10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Second helpings - yes please!,
This review is from: Downton Abbey - Series 2 [DVD] (DVD)Downton Abbey - Series 2 [DVD]
The 'mixture as before' in Series 2 of this great-rating drama. I have to confess that I was panting for the dvd to arrive and when it did, saw the whole 8 episodes over a few days in an orgy of Downton-watching.
Obviously, it has all the same problems as Series 1 - implausible plots, historical inaccuracy and so on - but like the first, Series 2 is strangely addictive. And the good news is that, since it ends on a cliff-hanger, there must be a Series 3 in the pipeline.
In the throes of war the main motif is 'nothing will be the same again' and some of the relationships are strained to prove it. Regrettably, Lady Sybil did not meet the nice young officer I predicted at the end of Series 1, although Thomas does not enjoy his time in the trenches (as predicted). Both Lady Mary and Lady Edith improve enormously and find that being occupied makes them a lot less bitchy. Lady Edith thought she had met a nice officer, and one of the housemaids certainly did, but those wartime romances can be dodgy things and surprisingly (or not) not everyone behaves quite as they ought.
It's often hard for the family and servants to keep track of all the comings and going and what everyone's up to behind the scenes, but fortunately they don't have to rely on the simple expedient of telling each other things people ought to know and keeping quiet about those they shouldn't. Eavesdropping gives sneaky O'Brien and Thomas plenty to plot about, and listening to servants' gossip keeps the family informed about important events.
Poor old Bates has a terrible time with his ex-wife. The twists and turns of the plot are so devious and interminable that in the end I would willingly have run her over just to bring it all to an end. I was also dying to tell him not to be so limp.
Some genuinely affecting moments between Matthew (as gorgeous as ever) and Mary, while shadow is provided by nasty but rich Sir Richard Carlyle.
There's no point in complaining of the soapiness or amazing coincidences and chances. It's that sort of show. Gosford Park it ain't, but it's highly enjoyable, with great settings and frocks (a bit toned down due to the exigencies of war). Acting is good, Maggie Smith stealing every scene she's in, with justification!
Roll on Series 3!