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The Edinburgh Military Tattoo

If you come to Scotland in August for anything, come for the Military Tattoo. It’s a hell of a show (and since you’re coming here in the first place, I’m going to go ahead and assume you already like bagpipes.)

I’m not a night owl–I’m lame, so there are few things that will tempt me from my cozy home at 10:30 at night, and yet, there I was, climbing to the very top of section 11 in front of Edinburgh Castle, husband in tow, settling in and excitedly waiting for everything to start. It was definitely worth staying up for.

There was a dance paying tribute to tartan weaving:

And a nod to the new Disney/Pixar film Brave (Scotland’s really excited about that)

And, because this is Scotland, we had to be reminded of the fact that this is the land o’whiskey, with one of the prettiest dances of the evening:

The Australians showed up and rocked out. They started off singing and playing some old traditional tunes and then turned the whole arena into a disco as they launched into Highway to Hell. The Australian military is clearly the coolest on earth.

 

The Americans were playful too, paying tribute to comic book characters and superheroes through the years:

A group of highly talented drummers/Three Musketeers extras from Switzerland paid tribute to binary code:

 

I’m going to assume that they were tapping out some super-important message in code as well, just to bring it all together. The King’s Guard from Norway was there, just to prove there are no hard feelings over those centuries of Norse invasions:

 

This part becomes even more impressive when you realize these are not professional soldiers at all, but conscripts doing their compulsory year of military service. Well done, gentlemen! There was also a piece celebrating the industrial revolution in dance that was much cooler than Danny Boyle’s strange phallocentric celebration of earth-rape during the Olympics opening ceremony. Sorry, don’t have video of that one, just take my word for it. And, of course, at the end, everybody came out — bands, dancers, and a shetland pony (sure, why not?) to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in a restaging of her coronation at Westminster Abbey:

After that, we took a few solemn moments to pay tribute to those who have fallen in service to their country (you can’t read it, but the projection on the castle is the tombstone of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey)

And, finally, the pipers played everyone out with a rousing rendition of ‘Scotland the Brave’:

Downton Arby’s

We have no shortage of Downton Abbey spoofs (the Red Nose Day one is still my favorite), but I felt like this one warrented a mention because it’s actually pretty damn funny. “We’ll lose the franchise!” Sybil makes curly fries! Hee!

A Horrible Histories Christmas

The good people at Horrible Histories have gotten into the holiday spirit, spreading their own brand of mythbusting (George III introduced Christmas trees to England; King Wenceslas was actually a duke from Bohemia) via our favorite carols. Take a look:

The Three Musketeers: Why???

Seriously, who the hell thought this horrible looking movie was a good idea?

Video: Top Ten Animated Costume Dramas

I’ve loved costume dramas my whole life–starting from my childhood, when I would happily watch any cartoon that seemed rooted in the past. Lucky for me, the animation studios churned those out one after the other–but which ones were the best? Here, I count down my choices for the ten best animated costume dramas.

(Note: I tried to stick with the dramas that were at least somewhat rooted in the real world and a distinguishable time, which is the only reason Beauty and the Beast isn’t mentioned here. And possibly quite a few others as well, like Snow White.)

 

What do you think? Like the choices? Hate them? Anything I missed? Leave your comments below!

Uptown Downstairs

I loved Downton Abbey, but I love a good parody too, and this sure was a good one. It was done for this year’s Red Nose Day, when people across the UK are urged to “Do something funny for money” in order to raise funds for charities. The country’s best actors and comedians get in on the act too, as you’ll see her. Uptown Downton Abbey reunites AbFab stars Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders (perfectly skewering Maggie Smith) and matches them up with Simon Callow and Kim Cattrall (channeling her character from My Boy Jack while working in a Sex and the City mention) among others. Is that Michael Gambon doing the voiceover? Awesome. I love all the sly little jokes, like the fact the housekeeper’s named Mrs. Danvers and the reference to the fact that the same British actors appear over and over again in every period piece ever made. Check it out for yourself!

Rockin’ Royal Wedding!

I really love T Mobile’s commercials, and I think this one is especially cute, even if it does reference that wedding dance video from last year, which has pretty much been run into the ground. Still, this features some fairly decent lookalikes (except for that girl who, I think, is supposed to be Eugenie) and a lot of fun moments. My favorites are when Charles and Camilla do a little bump at the end of the aisle, and Prince Harry rocks out and gets really into it, because you know he totally would!

Tudors Bloopers-Season 4

One last round of bloopers, before we bid farewell to the Tudors and welcome the Borgias:

Tudors Bloopers: Season 3

There weren’t any bloopers for season two (none that I found, anyway), but they came back with some good ones for season 3. And they’re not all just flubbed lines, either! Check out JRM cooing at baby Edward around minute 5:24, it’s fairly adorable.

Tudors Bloopers, Season 1

The Tudors will soon kick off on BBC America, so we can relive the glory of season one. It was a dramatic one, so I thought it’d be nice to ease the tension a little. So, let’s take a few minutes to revel in funny faces, flubbed lines, and some colorful cursing (seriously, there’s quite a bit of language ahead, so be warned):