It still surprises me how much love this series gets. I remember watching the first season last year with my mom, and we both thought it was decent enough, but nothing amazing. There wasn't an episode that left me craving more, or had my jaw dropping, unlike other British period dramas have in the past. Again, I liked it, but there's still that lingering surprise that it became as popular as it did/still is.
So here we are at Season 2. I'm happy that all of the characters are back, and there's already a Season 3 in the works. Woot, woot, anyone?
Anyway, time for the unnecessary episode recap. It's two years after the first series ended. Cousin Matthew is off fighting in the war, and nasty Thomas is also out in the trenches working in the medical field. He's still nasty, for the most part. He showed some humanity later on, which was a pleasant surprise, but I suspect he'll go back to being a thorough jackass soon enough.
Matthew is engaged to someone who may or may not be a gold-digging ho. Mary is aiming (we think) to become engaged to an older douchey man from London who runs the gossip rags. Mary still loves Matthew, of course, and it's likely Matthew is on the same boat, but we'll have to wait awhile to find out if that has a happy ending.
Middle sister, and sometimes meanie, Edith is helping out on a local farm. And just when you think she's going to be a good girl and not cause trouble, she turns around and becomes unlikable again. This time she starts smooching the married farmer...pretty much in front of his wife. I was confused watching this, because they both acted as if he wasn't married, yet the jealous eye of the woman who must be his wife tells me otherwise. And they have a baby. Nice going, Edith. You too, farmer dude.
My favorite sister, Sybil, is determined to help anyway she can, and thus trains to be a nurse. I really like her, always have. I wish there was more focus put on her. I think there will be, given that Branson is still in love with her, and she's aiding the wounded soldiers at home.
Meanwhile, daddy Robert, The Earl Of Grantham, wishes he could fight in the war. Instead he has to watch other, younger men go off and fight, which causes some tension.
Downstairs, so to speak, Bates' life is turned upside down, and that of his would-be wife, Anna. O'Brien is still a right biatch. My problem with that character is that there really are people like her, and me no like that! Why does no one see her for what she is?
William is also eager to join the war effort, as well as ask Daisy to be his girl. I can't believe it's been over two years and he still hasn't done that. That man is slow to act.
This was a good start to the season. I have to have at least one gripe, of course. I wasn't always happy with the way they jumped from scene to scene, story to story. It wasn't fluid, and I think it's hard to give adequate attention to so many story lines and characters in one episode.
Overall, though, it was very good. I'm not in love with it, but I'm looking forward to the next episode. And I just adore Maggie Smith! She injects such a nice amount of humor, and she has the best lines. I'm always happy when she's in a scene.
Episode grade: B+