If you aren’t a devotee of PBS’s Downton Abbey, well...it’s a new year, time to start. Each new season of the period drama has been so anticipated that last year First Lady Michelle Obama couldn’t wait for season three and was granted a rare sneak peek–along with a promise to not share a whisper with anyone else–to see it in advance of the airing.
That’s where Downton Abbey takes its viewers–into obsession, into a world apart, a world gone by, an elitist world we might rail against in real life, but which we adore on the small screen.
The series began in the U.S. on Sept. 23, 2010 as part of Masterpiece Classic on PBS. On Jan. 5 season four begins. Set in the period between the end of the Edwardian Era in 1912 and 1922, when the current season opens, Downton Abbey takes place in the fictional Yorkshire country estate and follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants. There has been the sinking of and a death on the Titanic, the onset of World War I, the Spanish Influenza pandemic and a plethora of scandals over three seasons, including a dead foreigner in a principle’s bed.
There has also been culture clash, class drama, romance and rivalries galore.
Here are five more reasons to watch:
The incomparable beauty of the English countryside is breathtaking. Downton Abbey the place is simply spectacular. Who among us didn’t want to grow up in a "castle" with gigantic rooms and secret passageways, floor to ceiling books and of course–a ballroom. This place is exactly what we had in mind. Of course we would be above stairs, not below....