Reviews for Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 (Original U.K. Unedited Edition)


Library Journal Reviews 2012 March #1

When last we left Masterpiece Classic's Downton Abbey at the close of Season 1, England had just joined World War I and a number of plot lines were left hanging ("Best Video 2011," LJ 1/12, p. 44-45). Viewers of Season 2 will not be disappointed. The crisis of the Great War and its aftermath dominate the action. Downton provides manpower on the fighting field from both upstairs and down, with the rest of the family rising to the occasion. They turn their sumptuous mansion into a convalescent home, although Carson, the butler, still fusses over serving dinner with no footmen! What makes this series so enthralling is the evolving characters, their relationships with one another, and their responses to the inevitable societal changes brought about by the war. As well, it is never predictable. PBS has tackled this period in English history before, but never better than in this Emmy Award--winning series. Bonus features include a close-up on the fashion and uniforms used in the program. VERDICT An excellent cast, which includes the wise and witty Maggie Smith, and a first-rate production make this a series for every public library patron. Downton Abbey is about as perfect as television drama gets.--Joan Greenberg, Warminster, PA

[Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
The Emmy Award-winning miniseries ups the dramatic ante in its second season, as the upper-crust Brits and their stalwart servants take on wartime casualties while personal stories run the gamut from the comic to the tragic. (LJ 3/1/12) (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Video Librarian Reviews
Following the enormous success of the first season of the BBC's elegant period soap opera, writer Julian Fellowes picks up where the previous run ended, with the aristocratic Crawleys and their many servants facing the outbreak of World War I. The second season of Downton Abbey covers the years of conflict, during which the estate presided over by Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), and his American wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), is transformed into a hospital for wounded veterans, although the emphasis remains on the household's emotional entanglements. Will headstrong Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) wed ruthless press baron Sir Richard Carlisle (Iain Glen) to save her family from scandal, or will she wind up with her true love, cousin Matthew (Dan Stevens), who is engaged to sweet Lavinia (Zoe Boyle) but comes home from the front seriously injured? Will the earl's long-suffering manservant Bates (Brendan Coyle) secure a divorce from his nasty wife in order to wed loyal housemaid Anna (Joanne Froggatt)? Will Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) ever be allowed to marry lowly chauffeur Branson (Allen Leech)? Happily, the scene-stealing Maggie Smith is still on hand as dowager Lady Violet, ready to puncture even the most serious moment with some nugget of waspish wit. Presenting all nine episodes as originally aired on British television (before being re-edited for American broadcast on PBS's Masterpiece Classic series in 2011), DVD extras include three behind-the-scenes featurettes. Highly recommended. (F. Swietek)Copyright Video Librarian Reviews 2011.

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