This is one in an occasional series, "Queue It Up," in which we review films and shows on Netflix Instant that are worth your time.
The Brits are lightyears ahead of us when it comes to miniseries, and last night's showing at the Emmys was just a reflection of that fact. "Downton Abbey" won big at the awards, beating out favorite "Mildred Pierce" for best miniseries and taking the gold home for directing, writing and supporting actress Maggie Smith.
The series is one of the most well-crafted dramas ever to grace my queue, no surprise considering it's brought to us by "Gosford Park" screenwriter Julian Fellowes. Set in the years preceding World War I, ITV’s 7-episode series follows the aristocratic Crawleys and the staff that serves them. The show doesn't restrict its drama to one quarter of the house -- the consequences of the cook’s botched pudding seem as weighty as the dwindling marriage prospects of Mary, the eldest Crowley daughter. Its dual viewpoints -- those who are rebelling against the class system and those fighting to uphold it -- allows for the sort of scandals that, in so many shows, are rarely both satisfying and believable.
We've been tracking "Downton Abbey"'s meteoric rise to success since its PBS broadcast garnered it a following on this side of the Atlantic, and there is bound to be a steady flow of speculation as we await the punitively distant premiere of Season 2 on January 8, 2012. At least those of you who haven’t seen it yet have plenty of time to catch up.
Check out "Downton Abbey" on Netflix Instant, and watch a teaser for it below.