Better than I possibly hoped.
I love period pieces and British drama, and both of those run the risk of being overdone, but Downton Abbey is balanced; grounded in reality, with the intrigue, joys, and agonies of everyday life woven masterfully, and subtly.
I didn't think it possible to keep track of, and sympathize with, so many diverse characters.
But I have simply devoured this series!!
And speaking of history--the way true events play as an undercurrent to the personal lives of these characters is remarkable (for instance, Season 1 opens with the sinking of the Titanic and concludes with the declaration of WWI).
The costumes are gorgeous and the settings wonderful! And the dialogue is sassy yet believable.
And my favorite element of the series: Maggie Smith.
She is so badass and I have loved her for years, and her character in Downton Abbey is a lovely fit!
It's a slow starter, but this isn't supposed to be Breaking Bad.
And it gets soooooooooo good.