Like I mentioned in my previous post, I probably watch way too many television shows than what’s good for me. It seems that I got sucked into watching another TV show by my own doing this time. I was watching the Emmy Awards this year and kept hearing the name of a certain show. This show picked up Emmys for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Writing, and Outstanding Directing. What is this mysterious show that came out of nowhere to win all these prestigious awards? Downton Abbey.
You’re probably wondering, what the heck is Downton Abbey? To be honest, I was thinking the exact same thing. While watching the Emmys, the only thing I knew was that it was a British television show and Maggie Smith (who I love!) was in it. Upon further research, I found out it is a period drama based around the Crawley family in pre-World War I England and their servants that run the estate. For those who know me, they know besides being a huge movie buff, I’m also a big history nerd. I have always gravitated towards any book or movie or television show that is set in a certain time in history. It just so happens that my favorite time in history is between the turn of the 20th century and into World War I which is exactly the time period of Downton Abbey. On that reason alone, I decided to check this new show out.
From the very first episode, this show just grabs you and sucks you in. Every character has their own distinct personalities that you grow to love (or hate). There are no introductions into what goes on in the daily lives of these characters. You’re just thrown right in with them. Although this can cause some confusion at times because of all the titles and names, you catch on pretty quickly. I think it’s so interesting to watch the different roles of the aristocratic family and their servants. You can tell the creators took a lot of time to do a great deal research to make every detail seem very authentic. With the writer and creator being Julian Fellowes, it’s no surprise this show is brilliant. Fellowes has written other well-known movies such as Gosford Park, for which he won an Oscar, 2004’s Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon, and 2009’s Young Victoria (another period drama that I love!). Along with the writing, the acting is brilliant. Since this is my first strictly British show, I am not familiar with any of the cast, besides Maggie Smith, but I have certainly fallen in love with all of them and will definitely keep an eye out for any future projects of theirs.
In the UK, Downton Abbey has already finished their second season and has been picked up for a third (yay!). However, since this is not originally made to be aired in the US, it takes a little longer to get picked up over here. Thankfully, it did make it over in January of 2011 broadcasting on PBS. PBS doesn’t seem like a typical channel to find an amazing show but PBS is the channel that a lot of British TV shows are broadcast on so it actually does make sense when you think of it in that way.
At this point, I have finished the entire first season. It spans two years from 1912 to 1914 with the season ending with the family receiving news that England had just declared war on Germany throwing them into the First World War. I’m very excited to see how the war will affect everyone from the servants to the men sent off to fight. If you are interested in watching Downton Abbey, make sure you get caught up because the second season will begin in America on PBS on January 8, 2012! Regardless of anyone else, I know I’ll be excited!!