The program is populated with wonderfully quirky and lovable characters. There are even a few sniveling villains thrown in for balance. We follow their adventures and misadventures from the servants domain in the basement to the family residence on the uppers floors, and the drawing rooms, libraries, and halls in between. The family and their servants evolve into a complex society of interdependent parts. None is more delightful than the dowager Countess played by Maggie Smith. I think that she must have brought her own writers just to compose her lines. She has all the best ones.
It took some effort for us to catch up with the first two seasons of Downton Abbey which have already been aired in America. We found the first season in its entirety on Netflix. No problem there. We were already subscribers. The entire second season is available on Hulu Plus. We signed up for a free week and watched every episode. Inasmuch as Hulu Plus doesn't offer any advantage to our viewing habits, we canceled it. Sorry about that.
The show is a delightful diversion, fully worth the effort of chasing down past episodes, even if you have to sign up for a new Internet service to gain access. Throw a bone to your conscience and pay for a month or two if it helps, but hurry, season three is commencing this coming Sunday.