Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD (Original U.K. Unedited

Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD (Original U.K. Unedited Edition) (2012)

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Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD (Original U.K. Unedited Edition) (2012)

Season 2 of the Emmy® Award-winning Downton Abbey returns as 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.

Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD (Original U.K. Unedited Edition) (2012)

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2 thoughts on “Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD (Original U.K. Unedited

  1. 44 of 46 people found the following review helpful:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Tolerable Entertainment, Not as Good as Season One, November 7, 2011
    By 
    Charity Bishop “film critic”
      

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    This review is from: Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD (Original U.K. Unedited Edition) (2012) (DVD)

    Considered one of the most successful “darlings” in the history of television, the first season of Downton Abbey achieved international success and a worldwide following. Its second season includes the same likable (and some not so likable) characters, but in an entirely new world…

    The First World War has left an indelible mark on England and particularly on the lives of those in Downton. Though it has been some time since he served in the war, the Earl (hopes to be called once more to the front lines and is terribly disappointed to learn the war office considers him a “homeland officer,” more suited for gracing drawing rooms and keeping up the morale of the women at home. His trusted valet Bates is horrified when his wife Vera arrives with a disturbing proposition, one that will force him to quit without a word and dash the marital hopes of Anna, the young woman to whom he has given his heart. Carson, the head butler, is having to make do with almost no footmen, the chauffeur Branson has his eye on convincing the beautiful Lady Sybil to run away with him, and Lady Grantham is at constant odds with her mother-in-law, the formidable Countess Violet (Maggie Smith).

    When Matthew returns home for a brief visit and brings his new fiancé with him, Mary must contend with her realization that thanks to her aunt’s ill advice, she has lost him for good. Faced with a life of potential poverty if she does not a suitable marriage, she sets her sights on a man who may prove more dangerous than he appears. Her sister Edith discovers her calling when Matthew’s mother Isabel convinces them that Downton would make a wonderful convalescent hospital. Mrs. Hughes contends with the troublesome antics of a new maid, Mrs. Patmore learns some devastating news about one of her nephews at the front, and the childish Daisy doesn’t quite know what to do when William proposes… and just when you think you’ve seen the last of the nasty former footman Thomas, his own cowardice and the assistance of O’Brien brings him home.

    One of the more remarkable things about this series is how it manages to involve us so completely in the lives of its protagonists, of which there are many. It is both a strength as it demands great storytelling and a weakness in the sense that often characters we like do not get as much screen time as we would hope. The story almost never strays from Downton (there are occasional scenes in Isabel’s house and with Matthew in the trenches) and I felt as if I were missing much of the narrative outside the house … in one episode Bates departs and when we meet up with him again, he informs us all that has happened since he left rather than us watching it unfold. There are such enormous gaps in time that we are incapable of watching various relationships develop – and certain ones, such as Branson and Sybil, suffer as a result. Some moments are very good (such as an attempted assassination and the return of a missing soldier) while others are clichéd – Mrs. Bates in particular was just a little too conveniently evil for my taste.

    Season two has taken a lot of heat from critics and audiences alike for its convoluted, predictable story lines and rampant clichés. Much of this criticism is deserved, unfortunately — some of the character development is believable (such as the transformations of Mary and Edith) but Lord Grantham’s shift is completely unlike his former self and I don’t buy the excuse of a midlife crisis. The series does well on hitting all the right emotional notes but just isn’t up to the standard of its predecessor. Gone are all the wonderful conversations and moments that were used to build character and humor and forthright plot-driven exposition is in its place. It was enjoyable but not as magical as our initial introduction to the house — even so, there are some terrific one-liners and decent twists, although the accusation that it has become an Edwardian soap opera is accurate. There are resolutions to some of the subplots this time around, so I can only hope the Christmas episode and season three learn a little from their mistakes and SLOW DOWN!

    – Charity
    […]

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  2. 93 of 96 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Absolutely Outstanding Period Drama, October 12, 2011
    By 
    Brett H “pentangle” (Brighton) –

    This review is from: Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 2 DVD (Original U.K. Unedited Edition) (2012) (DVD)

    The greatly anticipated second series of Downton Abbey picks up two years on from the first series in 1916, in the middle of World War 1. Downton Abbey has been converted into a convalescent home for injured servicemen and the action covers the period from the Battle of the Somme up to the end of the war. As in the first series, topical events of the period, political, economic and military are covered.

    The wartime scenario and the convalescent home setting provide an excellent background for some interesting story lines. The combination of excellent plot lines, great acting and the superb setting display all that is best in TV period drama. This time round we have eight more episodes to add to the seven in the first series. As befits wartime, the costumes are not as flamboyant as in the first series but they are thoroughly researched and appropriate to the period.

    There continue to be many superb individual performances but mention must be made of Maggie Smith. What a stroke of genius to cast her as Violet. She dominates every scene she appears in and often has some very funny lines.

    The UK has a long tradition of producing fine period dramas and this is the most successful since the early 1980s when Brideshead Revisited (25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition) took the world by storm. Peak viewing figures in the UK are 11m which is an astounding number for that market. It is pleasing to learn that a third series is already planned and we now know that this will cover an 18 month period from 1920 to 1921. This one is likely to run and run and I would not be surprised to see Downton Abbey continuing up to the 1930s eventually.

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