Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Pan Am, Bomb Girls, Copper, Magic City to name just a few from the top of my head - they also happen to be the ones I’m watching or watched because, unfortunately some of them have been cancelled.
The show got the highest number of nominations (27) in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards. The Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Television Film is further proof of the extraordinary critical acclaim this TV show has received.
It also has an unbelievable cast: Maggie Smith is amazing as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham; we then have Hugh Bonneville (as Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham), Shirley MacLaine (as Martha Levinson), Michelle Dockery (as Lady Mary Crawley) and many more amazing actors pitching in the excellent acting department.
The episodes are well paced and not overtly dramatic avoiding the overdone feel that plagues many other series.
There are also those who criticize creator Julian Fellowes for the historical inaccuracies saying that the relationships between upstairs and downstairs are unrealistic and the servant’s workload are being sugar coated.
There might be some colorful wrapping involved but the show does a good job of exploring the issues of class and wealth covering both the aristocrats and their servants, while dealing with the important events in history and the effect on their lives.
If we were to over analyze it we could see a lot of other themes explored in Downton Abbey: the old ways vs. the new ways, the decline of aristocracy, social hierarchy, the double standard of male and female sexuality in the era and so much more.
But the bottom line is this: Downton Abbey made costume period dramas cool again; this kind of movies or TV shows are no longer considered old fashioned, boring or even taboo.
More of them are being made as we speak in hopes they will provide a similar glamorous escapism for the viewers and huge success for the producers. There’s even talk about a prequel to the show (exploring the history behind Lord and Lady Grantham).