Downton Abbey, Season 2
Airs Sundays January 8-29 at 9:00 p.m. MT/PT
Even the seemingly safe and placid world of Downton Abbey is not immune to the vagaries and terrors of war. As World War I unfolds, the modern world of conflict and crisis — much like today’s world — is thrust upon the bucolic British estate and its denizens.
It is 1916, and the tumultuous era of “the war to end all wars” depicted in the Emmy-winning series, writes Baltimore reviewer Lily Newman, is not unlike today’s state of affairs. “The number of parallels that can be drawn between the world of Downton Abbey and today’s world is striking,” she writes. “The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, though, and seems to intentionally keep modern comparisons to a minimum.”
As season 2 begins this month, many changes have taken place at Downton Abbey because of the war, which has greatly unsettled both the estate’s residents and servants. A new maid proves difficult, and an announcement from Matthew Crawley stuns everybody, particularly Mary. Meanwhile, there are dramas and surprises for everyone as the war rages on and all are caught up in it in some way as both heroes and villains struggle to survive and forge ahead.
Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Dan Stevens headline the cast.
The new season, writes Newman “promises to be everything Downton’s audience has been craving. World War I will get under way, sparks will fly and familial betrayal, real or imagined, will certainly continue. Though it is about an unimaginably wealthy aristocratic family, Downton is shockingly unpretentious and direct. In spite of its period drama genre, it makes the rest of the television landscape look overwrought and overdramatized.”
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