on a kick for Downton Abbey

Boy, I’ve been quiet here lately on this blog, haven’t I?

One reason I’ve been quiet is that I’ve discovered Downton Abbey!  If you don’t know, it’s a British miniseries that’s currently playing in the USA on PBS on Sunday nights.  I had vaguely heard good things about it in fall of last year, and then my brother gave me the complete first season on DVD for Christmas.  Not too long after, I learned that Downton Abbey had won the Emmy award for Best Miniseries, and last Sunday night it won the Golden Globe award for Best Miniseries.  It’s apparently one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows ever.  Wow.

So, I finally started watching it.  The very first episode didn’t hook me in emotionally, and I wondered if it would be rather boring after all, but from the second episode on, I was completely hooked.  It’s such great storytelling with awesome costumes and simply amazing scenery.  Portions of the show are being filmed in an actual castle in England filled with multi-million dollar artifacts and paintings.  I watched a behind-the-scenes thing on the show, and one of the producers said that to build a set like that would cost their entire budget.  However, the fact that Downton Abbey films in Highclere Castle gives Highclere a desperately-needed source of income.  So, that’s very cool.

Downton Abbey is about an aristocratic family in England in 1914.  The Lord of the estate had only three daughter, no sons, and now his estate will someday be inherited by a distant third cousin that they’ve never heard of.  The interweaving of stories between the family upstairs and the household staff downstairs makes for quite intriguing storylines.  If you want to read more about all the characters, you can check out this online guide here.

Over a year ago, for my birthday at the end of 2010, my husband bought me an under-the-counter TV/radio/CD/DVD player.  Just before my birthday this year, he finally installed it.  So, it’s been lovely to be able to put on episodes of Downton Abbey in the kitchen while I’m cooking.  I’m rewatching all the episodes, catching the things I missed the first time I watched them.  It’s been a very enjoyable.

The other neat aspect of Downton Abbey is that while it’s a period drama, it is unlike a Austen or Dickens novel in that we don’t know what the ending will be.  One really does have to tune in next week to see how it all works out!  And the writing is just excellent!  It’s such a fun show.

If you haven’t watched Downton Abbey and are intrigued, I believe you can download season one episodes from Netflix or Amazon, and you probably don’t have to work to hard to find it on the internet, too.  Season two is currently airing in the USA, and you can watch those shows online here.

It’s nice to have a new “kick” to be on.  Some readers might recall that I was on a big “Thorn Birds” kick last fall, but that eventually faded away, as most kicks do.  However, this Downton Abbey kick will be different in that it’s ongoing.  There are more episodes to come, and I don’t know how they will end.  Plus, Downton Abbey has been picked up for a third season, and apparently they are going to start filming that next month.  Those episodes probably won’t be seen here in the states until a year from now, but I will have them to look forward to.  What fun!  🙂