I don't know if the series of Downton Abbey was aired in other countries, but if you do get a chance to see it, I would strongly recommend it. I love these programmes that take you back to a much gentler age and I love to see the interaction between the "upstairs" part of the house and the "below stairs".
All the characters in Downton Abbey were brilliant, but Dame Maggy Smith absolutely shone in every scene that she appeared. In fact, it looked as if she was having the time of her life whilst filming it!
TV Producers seem to be so young these days and they seem to think that all we want to watch is reality tv. They seemed to be amazed that eleven million people were tuning in every week to watch Downton Abbey.
Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not against reality shows, and love the X-Factor (especially the hilarious auditions) and I shall be glued to the television this weekend to watch the final of Strictly Come Dancing (I think it is called Dancing with the Stars in other places), but it is so good to sit down and watch a real drama programme.
My cup is now overflowing, because there is a re-make of Upstairs Downstairs being shown at Christmas. I well remember avidly following the original series in the 70's, with Hudson the Butler and Mrs Bridges the Cook. The latest chapter in the saga spans January to December 1936 - the momentous year of three kings in this country - ending with the Abdication Crisis when King Edward stood down to be with the woman he loved (Wallis Simpson) .
This type of genre does seem to be making a comeback at the moment. Only last year, we had Cranford with Dame Judi Dench. This series was set in the 1840's in the village of Cranford and had a very strong female cast, as the story focused primarily on the town's single and widowed female, middle-class inhabitants, who were comfortable with their traditional way of life and placed great store on propriety and maintaining an appearance of gentility.