You may be going through the seven stages of grief now that Downton Abbey has officially come to an end. If so, and you’ve had proper time to mourn, then hopefully you’re at the acceptance stage and ready to move on. We understand there will be no true replacement for the beloved show, but we will give it a go with a list of suggestions. At the least, these 10 programs may act as a buffer during this tough time (especially if you’re still stuck in the denial stage). And, who knows, there may be a Downton movie the road to ease the anxiety.
PBS already has plans for the DA timeslot, working on the TV show Victoria, but that’s set for 2017; here are 10 suggested fixes to fill the void … NOW:
1. The Buccaneers
If you feel a tinge of guilt moving on to another show, why not take a step back and enjoy the comfort of an old favorite like 1995’s The Buccaneers. The miniseries adaptation of Edith Wharton‘s story revolves around four wealthy American sisters who travel to London in search of husbands of stature. Back in NYC they were looked down on as “new money,” but in England they have a lot of pull. The girls grapple with the moral dilemma of marrying for social status versus romance.
2. The Grand
Former Doctor Who writer and showrunner Russell T Davies also created the 1997 series The Grand. The series is set in Manchester, England in the 1920s. The Bannerman family re-opens their establishment the Grand Hotel, following the end of WWI. The story revolves the family, their hotel, and its staff. And of course their guests who come in and out.
3. Northanger Abbey
We know it’s not the same, but with the 2007 TV movie having the word “Abbey” in its title, we thought it might take the edge off in terms of getting over DA. The TV adaptation of Jane Austen‘s story stars Felicity Jones as the heroine and Tom Hiddleston‘s doppelgänger JJ Feild as her love interest. Jones portrays teenager Catherine Morland, who goes to Bath, England on holiday. She catches the eye of two gentleman suitors, Henry Tilney (Feild) and John Thorpe (William Beck). What’s a girl to do?
4. Upstairs Downstairs
You may have already binged on Upstairs Downstairs prior to being introduced to DA. But it doesn’t hurt to return to a trusty friend in a time of crisis. Re-watching the series may be new to you if it’s been a while. The 2010 series picks up six years after the original 3-part series concluded in 1975. The series found on Hulu is set in 1936, with Rose Buck (Jean Marsh) running an employment agency for domestic servants, ultimately building a strong staff for 165 Eaton Place. Rose works on behalf of Sir Hallam (Ed Stoppard) and Lady Agnes Holland (Keeley Hawes).
On the other hand, Cloudstreet may actually be new to you, like the Australian cousin to DA. The 2011 series is based in Perth, taking place in the 1940s and 1950s. The three-part series is based on Tim Winton‘s novel, which follows two families who come to live under one roof on at One Cloud Street.
6. The Princess’s Man
Now we’re getting into new territory, literally, moving our attention to North Korea. The 2011 series The Princess’s Man is set in the Joseon era, following a princess and a nobleman who are in love, but their fathers are rivals. Does the story of star-crossed lovers sound familiar? The dialogue is in Korean with English subtitles.
The 2011 series Isabel was filmed in Spain, and is in Spanish with English subtitles. The story follows the Queen of Castile, Isabella the Catholic (Michelle Jenner). The series is set in the 15th century, where we meet Isabel as a child. We watch her grow up, marry, and take the throne. It’s no easy task, though.
8. Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn doesn’t have a hotel like in The Grand nor is there a congenial staff as seen in DA or Upstairs Downstairs. The 2014 series follows an orphaned girl who is sent to Cornwall, England to live with her aunt and uncle at their inn. She soon realizes the inn is not what it seems and is actually a front for her uncle’s smuggling ring. No guests stay here, and she will have to pull down her own bed cover.
9. Another Period
If you’re finding it difficult to swap in a new show, the 2015 American TV series Another Period might be the comic relief you need. Another Period spoofs reality TV shows but with characters from the 19th century. The story revolves around two sisters trying to get themselves married off, with no concern for others’ welfare.
10. Mercy Street
Mercy Street just kicked off in 2016 and is currently available on Amazon Prime. Maybe PBS planned ahead, knowing we’d be looking for DA-like programs to binge on. Based on true events, Mercy Street covers the front lines of the American Civil War and spills into the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia.
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