User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 130

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  1. Apr 6, 2014
    9
    Season 2 takes us to the trenches. During the first season we got acquainted with the Grantham family and now we follow them through the vagaries of the war. The main “story” is still the difficult romance between Mary and Matthew (two most attractive actors, forming an engaging couple), but we are also introduced to a new love story crossing social classes: Sybil and Tom, the chauffeur.

    The staff gets its share of heartache, too. Anna and Mr. Bates are a doomed couple of lovers, if ever there was one and Daisy has some trouble of her own. The end of the war will be marked by the great forgotten tragedy of the Spanish flu. However, some happy ending is in sight.
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  2. Aug 15, 2013
    10
    Every bit as good as the first season and sometimes even better, Downton Abbey: Season 2 features the same cast of characters we grew to love along with a few delightful additions. Few other shows can provoke such a vastly diverse set of reactions to its characters throughout the course of a series, changing your perspectives on once beloved or once despised characters.
  3. May 21, 2013
    2
    Downton Abbey was a solid period soap opera in its first season. Season two devolved into a lot of nonsense, almost like bad daytime soaps. Very disappointing.
  4. Jan 9, 2013
    10
    Although season 2 has more soapy elements than season 1, it is still more entertaining and fans would not be disappointed. Downton Abbey remains as one of the best televesion shows in modern days and we are witnessing a real TV phenomenon.
  5. Oct 16, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A little disappointing after the amazing first season. Still very solid and entertaining, but there are a couple of problems this time around. First off am I the only one that is tired of O'Brien and Thomas's sch-tick? I know the writers are trying to have some antagonists in this show, but i don't feel this is the type of show that needs villains. The stories are plenty rich enough and there are enough interesting characters without these plot points. My second biggest problem is Robert's semi fling with one of the maids. This seems very out of character, especially for a man who is so concerned with the perception of his family's relationships. I know this is probably meant to be part of the point of this story arc, but we are never given a reason to believe that these two people would have such a connection. One final thread that took me out of this season was bringing back a wounded soldier who is believed to be the former heir who was presumed dead on the Titanic. Not only was this story line implausible, it ended as quickly as it began, with little to no emotional hook. Not all was bad at Downton, most characters were as rich as ever, the scenery was amazing, and you get a real feel that this is how life was in these type of homes during this time period. The references to America and up and coming technology feel very real and are quite humorous. The acting is excellent with very little exception. There were also more than a couple of plot threads to enjoy, I am looking forward to a third season. Expand
  6. Oct 8, 2012
    3
    Much like the first season, the second season creates a captivating world in its sets and costumes, but the writing is lazy and cartoonish. Eight years pass from the beginning of the first season to the end of the second season, and no attempt whatsoever is made to age the characters. In one episode, some attempt is finally made to give the villains some depth and motivation, but it's fleeting, and many of the characters remain one-dimensional. For a soap opera, this is probably the best of its kind, but the writing is too weak to validate all the accolades. Expand
  7. Jun 25, 2012
    8
    i'm almost embarrassed to say i not only watch but ENJOY this show. its unmistakably british in its pomp and aristocracy reflecting what is now happening to the widening gap between social classes in the rest of the world. old lady grantham is epic and i sit on the edge of my seat waiting for her to mutter something socially unacceptable but brutally honest. good casting, writing, sets and wardrobe (whatever its called in the movie industry)... overall a good show you can easily get hooked on. Expand
  8. Jun 10, 2012
    9
    Season 2 of Downton Abbey was even better than the first season. The cast is simply amazing, particularly Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, and Maggie Smith. I thought the series did an excellent job of capturing the mood of the home front during World War I, as well as showing some of the disillusionment it all caused. Furthermore this season gave more time with Edith and Sybil, who were somewhat overlooked in the first season, and allowed their characters to grow. My only problem with Season 2 was the Bates/Anna love story, which I thought was stretched a bit to much. There were to many times when their lives were perfect and then Bats' evil wife does something to destroy that leading Bates to say that they can never marry. Overall though, it's a great season in a great series. Expand
  9. May 14, 2012
    9
    A solid show I never thought I would like but the stories grab you even though there are super cheesy moments but they are rare enough that they don't ruin the show.
  10. Apr 22, 2012
    9
    Beautiful cinematography. This starts out around 1912. Great story and acting. Excellent character development. This is well worth watching. I recommend it highly!
  11. Apr 11, 2012
    10
    I've never liked a period drama before, but this got such good reviews, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did! I watched both seasons over the course of four days, and now I just want more. It's written incredibly well. There is SO much dialogue, but it's all worth hearing. Little quips here, wise advice there, etc. The music is also spectacular. I'm of the belief that a show without good music loses some of its emotion, but the music is present in this show, and it's beautiful. And of course, no show is any good without great characters, and I must say, every character shown on the box is fleshed out realistically, and plays a large role in the story. This show is certainly not for everyone, but it's at least worth a viewing. Expand
  12. Mar 28, 2012
    9
    Good acting, crisp direction and editing. It is very well done. The only fault I find with it is that it is too unfocused and resorts to making Mary and Matthew behave absurdly to create the main conflict. The characters then seem less real and more like instruments of contriving the plot.
  13. Feb 21, 2012
    9
    There are so many things to love about this show. The characters, the dialogue, the acting, the scenery and the costumes: when I watch this series, I really feel like I've been transported to another era, which seems a bit cliche, except that many period shows don't manage to do this.
  14. Feb 1, 2012
    1
    This really isn't a bad show! It's just really boringâ
  15. Jan 30, 2012
    7
    The thrill is gone, and we're left with just a basic masterpiece series. Now that we've seen the characters we lack any development or much prolonged interest in their situations. The nastier denizens of the downstairs have softened, the upstairs sisters have made up, and the Earl continues to be clueless of the machinations around him. And Maggie Smith still gets the best lines. Much more fascinating was the recent documentary on PBS about Manor houses with tunnels to keep the servants and upper class from seeing each other, and the nearly destitute servant class. Expand
  16. Jan 11, 2012
    9
    I thought Season 1 was a 10, but, after viewing the first episode of season 2, am giving this season a 9. Season 1 went to great depths to show the different manners, customs, technology, etc that existed in the English countryside in 1914. I felt like a voyeur at times, getting a special glimpse into the lives of everyone at Downton Abbey. I was in awe after each episode.

    While I
    thoroughly enjoyed this episode, it did NOT transport me back to another place in time. Instead, it felt more like a family reunion where you get to catch up on what everyone's up to. Still, it was fun getting all the updates, and I will certainly tune in again next week! Expand
  17. Jan 9, 2012
    10
    Downton Abbey, is simply delicious to watch, a sweetness in this cruel world. I like everything in this series, the characters, the costumes, the period, a great success as the first season.
  18. Jan 8, 2012
    3
    Not a bad show, but another of he endless glimpses of British history that the British TV and film execs cannot seem to shake, and get to modern times. But this is what the people of the British Isles relish too, like those old Music Hall shows. WWII seems to have put an end to the British quest to portray themselves as modern ambitious and talented people in a complex world. Instead every program, and so many movies, wallow in the Jane Austin's and counterintelligence groups that once did live in Britain and only stay on in some people's minds. Hooray to those viewers who like this material, but hey it might be time to move on. Expand
  19. Oct 10, 2011
    8
    After finishing the 1st season and discovering that a 2nd was about to begin in Britain, I set out to find a legal way to watch them as they were shown, or at least soon after. After some searching, I found a place, paid my $10 and have enjoyed 4 weeks of viewing ecstasy since then. Equally as enthralling as the 1st season, the 2nd season has kept me completely invested and expectantly waiting for the next episode. Expand
  20. Sep 21, 2011
    9
    Okay - perhaps it's a bit early to review this one yet, but my initial feeling after seeing the 1st episode of the 2nd season is a happy one. Downton Abbey does have characters and story-lines and twists that we have all seen before many many times - in books, in films and in television period dramas, but it delivers them to us in such glorious packaging and in such beautiful surroundings that we can kid ourselves that it is all so new and original. Oh - and Maggie Smith is a delight as usual.

    The 1st episode held my interest, made me laugh, and it brought a tear to the eye. So far, so good. If it turns out bad, I'll come back and edit this - but I am fairly confident that I won't have to.
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Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Feb 17, 2012
    75
    Downton Abbey remains an extremely reliable television show. The appeal of the series is its pastness, its portrait of a completely foreign culture from a land before time.
  2. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Jan 17, 2012
    70
    The British series, about the aristocratic Crawley family and their titular home, goes down so easily that it's a bit like scarfing handfuls of caramel corn while swigging champagne.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 13, 2012
    83
    Despite all the repetition and longueurs, this Downton Abbey frequently works, as the first one did, as a peppery little trifle.