'Downton Abbey' Downtime: What to Watch Until Season 3

 @Justine__Ashley
on February 20 2012 5:14 PM

Last night, our beloved Downton Abbey concluded its second season. We've been on board with the show from the moment we heard the series' dramatic overture. Since then, it's been a marathon of dressing gongs, fancy dinning utensils, secret affairs, stolen glances, bitter revenge, and consistent Oh no, they didn't moments. Few shows have been able to generate such a wide range of viewers while repeatedly making audiences gasp. From dead Turkish lovers to affairs with (and between) the servants, there's been no shortage of entertainment. The alluring period drama made watching PBS hip! But alas, audiences must bid farewell to the show for now and in its absence learn to love alternate portrayals of British society in its heyday.

According to MSNBC, there's no need to turn your attention from PBS in order to curb your Abbey cravings. Tune into to the same Sunday night time-slot next week and you'll be able to enjoy the start of a four week Charles Dickens special. You'll find plenty of carefully woven stories on class differences when viewing adaptations of The Old Curiosity Shop, Great Expectations and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

For a classic tale of adoration and mystique, catch The Phantom of the Opera' at Royal Albert Hall. Set to air on March 3rd, the stunning musical has captured audiences for generations. The show's breathtaking costumes and grand production are sure to recall the glamorous nature of 'Downton'.  If you seek even more ardor and Will They/Won't They? tension, stay tuned for the April presentation of Birdsong. The heartbreaking story is based on the Sebastian Faulk novel, which is part of a trilogy. The epic tale of passionate longing, chronicles the journey of a lovesick soldier during World War I.

If you really need to be held over until the show's third season premieres, you can always re-watch Downton Abbey from the beginning. Not only is the entire series out on Blu-ray, Netflix subscribers have access to episodes via Instant Watch. Season 2 is accessible (for a limited time) on PBS.org.  

Downton Abbey has become a phenomenon in the UK and U.S. respectively. It begins with the sinking of the Titanic and illustrates a series of emotional and financial complications that extend until the conclusion of World War I. In 2010, it nabbed six Primetime Emmy awards. The show was also awarded 'Best Drama Series' at this year's Golden Globes and was even spoofed in a hilarious 'Saturday Night Live' skit. It was named by the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records as the most critically acclaimed English-language show of the year.  

Season 3 will premiere in the UK during fall 2012 on ITV and a season later in the US.  

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