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The Pohlite Blog

Netflix Pick: "Downton Abbey"

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My husband and I are avid TV watchers - our DVR is often wrought with everything from old episodes of Friends to the latest American Idol or Dexter. But perhaps our favorite thing when it comes to discovering a new television show - or better yet, one that's already been on for awhile - is being able to watch episode after episode without having to wait a week or more inbetween.

Recently, we worked our way through the second season of Boardwalk Empire, after putting it off all season in favor of Dexter on Sunday nights. And just this past weekend, thanks to the miracle of television and technology that is Netflix Watch Instantly, we delved into the world of Downton Abbey.

Season One is available to stream on Netflix, and Season Two only started airing on January 8th, meaning we might eventually be able to catch up and watch it live each week.

Downton Abbey is set around the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, when the heir of the Downton Abbey estate is killed in the wreck. That's when things get complicated for the Earl, Robert Crawley, and his family, as the estate's new heir is the modern-thinking cousin Matthew, and the future ways of Downton Abbey are uncertain.

But perhaps the most intriguing characters in the series are the maids, butlers, cooks, and other men and women who help to serve the family and run the household. We see the gossip, meddling, and opinions of those who work at Downton.

And no doubt the best character of the show is the Dowager Countess Violet Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith. Her wicked tongue and attitude allows her to steal every scene and come out with the best one-liners.

Here's a compilation of some of her best (or worst, probably) moments:


Growing up, Maggie Smith was Wendy in Hook, or the Reverend Mother in Sister Act - that is how I've always known her. Yet as the Dowager Countess, I love her even more.

Some might be unsure about watching Masterpiece Classic, but everything from the biting humor to the detail to costumes and props makes Downton Abbey an instant classic for any type of television viewer.

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