Waiting for the Return of Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey first aired on PBS in January 2011. Shortly after that I watched the whole first season in one afternoon on Netflix Instant. Having seen more British drama series than I can count, this is definitely one of the best I’ve watched in awhile. I devoured it and immediately couldn’t wait for the second season to premier. Sadly it won’t air in the US until January 2012 — a full year after the first season. So, what should you watch to fill the Downton Abbey void? Here are two mini-series that might help you get through the next few months:

North and South

North and South is based on the novel by Elizabeth Gaskell and follows the story of young Margaret Hale. Her family moves to a dreary northern industrial town, where she meets the stern John Thornton (played by PA Kat’s favorite Richard Armitage). I can’t tell you how much I loved this one. If it weren’t already available on Netflix Instant, I would seriously consider buying it on DVD. (It could sit on the shelf next to my copy of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth.) You can watch North and South on Netflix Instant or Amazon Instant Video.

Wives and Daughters 

Wives and Daughters is also based on a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. I haven’t read any Elizabeth Gaskell but these two mini-series are definitely making me rethink that. Wives and Daughters follows young Molly Gibson, the only daughter of a widowed doctor living in a provincial English town. The story has everything you’d want out of a period drama — unrequited love, broken engagements, deep dark secrets, and of course, a happy ending. You can watch Wives and Daughters on Netflix Instant or Amazon Instant Video.