• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
JAN
8
2 YEARS

'Downton Abbey' Premiere: What the Viewers are Saying

The British period drama's second season opener has Hollywood, new viewers hooked.

Maggie Smith - Supporting Actress in a Miniseries/Movie

British upstairs-downstairs drama Downton Abbey returned for a second season tonight, and though many viewers seem to be confused as to the spelling of the show's name -- hundreds tweeted about Downtown Abbey -- reaction to the premiere was overwhelmingly positive... if at times meta.

America's Next Top Model judge Andre Leon Talley gave all credit to Dame Maggie Smith, tweeting "Mazggie Smith, at the age of 77, is what keeps me glued to Downtown Abbey. Her facial ticks equal Bette Davis brillance. She's extraordinary."

PHOTOS: Golden Globe Awards: The Nominees

Actor-Comedian Patton Oswalt started a Downton countdown hours before the showed aired, then enthusiastically tweeted during the episode. Among his reactions:
"I would pay $1000 to watch Elizabeth McGovern butter toast. #DowntonPBS"
"Damn, Maggie Smith refuses sauce like a GANGSTA! #DowntonPBS"
"Sybil is the Silverlake/Park Slope trust-funder of 1916. #DowntonPBS"
"Will this war effect my hat choices?" -- every woman in the village. #DowntonPBS"
"Wait, why am I hearing distant traffic? How has L.A. not completely shut down while DOWNTON ABBEY is on? #DowntonPBS"

Comedian Michael Ian Black watches, but that doesn't mean he knows what's going on: "The thing that pisses me off about Downton Abbey is the number of times I have to say "I don't know" when my wife who any character is."

Emily B. pondered was it is about Downton that has seduced a TV-viewing nation: "@junethomas what *is* this with Downton Abbey? It's like a whole nation has been hypnotized by Harris tweed and Wedgewood china"

STORY: Review: 'Downton Abbey' Returns as Great as Ever

The second season opener seems to have drawn many viewers who are new to the series, including David E., who tweeted: "Downton Abbey: amazing what a good English accent can do to make a repressed and snobby family seem interesting. I'm hooked."

Chris H., also new to Downton, credited buzz from Twitter for his tuning in: "Twitter got me to change the channel to @PBS and Downtown Abbey on Masterpiece. #DowntonPBS. #disruption"

One of the biggest topics of conversation? How everyone keeps spelling the show's name wrong. Totes McGotes went for a meta/ironic approach: "That awkward moment when I think everyone is spelling and saying "Downtown" Abbey wrong," while Louis P. reminded us that we're all human: "Don't act like you've never spelled it "Downtown Abbey" by accident."

Other reactions from viewers included:

Margaret
"What's the worst thing Edith has done so far? The answer: everything. #DowntonPBS #hateher"

Morgan M.
"Downtown Abbey makes white nerds tweet like Kanye."

Amy C.
"I am inordinately obsessed with Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith is the countess of withering quips."

Lauren W.
"Downton Abbey makes me feel like I don't have enough bedding."

coronam
"There are some horrible humans on Downton Abbey. And then there are Anna and Mr. Bates."