Far too often, British programs get a bad reputation by most American audiences. But when the hit show, Downton Abbey cleaned up at last year’s awards shows, it proved that British programming still had a place on American airwaves. Forget that it was largely shut out at this year’s Emmys. Downton Abbey is more proof of the value of PBS. And now fans of this standout serial drama can own the show’s first two seasons on Blu-ray in a single set.
PBS released the first two seasons of Downton Abbey to a very special Blu-ray gift set last month. The set contains every episode aired so far, including the special Christmas episode. So one who has never seen this show might ask what is the big deal over it, right? Right. So much goes into Downton Abbey to make it a show that any drama lover would enjoy. Yes, it’s a period show. But as is pointed out in the included “Making of” bonus feature, a lot of work went into maintaining the show’s believability. The crew behind the show went to painstaking efforts to properly reconstruct the setting inside the house, from the rooms to the costumes, and other even more minute details. Audiences will gain even more appreciation for every drama filled episode after viewing this bonus feature, and the others. Each one intertwines with the other and the episodes themselves to make for a fully immersive viewing experience.
The episodes contained in this set, and the included bonus features make for a wonderful viewing experience. They are just one part of the overall picture that makes this new gift set perfect for any fan of Downton Abbey. As minute as it is, even the set’s packaging plays a role in its overall success. The Blu-ray packaging sees the first two seasons distributed across five discs. Rather than placing them into a bulky box, each disc gets its own space on inserted “leaves.” This is a doubly positive packaging effort. On one hand, placing the discs in this fashion protects them, reducing the possibility of each disc being scratched. This in turn preserves them, allowing them to be viewed for much longer than less wisely packaged discs. In combination with the safety of the discs, their packaging also makes the overall packaging ergonomically sound. The manner in which the discs were placed allowed the box in which they were placed to be smaller than other boxes. This means the box as a whole will take up less space on anyone’s DVD/Blu-ray rack.
Whether for the packaging or the bonus features, or for the well written episodes themselves, PBS’ new release of Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 comes together to be a good fit for any fan of the show this holiday season. Fans can avoid the crowds and order it just as easily via PBS’ online store, http://www.shoppbs.org.
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