I’m officially obsessed with Downton Abbey. I watched all of season one in rapid succession on Netflix last September and have been waiting (impatiently) for season two ever since. And it has finally arrived!
I’ve read a couple reviews saying that, while the show’s still good, it’s not great like it was the first season. To that I say: whatever. The critics are wrong, it’s still fantastic, and it’s the show I look forward to most each week. If you’re not already watching, here are ten reasons why you should be:
- The star-crossed romances. Matthew and Mary. Bates and Anna. Sybil and Branson. There’s so much romantic angst (and romantic scheming) packed into each hour – and I totally love it. And also, Matthew and Mary need to hook up like…yesterday. Come on!
- It’s basically fashion porn. The outfits that the Grantham ladies wear are beautiful – the fabrics, the beading, the colors. Fantastic. It almost makes me want to bring “dressing for dinner” back in fashion.
- The upstairs/downstairs contrast. It’s certainly not an original concept, but there’s a reason why the upstairs/downstairs thing has been done before – it makes for a fascinating story. I love the contrast between the different worlds, I love how each has their own precise hierarchy and set of rules, and I love when the two collide.
- Maggie Smith. Her character is an obvious highlight – supremely snooty and absolutely hilarious, whether dishing out a biting zinger or silencing someone with only a look.
- Even the awful characters are sympathetic. There are no caricature villains on this show – even the people we love to hate have moments when we sympathize with them, like when we see Thomas looking bewildered and terrified in the war, or when O’Brien talks about her brother who died.
- The sibling rivalry. The battle between Mary and Edith is hilarious – and I still haven’t figured out who’ll get the upper hand eventually. I also like how, this season, they’ve made both of them more likeable. In season one, they did so many awful things to one another that it was getting out of hand – but this season, with Mary’s kindness to Lavinia and Edith helping tend to the soldiers, they’re both growing as people. Although hopefully they don’t grow too much – I still need a little backstabbing.
- The humor. Okay, so it’s not exactly a laugh-out-loud comedy riot, but I love the subtle humor peppered throughout the show. Each quip is made all the more funny because most of them are delivered in deadpan British accent. I’m a sucker for that.
- The historical aspects. As history major, I totally geek out over the events that have peppered this show – the sinking of the Titanic, women’s suffrage, World War I, the trouble with Ireland. I like that this isn’t just a straight up soap opera – the historical weight of everything elevates it beyond that.
- Mr. Carson. Downton’s butler just might be my favorite character – I find him terribly endearing. He’s so gruff and into doing everything the “proper” way that it amuses me to no end to watch him react to people being improper or impolite. And he’s always so fair and unexpectedly kind – like how he takes care of Lady Mary or the talk he had with Mrs. Hughes after she turned down the proposal.
- Schemes + intrigue. It seems every other scene is someone plotting or planning and, you know what? I kinda like it. From Thomas and O’Brien conspiring against basically everyone to Lady Grantham and Cora’s “alliance” to Mary and Edith scheming to land a man, there are all kinds of wicked fun and games to enjoy.
Hopefully ten reasons were enough to convince you – but if you need any more, just watch for yourself. Trust me. Do it!