Filling you in on Downton Abbey
Originally set to be a one-off mini series, "Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes thought the show had more life to it than a shortened run on Britain's ITV network and decided to add two more seasons after its rousing season one success. Few could have anticipated that this seemingly stuffy British period piece would become such a hit, even connecting with audiences here in the United States.
The beloved series had an outstanding average of 9.2 million viewers for the first season, which unfortunately did not air in the United States, leaving many stateside fans to discover it through reruns on PBS, DVD and Netflix Instant. Yet season two launched in America on the PBS station Jan. 8, 2012, and the finale aired Sunday.
"Downton Abbey" takes place at the Grantham estate in 1912, beginning with the news that the historic Titanic ship has sunk and that Lord Grantham's heir was a passenger whose whereabouts are currently unknown. Lord Grantham's oldest daughter, Mary, was supposed to marry the heir and help ensure that the estate was in good hands following the passing of Lord Grantham.
With the heir's death, Lord Grantham finds his next heir to the Grantham estate in a distant cousin, Matthew Crawley. Matthew and his mother move to the estate to learn the ropes of how Downton is run, and so there lies the series' beginnings.
Matthew's reality is apparently worlds away from that of the Granthams. The Granthams are rich, arrogant and dependent on their household staff to maintain order. Matthew on the other hand was poor until he became heir to the Grantham estate and proud that he could earn his own living rather than inherit everything in his life.
It takes some time for the two families to adjust. Violet, the Dowager Countess and Lord Grantham's mother, clashes with Isobel Crawley. Mrs. Crawley has a liberal tendency and does not agree with sitting idly by when she can be of some use to whoever needs help.
In the second season, England is going to war against Germany and many men have been drafted into the army. Matthew, along with two men of Downton's staff, is also forced to leave for the war. The village hospital can't accommodate all the soldiers who have been injured on the battlefield, so with the hand of Mrs. Crawley, Downton Abbey slowly becomes a military hospital.
As World War I ends, it signifies a new beginning for Britain. The Granthams' old way of living is not something they can easily return to.
The main themes of "Downton Abbey" are the differences between the rich and the poor. The show has a wide cast of characters and viewers get to see the perspectives of both sides.
While the maids, cooks, and footmen of Downton Abbey are satisfied with their positions, they don't have the same luxuries as the Granthams. Most of the household staff have resigned themselves to a single life because they don't have many opportunities for marriage. While many are content with their job, they still have to deal with the drama that goes on in the house.
The Granthams live a spoiled life. They usually get what they want, have money to spend without thinking twice and have everything done their way. After the news that a war has started, life changes for the Granthams, but not so much. They still hold a powerful position in their village and have enough money left to keep from starving.
"Downton Abbey" has certainly attracted a wide variety of viewers now that it has started to become a hit in America. Season two leaves viewers craving more and already mourning the end until the proposed season three airs. As for plans for the future of the series, Fellowes has told BBC News he doesn't want to drag the show on forever, but has no plans of letting it end soon.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE NEWS
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Bulls edge UConn in conference opener
- Students warned not to sign up for GetStudyRoom.com
- Despite losing record, Bulls sets sights on conference title
- Z Baked provides warm cookies on demand
- Addicted to Apple: a dire diagnosis for millennials
- USF partners with World Health Organization
- Speaker sees astronomy through historical lens
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Wondering if it's Time to Buy a New Car? Just Check Your...
- Smartphone to Become Wallet -- Are Customers, Businesses...
- Grandparents, Keep Your Meds Up and Away From Young Children
- As Insurers End Coverage for Compounded Drugs, Patients...
- 4 Tips to Start Your Day a Little Earlier
- Join the Force to Fight Lung Cancer in Women
- If You Want to Help Avoid Back Problems, Stop Slouching
- Common-Sense Strategies From a Natural Marketing Guru
- 10 Steps to Help Older Adults Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls
- Stay Cool for Next to Nothing: Power Down the AC on...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Peace Corps Director Calls on College Students to Make a Difference After Graduation Through International Service
- USA NETWORK AND VERIZON LAUNCH THE “CHARACTERS UNITE COLLEGE TOUR” COMPETITION FOR STUDENTS TO BRING A USA NETWORK CELEBRITY AND A WORTHY CAUSE TO THEIR CAMPUS
- WHEN GEORGIA SMILED: THE ROBIN MCGRAW REVELATION FOUNDATION TEAMS WITH PIVOT AND STUDENTS OF THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE #iASPIRE GRANT CONTEST
- Latino Groups Launch National Campaign to Deliver Record Latino Turnout for 2014 Midterm Elections
- The Power of Peer Support: Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" Hits Campuses