Now, I'll continue to analyse the rest of the cast.
Earl Grantham, seems to be sensible man and a good judge of character. He is tradtional, but obviously not as much as his mother. he tries to guide his family to make sure their behaviour is not wanting. He is not proud of his past as it seems that he married his wife for her money, because the his estate was in dire conditoins without it. The Earl refuses to delink the estate from the title, as he doesn't want to 'hollow it out', by making it title not backed by any wealth. If he had agreed to do so Mary would still have her inheritance from her mother's dowry/wealth.
Instead he graciously invites Matthew to stay at a residence at Downton Abbey, to learn how to take care of the estate. He is the most welcoming member of the family. As the other resent the intrusion, look down upon him, and regret that their home and wealth will be lost to him.
Matthew gets off to a bad start with Mary, but they make amends, and in Season 1 fall in love and Matthew proposes to Mary. However, due to complications...Cora becomes pregnant there is a chance that she may have a son and thus Matthew may end up inheriting nothing and going back to his modest life as a country solictor. Mary's Aunt advises her against the match and to wait until after the birth of the child. The Dowager , Mary's granny, surprising turns out tobe a romantic and advises Mary to accept him now, because if she refuses delays him now he won't accept her later. Mary is swayed by her aunt that she wouldn't be able to live without luxuries and declines his offer.
In the mean time the devilish O' Brian has misunderstood Cora's conversation that she overheard. She thinks Cora is looking for anotehr lady's maid and is going to fire her for stirring the pot and various problems she causes by scheming with Thomas, which the Earl would like her to do, she overhears the Earl as well).
I find Cora silly, what I mean is she is no judge of charachter and seems not be able to read between the lines, or control her daughters or be passioante about anything besides not liking her mother-in-law. She has a languid existence which as mistress of house does not seem appropriate. At times she looks Mary's age which is remarkable. She is so dependant and influenced by O' Brian. I want to scream when she plays into O'Brian' arms like child.
While Cora is taking a bath, O'Brian on purpose leaves a bar of soap lying near the bath tub, wanting the pregnant Cora to fall and lose the baby. Suddenly, she feels remorseful, and justs as she changes her mind of doind something so evil, (she tells herself this is not her) we hear Cora's scream as she falls.
Cora loses the baby, Matthew is the heir again and when Mary wants to get back together with him he refuses- both seem heart broken.It is very touching. And WWI breaks out.
Mr Bates is the Earl's valet, he was with the Earl in the war, and has his utmost trust. He has a limp and arrives and is the underdog. He seems to have a spotless character, stands up for the weak, and for what is right, and tries to the right thing. In Season 2 he sacrfices his love of Anna for the sake of the Earl;s family and their reputation. A very noble and honourable man,a gentleman without a title. (He was in North and South as well.)
Anna is the sensible, sweet, caring maid who falls in love Mr.Bates. They seem meant for each other. Just as loyal, honest and kind. Anna is also privy to Mary's secret and perfectly loyal despite all that.
Mrs Hughes the housekeeper, and Carson the butler are older characters, strict, disciplined, they have sacrificed their lives by working for Downton Abbey and are generally good people. The butler is amusing in his pompous ways- esp when he tries to practise answering the telephone-quite an eccentric character beautifully portrayed.
The point I have watched in Season 2 Mary still loves Matthew, and as he's home for war she struggles to tell him in case he never returns; he is engaged to another woman. Mary is having to consider rather uncomventional proposals, mainly because her sister Edith has spread rumour of her having tainted her charachter by sleeping with a Turkish diplomat that stayed and died at Downton Abbey.- That episode really shows that though this maybe a period drama its for present day audiences- I think if the screenplay was published as book in the 1920s there would be an outcry!
Mary's attempts at keeping a brave front while she still has feeling for Matthew is moving to watch and one of the reasons I watch the show.
My ususual T.V fodder contains comedies the likes of How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory; soap drams like Grey's Anatomy (I'm very behind at the mo), and The Vampire Diaries (I'm waiting for them to start showing it on T.V) . I'm so used to watching most shows once the season's finished or at least three-quarters finished, so that I'll watch two episodes of a comedy a day or an episode of a series on a daily basis. I cannot wait a week. Although I try to pace myself and watch The Vampire Diaries once it comes on MBC here, and watch it weekly, its more enjoyable watching it on my T.V rather than laptop; also keeps my obsession in check, somewhat. I started watching Downton Abbey as a 'filler' until I decided to watch my regular series, and who'd have thought I'd turn into an enthusiastic and loyal viewer.
Anyway, I digress. What I'm trying to say is that Downton Abbey isn't the usual T.V viewing for most people, who watch American exports, but the chnage has been a breath of fresh air, and has turned out be a hit in the U.K, and well received enough to be aired for a second season in the U.S and recommisioned for a third season. In 2011 it entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the 'most critically acclaimed television show' for the year, becoming the first British show to win the accolade. Apparently 'slow T.V' is making a comeback! I just wish they'd add more episodes to the series, I'll forget everything before the next series comes out.
Let me know what you think of the show, and my review, I'm midway Season 2 so don't tell me how it ends, I like suspense.