Downton Abbey- Season 2
The Great War rages across Europe, and not even the serene Yorkshire countryside is free from its effects. The men and women of Downton are doing their part both on the front lines and the home front, but the intensity of war only serves to inflame the more familiar passions love, loss, blackmail, and betrayal.
Plot Rating: 5/5
For once Amazon.com and I see pretty well eye-to-eye on a description. Season 1 kicked off with the sinking of the Titanic, which launched a new heir into the lives of the Crawley family. The Titanic, however, didn’t have much of a place after the pilot and kind of fell off the radar.
This season the writers decided to stick much closer to home. World War 1 has broken out and not only are the residents and staff of Downton Abbey being drafted to serve, but the Abbey itself becomes a convalescent home for severely wounded officers and the Ladies of the house learn the trade of nurses.
Behind the scenes Anna and Bates relationship is still going strong, despite Bates’ wife blackmailing him to stay with her. Anna may not be with the man she loves, but she stands true to him nonetheless. Daisy is pursued more and more by William, who she only wishes to be friends with, and Mrs. Patmore becomes a more involved character within the story.
This show has the same strange charm through it’s second season as the first- you are not entirely sure WHY you watch obsessively, just that you know you do. I still think it’s because of Maggie Smith.
Acting Score: 4/5
Strangely enough this score is coming down, and not because of any new actors. I knocked a full point off for Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora, Countess of Grantham). Her performance this season feels less like television acting and more like stage acting. It is not all the time, but in particularly emotional scenes she seems to fall under what you would anticipate.
This season shows more prominence of Lady Sibyl Crawley, the youngest sister played by Jessica Brown Findlay. She does a wonderful job taking the character from a girl of privilege to a hard worker surprisingly mature and humble for a Lady.
Age Rating: 13+
I am keeping my original rating from Season 1, with most of the original reasoning: it’s a kind of dry story written to more grown up tastes and younger audiences will not be interested much. I will also add that, as Bates’ divorce gets more and more tense there is some stronger language. A couple grown up scenes are hinted at but not directly shown, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Like I said, anyone young enough to worry about with the very slight grown up content is not going to be interested in a British social drama anyways.
IMDB has failed me in this respect. The only trivia I can give you really is that Downton Abbey has won multiple awards (Including a Golden Globe and some Emmy’s) and is nominated for many more.