Tuesday, March 27, 2012


  Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Everywhere I went I heard people talking about "Downton Abbey" and I had no idea what it was. I finally deduced it was something on TV, but still didn't quite get it. I received an offer to have Netflix free for a month on my computer so I tried it and the first thing to pop up was Downton Abbey. I thought I'd watch one episode, just to see what all the fuss was about. I stayed up all night and watched the whole first season. The second wasn't available to rent so I got on Amazon and ordered season 2 that morning. I can't tell you how wrapped up I became in the lives of this family and their servants! Now I have a long and painful wait for season 3 to begin. Here's a little bit about Downton Abbey to get you interested!

Downton Abbey -- a sprawling, lavish Edwardian mansion nestled in the Yorkshire landscape -- needs an heir. Dame Maggy Smith stars as Violet, the stubborn Dowager Countess of Grantham matriarch of Downton. Hugh Bonneville stars as her son, the stoic, unflappable Lord Crawley. Elizabeth McGovern is his far-sighted American wife, Cora. From Academy Award-winner Julian Fellowes

In Season one, Lord Crawley sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship's domineering, conservative ma the dowager. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwhile the butler presides over a staff which serves the family but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants quarters, with intrigues of their own.
Season two picks up two years on from the first series in 1916, in the middle of World War 1. Downton Abbey has been converted into a convalescent home for injured servicemen and the action covers the period from the Battle of the Somme up to the end of the war. As in the first series, topical events of the period, political, economic and military are covered.

The wartime scenario and the convalescent home setting provide an excellent background for some interesting story lines. The combination of excellent plot lines, great acting and the superb setting display all that is best in TV period drama. This time round we have eight more episodes to add to the seven in the first series. As befits wartime, the costumes are not as flamboyant as in the first series but they are thoroughly researched and appropriate to the period.

In both seasons, I have to say that Maggie Smith steals the show as Lady Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham. She's fiesty, bossy, aristocratic and marvelous!
Like me, I believe you'll be hooked after viewing one episode, but at least you'll knkow what everyone is talking about! 

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love that show! You're right, I'm hooked!