Friday, February 10, 2012

Downton Abbey - Series Review

Did you know that one of the best shows on television is on PBS?  And guess what PBS doesn't have - commercials.

I'm not quite sure how I heard about Downton Abbey, I think it was from a news article that talked about how visits to the house where it is filmed has doubled since she show has started to air.  I'm a sucker for historical fiction so my interest was peaked.  I knew nothing about the show but saw that Season 1 is on Netflix watch instantly one night when I had the house to myself so I hit Play.

I'm hooked!  I've watched the first 4 episodes of Season 1 and I'm tempted every night to stay up until 1am so I can watch the next episode.  I haven't looked to see if Season 2 is streaming, I don't want to be disappointed or tempted to look at any of the season plot lines.  (I did see that Season 2, episodes 1-5 are on the PBS website.)

The story follows the Crawley family and their lives in the fictional country house, Downton Abbey.  The  family has three daughters, both parents and a very involved grandmother played by Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies).  The first episode opens with the announcement that the Titanic has sunk and on the ship were two family members, the next heirs to Downton Abbey.  There is a law that prohibits the eldest daughter, Lady Mary, from inheriting the fortune.

Not only is the family interesting and a show on their own, there is also the house staff.  There are more of them then the family who own the house.

So far in just four episodes there has been quite a few twists and turns and shocking moments.  The show is like a period, British soap opera, without all the swapping romance partners and bad acting.  The wardrobes are to die for and who doesn't love a British accent.

I know I'm only early in the show, but I can tell it is only going to get better.  Ratings for the show are beating out some paid cable programming, which is unheard of for a show on PBS.  I love that it proves that you don't need the sex, scantily clad women, bad language and drugs to get viewers like so many shows on MTV, HBO and Bravo have been doing lately.

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