Downton Abbey is a total television phenomenon. So much so that this PBS Masterpiece Classic was added to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011 as the most critically acclaimed TV show in the English language. More than American Idol. More than The Sopranos?! That's saying something.
If you're a
fan, which you are, whether you know it or not, you'll enjoyPaper Magazine's
photos comparing the actors' looks both on- and offscreen. The familiar faces from the program, transformed into real-life people, with tacky makeup and too much hair product, is mesmerizing. There's so much to know about these actual folks. There's a whole new world of celebrity to obsess over. Move your big fat ass over, Kim Kardashian; we've got a new hang-up. We said, move over.
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The historical-fiction aspect allows men to pretend that's the reason they're watching, not because they're worried about whether Daisy marries William before he croaks. They're watching because they care about WWI. It's about history, not kisses. At least that's what they could say when questioned.
Finally, it's fun to look at. Elizabeth McGovern as Countess of Grantham is a great beauty, and Michelle Dockery as Mary is subtly glamorous. Matthew's a cutie too, not an obvious babe, but he grows on ya. And who doesn't want to live in Downton? It's a little roomy, but all the better to hide the dead bodies in.