Downton Abbey S1-6Watch full episodes now
To binge Downton Abbey is to be drawn into another, gentler world, where everyone dressed up for dinner, and everyone knew their place. Either you were to the manor born, like the aristocratic Crawley family, or you belonged downstairs, like the servants who keep their stately home running.
The story kicks off with the sinking of the Titanic, which takes the heirs presumptive to the Earldom of Grantham down with it. The current Earl has no sons, so the title will pass to a distant cousin. Enter Matthew Crawley and his independent mother to shake up the family.
Meanwhile, downstairs, the relentlessly ordered life of the servants is disrupted by the arrival of the new valet, a mysterious man with a dark secret.
In six seasons, Downton Abbey not only takes you on a journey through the fictional lives of the Crawleys and their staff; it also takes you on a journey through history, as the family faces the changing world of the early 20th century. While it’s certainly relentlessly nostalgic, it also addresses very modern issues, like class, race, money and politics.
And if that still doesn’t convince you to watch, then stream it solely for the endless pleasures of watching Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham, who is as gloriously rude and insulting as only the truly posh can be.