SUMMARY (from IMDB): Lord Crawley sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship's domineering, conservative ma the dowager. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwile the butler presides over a staff which serves the family but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants’ quarters, intriguing amongst themselves.
World War I changes the world, and the changes do not go past Downton Abbey. Its inhabitants have to face fear, death, shortage, and basically any other suffering the war brings along.
In the midst of everything they continue struggling with their personal problems. In one way or the other every character has to overcome some sort of a difficulty and face the past before they can go on with their lives.
Fortunately, the changes are not all bad. For some characters, such as Sybil, the changing world brings her the opportunity she was searching for to finally get to live the life she wants.
The characters in Downton Abbey are diverse, and each of them is complex in their own way. They all have their good and bad sides, and the show excels at showing how it is up to an individual to decide what kind of a person they want to be.
Hence, I cannot say I dislike any character in particular (with the exception of Bates’s wife). Even Thomas and O’Brien are quite sympathetic, as long as they do not engage in any plotting, because that never has a good outcome. It would be best if they just did not listen to one another, I think, because separately they are just fine. However, I think their past actions will come back to haunt them.
The one person I did not expect to like is the Dowager Countess. I warmed up on her already in season one, but I really liked her this season. She reminds me of my late grandma a little. She sticks to her ways, but can adapt to the situation when it is best for her family. And she is hilarious, her lines are so clever and funny, spoken in her dignified manner, that they almost always make me laugh.
I do not even know where to start on Mary and Mathew. I will just say I love seeing their relationship change in so many ways. They have to deal with a lot, both personally and in terms of family and war matters, and they come out as winners. I love them. And that ending. Tears. My heart melted. That is it. I will stop now.
RECOMMENDATION: Downton Abbey is a wonderful, hear-felt series, portraying a life of a family in the early 20th century England. It draws you in and makes you live their lives with them while watching. I cannot wait for the third season.