Downton Abbey Image

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 140 Ratings

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  • Summary: Season two begins in 1916, with heir Matthew Crawley fighting in the Battle of the Somme while the staff at Downton tries to keep things as they were before the war, even as the estate serves as a military rehab center.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 3, 2012
    Julian Fellowes has created such a vivid group of characters and assembled such an impeccable cast--effortlessly oscillating from comedy to drama--that the hours fly by, addictively pulling viewers from one into the next.
  2. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 6, 2012
    The emotional authenticity of Downton Abbey continues to make it a classic.
  3. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jan 9, 2012
    The series seamlessly moves between the horrors of war and the gentility of life in the show's titular 100-room manor.
  4. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 13, 2012
    Despite all the repetition and longueurs, this Downton Abbey frequently works, as the first one did, as a peppery little trifle.
  5. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Jan 9, 2012
    Appropriate to the pace and the space of series television, it welcomes you into its intrigues at a walking pace.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jan 3, 2012
    Luckily the characters are so fully formed, and so fully inhabited by the cast, that the whole mess staggers up out of the trenches and keeps going. [9 Jan 2012, p.39]
  7. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 6, 2012
    Downton Abbey lacks surprise and is stretched precariously thin, a house full of fascinating people with not nearly enough to do, all caught in a loop of weak storylines that circle round but never fully propel.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. Aug 15, 2013
    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. Expand
  2. Apr 11, 2012
    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
  3. Feb 21, 2012
    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. Expand
  4. Sep 21, 2011
    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.
  5. Oct 10, 2011
    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
  6. Jan 30, 2012
    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
  7. Feb 1, 2012
    This really isn't a bad show! It's just really boringâ

See all 20 User Reviews

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