Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Downton Abbey: Third Season Buildup

       Everyone and their grandmother are watching Downton Abbey, the Brit import that plays in ad-free bliss on PBS.  The first season follows the drama of the enormous Grantham Estate, run by the Earl and Countess.  Their three daughter, Lady Mary the eldest and savviest, Lady Edith the underappreciated middle girl, and Lady Sybil, the rebellious class-breaker, all contribute to the drama and intrigue as the rights to the estate are called to question after the rightful heir dies in the Titanic.  Matthew Crawley, a distant cousin, suddenly gains the right to everything once the Earl dies.  The always fantastic Maggie Smith adds hilarious quips on wealth, class, and changing times along the way as the clan's fiesty grandmother.  The drama follow the romances and estate fights of the elite while also depicting the drama and adventures of the staff of Grantham.  Though the first season was a riveting escapist journey, the second season raised the stakes, setting the Crawleys in WWI chaos.  Matthew fought in the wet trenches as Mary suffered from her growing love for him.  Sybil learns what she wants from life and goes for it, and the servants find themselves in the middle of a murder scandal. 
      As the third season is set in the aftermath of the war, I cannot help but wonder if it will live up to the drama and emotional power of the second season.  New characters, including Shirley Maclaine will add new blood to the show.  If the third season is half as moving as the second season, it stands to be must see Brit television that Americans can really get behind.  Watch the absolutely beautiful trailer for season 2 here.

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