Downton Abbey

This show is so good it deserves its own thread.

We Yanks start the second season (or “series” as the Brits call it) on Sunday. PBS, of course.

If you haven’t watched it, catch the first season on Netflix. It’s Upstairs/Downstairs meets Gosford Park. Completely delicious stuff. My only regret is that it’s seven episodes.

Also, Jessica Brown-Findlay, who plays the youngest daughter, Lady Sybil, is going places. Dear god, that girl is captivating.

Hah. I almost posted a thread like this last weekend just for the fact season 2 starts for us soon too. Love this show a ton and it’s really worth watching.

What does it say that some of my more favorite TV recently has been British? ( Luther, Sherlock, Inspector Lewis and this.h

Great show. The missus and I powered thru the first series in a couple days. Basically just a soap opera for the PBS crowd…but a good soap opera!

I enjoyed it, but I thought in the last episode of season 1 (4th of 4 in the U.S., but things in the U.S. I think they combined parts of episoded from the original) many of the events got rather far-fetched.

i.e. The actions of the characters felt exaggerated, and the various events that occurred to them a little over-the-top.

Still, I’ll probably watch the next season, and it’ll be interesting to see what they do with World War I.

She’s in the second, heartbreaking episode of Black Mirror, which you can find on your local internet.

I caught this on Netflix as well a few months back. Definitely enjoyed the show, though I’d probably have to wait until Netflix updates to season two as I’d hate having to wait between episodes. Do we need to use spoiler tags in here?
Events Spoiler

I hated Thomas and O’brien so much for what they kept doing. Especially the part where they tried to get Bates fired and for Cora’s miscarriage.

I loved the first season and have been waiting for this. The star of the show is Downton Abbey itself. What a gorgeous place. The actual house has been in the family since the 1600s. I love so many of the British shows and this is one of the best.

I like that the set is gorgeous, the costumes are great, and the accent and manners are so different from not only what I am accustomed to in real life, but even in most TV and movies.

I think the story line itself and the character actions came close to jumping the shark towards the end of season 1. Oh well…

The first season is great. It even made a flower contest interesting. I hope the third season is more like the first season.

Downton Abbey was a lot like Mad Men. First, you get the perspective of an interesting yet not done-to-death setting from characters on all different levels. There’s someone very high up the chain (Draper and Sterling, Lord and Lady Grantham) and there’s someone way down the chain (Peggy in the first year, Daisy). There are killer lines, often delivered deadpan (Sal, Judi Dench’s character). There are mysteries which might not add that much but what the hell, they add depth of character (“Dick Whitman”, Bates’ MYSTERIOUS PAST).

Most importantly, both settings are just on the edge of historical forces that will fuck everything up for these characters forever that we, living comfortably in the 21st century, can laugh at with the comfort of hindsight or gasp with empathy or maybe learn a little bit of history along with them. That tension is key to the success of both shows. The '60s and the cultural wars will totally remake the world Don Draper is most comfortable in. WWI is just on the horizon to wipe out a huge proportion of the younger generation of the Abbey residents. (And beyond that, Lady Grantham’s American fortune will probably be wiped out in the Great Depression, right?) A few of the brighter characters might see the changes coming, but most of them are completely oblivious.

The first season is definitely worth watching.

The second season is soap. Could be worse. Could be better.

It, uh, says that just like in the US, they make some very good television shows in the UK, and that if allowed to cherry-pick the cream of the crop from either you will find some very worthwhile viewing?

I’ve watched the first two episodes so far and I’m really enjoying it. Loads of great performances, a gorgeous setting, and fascinating conflict everywhere you look.

Not liking second season after first two hours in US. too soapish. The flower contest was great. not everything was such high stakes as 2nd season premiere. All plot lines are too over the top. Bit disappointing.

I am disturbed this isn’t more active.

Just finished the second series via iTunes. I agree with Wahoo was too soapy though.

Now, wait just a minute here…

To be substantive, though, this is an awesome show. I love every second of it. But it does leave me a bit queasy at times, the way it glorifies the noblesse oblige of the aristocracy.

Sure, the programme flirts with such concepts as women’s suffrage, but on the whole it seems very much invested in propping up obsolete power structures through the power of nostalgia.

Oops, that was a typographical and factual error. Maggie Smith, of course! Not Dame Judi Dench.

Are you saying the early 20th Century characters are propping up the entrenched nobility with inertia and nostalgia? Or the producers of the show are promoting the old ways as a better way to live? I think the underlying theme is that everything is changing and cannot go back to the old ways. Even the characters in the show, at the end of the second season, were pining for the casual opulence of the first season.

I guess I’m just skeptical of Julian Fellowes.

I’m wathing season 2 of this now. Terrific show.

I would watch Cougarton Abbey if that was a real thing.

I assume you’ve seen the news that Dame Maggie wishes to be written out of the show during season 3 so that she can end the character on a high note?

The whole point of the show is that these power structures are crumbling around them, signified by the coming war in season one, then with the war actually transpiring in season two (though the fact that, aside from I think despite the affects on certain characters they kind of glossed over what really could have been), not to mention the Irish uprising. With season three you can practically guarantee they’ll hit upon the troubles in Ireland and the great depression. It’s an era when the noblesse oblige pretty much died.

— Alan

My wife and I enjoyed both seasons, though there are a few irritating plot lines. For example, I feel like they’ve beaten the Bates/Anna/murder-conviction plot into the ground, killed it twice for good measure, and then dug it up to kill it and beat it again. I hope they resolve that very soon and move on to other plots.