, corrupt and gruesome.
Is McNamara really complaining that television is painting the first stories as too full of sex and violence? Perhaps, she needs to revisit those chronicles closer. Aside from having a wrathful, loveless God complicit in the vicious carnage and squalid, sex-drenched carnal capers, that's pretty much the extent of it. Samuel and Saul's saga is relatively tame. Feel lucky they are not depicting Samson slaying 1,000 with the jawbone of an ass or brutally crushing thousands of civilians in the temple.
Where's the gripes over film review?
Michael Phillips' review of "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," Tina Fey's new movie ["Afghan Foray Goes Astray," March 4], contains the following casting observations: "a reliable colleague, local fixer Farouk," played by Christopher Abbott; the "hottest babe in the country, Tanya," played by Margot Robbie; and this whopper, "the horndog Afghan prime minister," played by Alfred Molina.
Is there a double standard at play here? Where's the outrage? Where are the charges of racism? Where are the calls for casting diversity?
It's all where you are seated
Mark Swed's review for Gemma New's Long Beach Symphony audition at the Terrace Theater was interesting and insightful ["Playing It Interesting From Start," March 7]. However, I wish he had examined the seating chart more carefully. If he had, he would have discovered that the priciest seats in the house are in the center of the Loge area.
The sound there is superior to the lower-priced orchestra seats.
Next year already?
Cripes! Less than a week after the 2016 Oscars, Glenn Whipp is already doing a piece ["Early Line on 2017 Oscar Faves," March 5] on possible Oscar candidates for the 2017 awards. Can't we have at least six months (I'd even settle for five) before we get dragged into the putrid moral swamp of awards season?