I have a new addiction, thanks to PBS.
I just can’t get enough of Downton Abbey. I know that it’s a little silly to be obsessing about a show that aired their season 2 finale just a few weeks ago, but good TV is worth checking out regardless of when you decide to start watching it. Downton Abbey had been recommended by several people, and I knew was receiving a lot of buzz, but I kept forgetting to set the DVR to record it or watch it when it was actually on. But once I actually sat down to watch it, I literally couldn’t stop watching.
At first glance, the show doesn’t sound like it would ensnare audiences on both sides of the pond: The Crawley family (who live in Downton Abbey) risk losing their home due to an inheritance clause and the sinking of the Titanic (the show starts the day after it has sunk). The resulting episodes follow the Crawley family and their servants and they struggle to maintain their home. Doesn’t sound too difficult to do, right? Wrong. The new heir doesn’t really want to be an Earl; the Crawley girls are incredibly headstrong; intended suitors just don’t seem to be working out; people die; people are bribed; people are plotting; World War I devastates the country; attitudes about the different classes are changing; the dog’s gone missing…oh, and the Spanish Flu wreaks havoc on an already reeling cast. Simple? Far from it!
Everything is about this show is flawless. The costumes (which are stunning and incredible). The acting (Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern star). The sets (how gorgeous is Highclere Castle). The writing (Julian Fellows, the creator wrote Gosford Park, The Tourist and The Young Victoria, among others). It’s incredibly difficult not to get wrapped up into the lives of the Crawley’s and their servants. Julian Fellows and his team of writers have crafted fully realized characters that audiences can bond with. The show isn’t just about a bunch of entitled aristocrats who sit around sipping tea and their servants are a bunch of poor people who wait on their every whim. History and a rapidly changing culture are very present characters in this series, as audiences watch world events have very real consequences. Characters get pushed to their emotional brink before some happiness finally smiles on them, and even then, that happiness isn’t guaranteed. But, it’s that type of writing that brings audiences back for more.
Season 2 ended on Christmas, 1919. Bring on the Roaring 20s! Season 3 can’t get here fast enough!!
Do yourself a favor and check out the series if you haven’t yet. It’s perfect rainy day fare. It won’t disappoint!
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
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