Downton Abbey was the surprise hit last fall – many had thought the days of British Costume dramas focusing on country homes had long since gone. Downton Abbey changed that all – becoming one of the most successful British Dramas of all time.
Series 2 doesn’t begin airing in the USA until January on PBS Masterpiece, but using TheTelly.net service, we were able to watch the new series live as it aired in the UK.
So, does the second series premiere live up to expectations?
I can unequivocally say: yes, yes it does. Watching the premiere of season 2 was like having an an evening with old friends. I was concerned that two years had passed since we last spent time with the Crawley family. I worried we would have wondered what’s been happening for the last two years but despite the gap – we pick off right where we left off without missing a trick.
At the beginning we’re thrown right into it by opening on the the battlefields of the Somme. It’s rather jarring and I think that was the intention. They really want to get the point across that things have changed quite a bit – despite everyone trying to keep them the same at Downton.
We get an interesting look at those left behind by the war – the servants with a skeleton staff who must go on, the men who haven’t gone to war but wish they had and people like Lord Grantham who’s an Old War Horse who longs to serve at the front.
I don’t want to give too much away from the episode but things with Mr Bates and Anna come to head with surprising, heartbreaking conclusions. Matthew has gotten himself engaged to a homely woman, who’s not even of aristocratic blood. Mary is quite sad about that. The Dowager is her usual colorful self. Downton, while being a very different house during the war, is still much the same. There’s a colorful new maid, who has trouble fitting in and I found her rather annoying, but she grew on me by the end.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable episode clocking in at almost an hour and a half (with commercials). I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season and I can’t wait to see where it goes.
What did you think of Downton Abbey Series 2 – Episode 1? Let us know in the comments!