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Downton Abbey Season 2

My husband and I seldom agree on what to watch on television which is why we have Star Choice with about 100 channels and local cable.

Last year we did happen upon a program on PBS (388 on Star Choice) which we both enjoyed very much. We were sad when the announced the season finale and delighted when Season 2 of Downton Abbey began January 8th, 2012. Other episodes are to be aired January 15th, 22nd, 29th, February 5th, 12th and 19th. We happily curled up in bed on Sunday night to watch the 2 hour Season Opener and enjoyed every minute of it uninterrupted by commercials.

Downton Abbey is a wonderful story about a rich family, the Crawley’s of Yorkshire, England and their extensive staff. For those who may remember Upstairs, Downstairs, this is a similar story line but with a wonderful cast, magnificent scenery, costumes and a spectacular country house Downton Abbey.

Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham and his wife Cora have three daughters and no son. At that time only a male heir could inherit so a cousin, Matthew Crawley, is being groomed for the post which will put the family out of their home when the present Earl, Robert, dies.

Season 2 opens 2 years after Season 1 and it is the Fall of 1916 and England is at war. Things are changing with the Crawley family and with the staff and will subsequently never be the same. The lines between the classes are blurring and there are many wonderful subplots taking place as a result.

Two of the daughters Isobel and Sybil take on jobs as a driver on a neighboring farm and nurse which, of course, is unheard of but, as I mentioned, the war is changing everyone’s role.

There is intrigue above and below stairs and every storyline is fascinating.

Maggie Smith plays the dowager Countess of Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern plays Cora Countess of Grantham.

You will also find many other wonderful English actors who you will recognize from Coronation Street, Lark Rise to Candleford etc.

This wonderful miniseries has won six Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Outstanding Writing – Julian Fellowes, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Maggie Smith for Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Outstanding Cinematography, David Katznelson DFF, Outstanding Costumes – Susannah Buxton and Outstanding Direction – Brian Percival.

At the end of Episode 1 it is being discussed that Downton Abbey may be pressed into service as a convalescent hospital.

We highly recommend this miniseries. It is a wonderful illustration of kinder, gentler times and a pleasure to watch.

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