If you consider the first season of the Netflix drama series “Bridgerton” a hit, there is not doubt that you will love “Downton Abbey”.
“Downton Abbey” follows the lives of the British aristocratic family, the Crawleys, and their domestic servants. Lord Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville), the Earl of Grantham has an American wife, Lady Cora the Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), and three daughters Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay). Mary is beautiful, confident and self-assured. Edith seems to fall in love with men out of her reach, even those whom are more interested in her sister Mary, and Sybil is the sweet baby of the house. The cast also includes Dame Maggi Smith as Lady Violet Crawley, mother of Robert and Dowager Countess of Grantham.
The drama series explores several themes including love, women’s rights, classism and change. We see how people reacted in times past to inventions such as electricity, the telephone and radio. It also depicts historical events such as the first World War and the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and their aftermaths.
“Downton Abbey” is set in the early 1900s at a time when women weren’t allowed to inherit property and so, men like Lord Crawley , had to name a male heir as his inheritor although he had three daughters. At the beginning of the series Lord Crawley receives news that his heir, who was also engaged to his eldest daughter Mary, had died in the Titanic. So, he must name a new heir or lose his estate, the Downton Abbey.
The dialogue is rich and laced with that incomparable British humour, and the acting is compelling. You will fall in love with characters such as Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) and Anna Smith (Joanne Froggatt). You will pity characters like Edith and the gullible Daisy (Sophie McShera) but above all, you will itch to know why Miss O’Brien ( Siobhan Finneran) and Thomas Barrow (Robert James Collier) are so devious. The love stories might leave you teary-eyed or with a tingling heart but the sarcasms are bound to make you laugh out loud.
“Downton Abbey” ran for six seasons and is now available on Netflix. In 2019, a film of the same name written by Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of the television series was released in cinemas. The film continues from where the series left off. Set in 1927, it depicts a visit by the King and Queen to the Crawley family’s English country house in the Yorkshire countryside. We’ll see if that will make it to Netflix too. For now, binge on the series!