Downton Abbey season 2: Proof Quality is Possible

Downton Abbey: A Smash in America

As someone who is a member of the media and is generally surrounded by a variety of  different programs, I’ll tell you there is a lot of truth to the phrase, “so many channels, so little to watch.”  There is a lot of low-end stuff out there that is taking up a lot of channel space.  But with the close of Downton Abbey season 2, there is no question that I’m not the only person who is craving good stories, crafted with great characters that are played with quality actors and actresses. It doesn’t hurt that I especially enjoy period movies, but this is indeed a phenomenon that producers from all walks of the entertainment industry should notice if they really want to tap a market that could reward them in the biggest way.

It is sad that much of the entertainment industry is set on making a statement, or just merely pushing the envelope to “shake up the establishment.” But the makers of the Downton Abbey series have touched on an idea that at first glance looks conventional, but on the contrary it’s actually counterintuitive these days.  Downton Abbey season 2’s conclusion proves that a great story executed well doesn’t need to be edgy or graphic or be following celebrities around to find out what toothpaste they use. I was surprised to see that in Britain, the conclusion of Downton Abbey season 2 which included a much talked about Christmas scene between Matthew and Lady Mary came in second in viewership on Christmas Day to some show called EastEnders that unfortunately sounds closer to the typical offering by American TV producers. Just goes to show you some people just won’t eat steak when there are twinkies hanging around.

If you haven’t heard by now, Downton Abbey is one of the most highly acclaimed TV series ever here in the states with 6 Emmy awards and 4 Golden Globe nominations. It’s made watching PBS Masterpiece Theater cool again- for some people who are concerned about that. Downton Abbey season 3 is already being shot and while critics are calling it just another type of soap opera, it certainly doesn’t feel like it.  When you talk to someone else about the story line, it may sound like you’re describing one, but the way it is shot and produced makes it feel like a top flight motion picture with a tapestry of primary and secondary story lines. And it certainly doesn’t have the sleaze we come to expect with the day time soap scene.  Bottom line, if you like a good story that has an appeal to both men and women, it would be worth your while… you’ll get pulled into a “jolly good” story.

You can start from the beginning of season 1 by going to websites like NetflixHulu or PBS online and watch the entire first two seasons.  Or if you want to take a virtual tour of Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is shot, it’s an interesting look at the real setting of where the series has been shot.

P.S. In case your interested, Shirley MacLaine will be the new addition as the crew is already filming the third season.

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