Don’t worry, that’s not a horrible typo in today’s title. Today, 2WC is going a bit British for tonight’s Masterpiece Classic season premiere of “Downton Abbey.”
If you haven’t heard of the phenomenon, which began as a 2010 miniseries written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) in the UK, made its way over the pond to Masterpiece Classic in 2011, won the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries, and then went on to film a second season (thus removing its miniseries claim), don’t panic, but you may be living under a rock.
But never fear, 2WC is here to tell you why we love it, and why you should too.
First of all, Maggie Smith. While that pseudo-sentence, in itself should be enough. We’ll elaborate. Ms. Smith (better known to you Potter-philes as Professor McGonagall), as the extremely honest, opinionated family matriarch, redefines the boundaries of actresses above a certain age. Along with Penelope Wilton, who plays her adversary/friend, Isobel Crawley, she quite often steals the show.
And what a show to steal. The intricacy (and logic)with which the lives of 16 (and counting) different characters (from Lord Grantham himself all the way down to Daisy the kitchen maid) are interwoven is astounding. Grounded by the house and the moment in history, what began with the Titanic has barreled full steam ahead towards WWI and presumably beyond. All the while telling a somewhat familiar back-story as seen through the lives of those who pass through this mammoth house.
Speaking of the house (if you can really call it that), this palace of a single-family residence, is a character in itself. In almost every shot, our eyes are treated to its lavishly decorated parlors, grand staircases and gorgeous halls. There’s a reason the show bears this estates name, it is stunning.
Assuming you’re still with us and haven’t run off to start your marathon viewing of season one, we leave you with this: It’s not often that we promote judging anything by its cover, but in the case of “Downton Abbey” we’ll make an exception. From its plot to its setting to its faith in its audience, this show is beautiful inside and out. Enjoy.
…just for fun: