Now that winter has finally and actually set in, the need for any sort of escape from the cold is greater than ever. I’ve chosen to escape into a historical fiction television series that I am now completely obsessed with.

Downton Abbey on Flee Fly Flown

I only first heard of the Masterpiece Classic show in December on NPR. Having always been a fan of British Period anything, I was instantly curious. I managed to get through all 8 episodes of the first season over my Christmas break, just in time for the Season 2 premier last Sunday, 1/8. Feel free to judge.

Downton Abbey, at its series beginning, is set in 1912 at the country estate of Lord Crawley Grantham, his wife and three young-adult daughters. It’s a time of change both in the world at large and within the walls of DA. Originally introduced to the “upstairs/downstairs” lives of wealthy Brits and their servants in Gosford Park (another piece by DA creator Julian Fellows), Downton Abbey, develops this concept and each characters story even further. The ‘hook’ of the first season lies in the need for a male heir for Downton Abbey’s estate.

And of course, the costumes, house and set are amazing, so just for that alone, you should probably watch.

Downton Abbey on Flee Fly Flown

Since this discovery is so new to me, I’m only just learning that I’m one of the thousands of obsessed fans. There are several books about the series and the New York Times recently provided a “Downton Abbey” themed reading lists for fans (thanks for sharing, E!).

So if, like me, you finally have snow on the ground wherever you are, I highly recommend you hunker down on the couch this weekend and catch up on the show. You can watch a lot of full episodes online and the first season is available to stream on Netflix. Season 2 Episode 2 will air on Sunday on PBS.

Now run along, have a spot of tea and enjoy…

- Colleen McIntyre on Flee Fly Flown