Thursday, January 20, 2011
In 1913, Hugh Bonneville is Lord Grantham, and when his two his two nearest heirs die, he's left when the question of whether to fight the entail of his estate. He has three daughters, but the estate is entailed on the male line, and the next male heir is a Manchester solicitor, resolutely middle class. The wonderful Maggie Smith is the dowager Lady Grantham, who, when someone mentions having to wait until the weekend, asks, "What is a weekend?" with perfect seriousness.
Like all the best stories about English country estates, there's as much drama downstairs as up. Mr. Bates is Lord Grantham's new valet, but he has a war injury which makes him unable to do some of the duties expected of him.
Period drama is nothing new for the BBC, but they do it so well we keep watching it. This is a great show no matter how many times this sort of story has been done, and I'm excited to see the second half.