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Welcome back Crawley. Downton Abbey is back and TV finally gets fun again


As far as I’m concerned this upcoming Sunday evening should be anticipated and celebrated with more enthusiasm than New Year’s Eve. Is it a national holiday? No, even better… Season 2 of Downton Abbey begins (finally!) in the US.

Okay, before you mock my hyperbole (actually, go ahead. I don’t mind), let me explain why I’m so excited.

I love reading and I love watching movies, and though it probably isn’t the most intellectually rigorous thing to do, if I really like something I’ll reread or re-watch it over and over again. I find it comforting. I have at least two books going at all times – one is a book I’m reading for the first time but I always have an additional comfort reread book going as well. Have a guess at which I finish first. I’ll revisit books/movies/TV shows so often in a short period of time I’ll start anticipating the next line. Once I’ve gotten to that point, I have to shelve it for a while. I’ve worn out most of my favorite books and movies due to my bad habit. I’m fine with letting my nerd flag fly, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing the first paragraph of Pride and Prejudice by heart, but knowing every word that will follow the next is taking it too far. As such, all of the works of Jane Austen (the books as well as most of the TV/film adaptations) are out of commission for at least the next year, probably two. The Harry Potter books and audiobooks are similarly shelved due to my overindulgence, as are Iain Pears’ Art History Mysteries, Sarah Caudwell’s amazing 4 books, the Bourne movies, and all TV episodes of Sex and The City, just to name a few.

Which brings me back to Downton Abbey. When I watched the first season I became absolutely giddy. Here was a new show that could go into my comfort rotation, and because it isn’t based on a book (though it feels like it might be) I don’t have to worry about knocking out two mediums of the same material through over-viewing (such as with Jane Austen and Harry Potter).

If you haven’t seen season one of Downton Abbey yet, find a way to watch it before digging into season two (Yes, I’ve already watched all episodes of season one at least three times). Though you can understand season two without having seen the first season, you’ll miss out on a lot of the intricacies between the characters. Also, there’s a big shift in circumstance that happens between the seasons and in order to fully appreciate how much the world of Downton Abbey changes as a result, you need to see how it all began.

I’ve actually already seen the first four episodes of season two, and I appreciate that season two definitely doesn’t just repeat the dynamics of season one. The characters are all true to themselves, but show the effects of everything they’ve been through in the previous season (A pet peeve of mine is when TV shows have characters grow and change over the course of a season only reset them back to their original state during hiatus).  One thing that hasn’t changed is that Maggie Smith is a bad-ass of understated comedy. I can’t think of anyone who can be equal parts rudely hilarious and adorable. So fire up your DVR, pour yourself a glass of tea (or a cocktail if you want to be like one of those neuveau riche London types that Maggie S’s character would mock) and enjoy the awesomeness of Downton Abbey.

Watch Downton Abbey I Wonder Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.


2 Responses to “Welcome back Crawley. Downton Abbey is back and TV finally gets fun again”

  1. January 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    With the lot of spare time I have (being unemployed; looking for a proper job/start of a career), one of the things I’ve exploited with the free time is Netflix’s streaming. After hearing much praise about the series from my parents, I watched the first season a couple weeks ago and fell in love with it. In a nutshell, there’s just plenty to love about the show and the characters. This past Sunday when the second season premiered, I sent my dad a message reminding about it and I kid you not, he replied with, “Got a spoon, jar of peanut butter and box of tissues. I’m ready.” True story.

    The series even got a mention on last night’s NBC Nightly News about it catching like wildfire here and in the segment, the creator of the show said he really likes writing up Maggie Smith’s lines because as he says it, they come across a lot funnier when she says it. Also in the segment Sophie McShera (Daisy) said she can’t believe the show is huge over here and wants to witness it in person someday.

  2. Claudia Maittlen-Harris January 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    It’s so good! Although the Daisy character drives me a little nuts, and our dad sounds like a good man. I can’t wait to get into Season 2!

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