Relive Season 1 of 'Downton Abbey'

Downton Abbey (tv program)TelevisionFeminismPBS (tv network)EntertainmentPenelope WiltonJulian Fellowes

If you missed the first season of "Downton Abbey" on PBS' Masterpiece Classic last year, you're in luck. The network is reairing the award-winning series beginning Dec. 18. (In Chicago it's on WTTW at 7 p.m.)

"Downton Abbey" follows the lives of an aristocratic British family and its servants beginning in 1912, just as the social and political landscape is in upheaval. "Gosford Park" writer Julian Fellowes weaves stories of women's suffrage, the rise of socialism and new technology with universal themes of love, betrayal and domestic politics.

With brilliant acting and intelligent writing, not to mention top-notch production values, "Downton Abbey" outdoes the 2011 update of the classic "Upstairs Downstairs." It's an outstanding look into a changing world, and brilliantly uses what happens in Downton Abbey as a metaphor to the bigger changes in the world outside the estate.

Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Dan Stevens, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Brown-Findlay and Penelope Wilton co-star.

Season 2 of "Downton Abbey" premieres at 8 p.m. Jan. 8 on PBS.

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