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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

August 1, 2011 at 11:16 AM

The return of “Downton Abbey,” and more Brit TV

I was hooked on “Downton Abbey” earlier this year, as were many of you; just the way Maggie Smith pronounced the word “weekend” still makes me happy. (btw, I can’t remember to whom I lent my DVD copy, so if any of my friends are reading this and have it in their possession, let me know!) So it’s good news that the show will be back for a second season on PBS, starting January 8, with seven weeks of genteel country-house mayhem and pretty outfits. Am I right that January is most likely the start date not only for “Downton Abbey,” but also my favorite American TV shows “Mad Men” and “30 Rock”? Guess I won’t be leaving the house much that month.
And, speaking of British TV, this weekend I started watching “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries,” thanks to a box set kindly lent to me (though not by whoever has my “Downton Abbey” set). I love Elizabeth George’s books, and had been resisting watching the TV editions because I just wasn’t sure if they’d be able to capture the complicated chemistry between the patrician Inspector Lynley and his more gritty partner Sergeant Havers — but, thanks to actors Nathaniel Parker and Sharon Small, it’s just right. I’ve only watched the first episode, “A Great Deliverance,” so have much more to look forward to — especially Diana Rigg’s delightfully arch introductions. Anyone else a fan of this series? Or other PBS offerings?
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The great Dame Maggie Smith, as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham (I just love saying that) on “Downtown Abbey.” Someday I hope to be a Dowager Countess myself. (Photo courtesy of PBS)

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