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Downtown Abbey

Downton Abbey: Series 2

What She said:


The splendor, the drama, and the intrigue of Downton Abbey returned for a second season this winter on PBS.  The series had previously aired overseas in Great Britain during the fall.  We all knew it was going to be good.  There was tons of Emmy buzz last year, and how could it not be absolutely awesome, Dame Maggie Smith is in it.  Well, Season 2 certainly did not disappoint, and now the Downton Abbey craze has taken over the U.S.

Did you know that an episode of Downton Abbey was the second most watched program on Superbowl Sunday.  That’s right, a distant second behind the actual Superbowl, but second nonetheless.  I bet you probably know someone who is obsessed with this show. 

As we left off from the first season, the Crawley family was still trying to sort out the whole heir situation.  They surely didn’t want to lose their family wealth, and they weren’t too hot on cousin Matthew swooping in and taking it all.  However, time had them warming up to Matthew, and it seemed that they were working toward a final resolution.  BUT, then World War I broke out.  And this is where Season 2 picks up.

The war affects everyone.  Matthew is sent to the front, along with footmen Thomas and William.  In the meantime, Downton Abbey is repurposed as a recovery hospital for fallen troops.  They don’t see much of the real gruesome stuff, it’s more of a home for those in the final stages of recovery.  Either way, the family is committed to making a contribution to the war effort.  In fact, the youngest daughter, Sybil, actually becomes a war nurse.  She’s always been more middle class than the rest of the family anyway.

Season 2 has no shortage of drama.  There are the constant struggles of dealing with the prospect of even more death touching the Crawley family, including dear Matthew.  In the meantime, the house staff must cope with their own losses, and food shortages.  Lady Mary is still trying desperately to cover up her previous indiscretion and finds herself engaged to a wealthy newspaper entrepreneur.  Lady Edith is still a total Jan Brady, always jealous of everyone else.  And both the Earl and Countess of Grantham deal with their own feelings of idle insignificance with respects to the war.

Downstairs, we still have all that drama between Anna and Mr. Bates.  Will their love ever work out?  Thomas and Mrs. O’Brien are as heartless as ever.  And poor Daisy finds herself conflicted about her love life.  Did I mention there’s an outbreak of the Spanish flu that threatens the lives of several of the characters?  Oh, it’s complete madness, and you won’t be able to get enough of it.  I know I couldn’t.  Rolled together with the Christmas special, the whole season culminates nicely. 

And don’t even worry, production is beginning on a third season, which will be set in 1920.  They’ve also casted Shirley MacLaine to play Cora’s mother, and she’s sure to butt heads with Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith).  I cannot wait!

Thumbs way up!