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Old January 8 2012, 03:21 PM   #1
Allyn Gibson
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Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey 2x01

ITV's breakout hit Downton Abbey returns to PBS tonight with the first episode of the second season:
Fall 1916 Spring 1917

In the throes of the Great War, uncertainty and worry have taken up residence in the great house of Downton Abbey. Some newcomers arrive, met with varying degrees of welcome; some young men are absent, desperately clinging to survival in the trenches of France; and some men remain at Downton, their discontent festering.

Robert, ever the honorable patriarch, struggles with the uneasiness of a diminished house and the suspicion that the uniform he wears is empty. The Crawley women, too, attempt to find their place in the new climate, as Isobel helps chart a new course for one sister and Branson exerts his influence over yet another. Among the servants, love is in the air O'Brien being, as always, the exception until Bates makes a decision that crushes the hearts of the two people who love him most.

News about Matthew stuns the house, and Mary has a revelation of her own. Downton Abbey itself is to be made useful, transformed into a convalescent home for wounded officers. In wartime, not even the seemingly immutable Dowager Countess, Violet, remains entirely unchanged!
The first season was delightful, if somewhat cheesy, fun -- and it also boasted a very attractive cast, including Michelle Dockery.

Will Bates and Anna get together? Will Miss O'Brien's evilness be revealed? Will Carson lose a little more of his sanity in trying to wrangle the serving staff? Will the Dowager Countess sniff derisively at Cousin Isobel? Will Lady Edith ever find love? Will Lady Sybil become a bomb-throwing anarchist? Will cousins Matthew and Mary admit their feelings for one another? Will Matthew survive the carnage of the Western Front? Most importantly, will there be endless discussions about the entail and the inheritance problems?

Anyone else looking forward to this tonight?
"When David Marcus cited the great thinkers of history -- "Newton, Einstein, Surak" -- Newt Gingrich did not make his list." -- 24 January 2012
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