Okay. But seriously. I know this show has gotten totally blown up huge, but I really feel like it was tailor made for my particularly quirks and kinks. The writing is in-freaking-credible, as is, of course, the acting. Of the entire bleeping cast. But right, I'll try and calm down enough to talk about why this show is so brilliantly fantastically amazing best thing ever and what we can learn from it.
Again, a brilliant entire cast. Every single character is complex and developed. They are generally sympathetic, but have flaws, sometimes pretty major ones, and even the very unsympathetic characters (Thomas and O'Brien) have small moments of potential sympathy inducing redemption. (Thomas and the blind soldier anyone?). This kind of character complexity is satisfyingly realistic, because we are all like that. We see people trying their best and sometimes doing the wrong thing and we can relate. The closest I can come to as full and complex a cast is Harry Potter.
The setting is absolutely gorgeous. Meticulously gorgeous.
The drama/story/plot is a really good mix of what I call world stakes and personal stakes. We have big world stakes like the Titanic and, you know, a world war, but we really care about these things and are drawn into them through the characters eyes and their "less" significant personal stakes like romantic drama and bickering old (hilarious) ladies and floral arrangement competitions and trying to do ones job with a limp. On a related note, why are limps so sexy? (see John Bates; Gregory House)
John Bates!!! Ah!!! Bates and Anna are my favorite thing ever. Every good story is at it's heart a love story, with lots of good pining and wishing and this show has it in spades. Mary and Mathew, Bates and Anna, and now we just need Edith and that boring old guy to end up together. And what about Lord Crawley's period of loneliness? Is he going to be okay?
It is all about characters, and caring about them, and this show proves it. This show would still be the awesomest thing ever if it was only this:
Enjoy :) And do yourself a favor, if you haven't already, and watch this show.