You love it, your friends love it, even your friend who hates everything loves it. No one, it seems, has a bad word to say about Downton Abbey. The Emmys even did what the BAFTAs couldn't, awarding four statues to the show including Best Miniseries. But even better than that—Guinness World Records has also weighed in on the subject, naming Downton Abbey "Most Critically-Acclaimed Series of 2011" based on a 92% rating by Metacritic. Downton Abbey now joins award-winners such as "Most Needles Inserted into the Head" and "Largest Whoopee Cushion" in the venerable publication. (The Dowager would love that!) Downton Abbey is the first British TV show to win the award, prompting its Executive Producer Gareth Neame to say it "[confirms] the UK's status as the home of world-class drama."
It's with good reason that the show enjoys so many accolades: episode after episode of stellar writing by Julian Fellowes; a great cast that includes Dame Maggie Smith alongside up-and-comers like Dan Stevens; and my personal favorite, Brendan Coyle as John Bates, the valet with a past, a limp and a heart of gold. Whoever started Bates' Facebook page put it best: "Is it possible to fall in love with a fictional fortysomething gentleman's valet from 1914? You bet it is!"
Season 2 has just premiered in the UK, but we here will have to wait until January 8th for the answers to questions such as: Will Bates and Anna be thwarted by the untimely arrival of Mrs. Bates? (Is it a coincidence that the mom in Psycho had the same name?) Will Lady Mary and Cousin Matthew reunite? Or would Cousin Matthew rather go fight in the War? So until then, feel free to watch the trailer several hundred times, and watch this space for updates.