I know this is kind of a weird thing to be posting right when the Olympics are starting, but I wanted to share some of my favorite shows/movies that I think you should all be watching. They're all accessible on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If you like Downton Abbey (and you should!) then here are a few (seriously, I have tons more!) great shows to get you through the off-season. If this list doesn't show what an Anglophile I am, then I don't know what will!
Little Dorrit: this version of Charles Dickens' novel is fantastic - and it's 14 hour long episodes so it's long! The love story(ies) are wonderful and the plot is so intricately woven with incredible characters that you have such strong emotions attached to. It's definitely worth watching, though since this is Dickens and not Austen, it's a much darker and bleak story of middle to lower class England.
Bleak House: another wonderful Charles Dickens novel that is very dark and creepy but really gripping. Don't expect warm and fuzzy from Dickens...
Cranford: an Elizabeth Gaskell novel that I love. I adore Judi Dench and she is so wonderful in this series. The entire show is sweet and wonderful and beautiful (it also really interests me because the town it was filmed in, is in my parents' mission!) This is a feel-good show and the sequel "Return to Cranford" is equally sweet.
Lark Rise to Candleford (you can even watch this on YouTube): another sweet show about two small towns in turn-of-the century England. This series has 4 seasons so there's plenty to occupy your time and there are several lovable characters.
Emma: I like this BBC version of Emma more than the Gwyneth Paltrow version (though I do love it too). This adaptation really captures Emma's character so much better. I think a lot of people wonder what Mr. Knightley ever saw in her in the first place, but it was a lot easier for me to recognize their affection for each other in this adaptation of the book.
Call the Midwife: this takes place in 1940's England and is about a group of young midwives. Every single episode brings me to tears, without fail. I love child birth and I love the stories of heart break and joy that comes with it.
The Bletchley Circle: this is a new show to me and it's kind of scary (I don't like to watch it alone at night because I'm a wimp). It's about four brilliant code-breakers during/after World War II who solve crimes with their amazing intellect and talents. Definitely fascinating and gripping.
Land Girls: takes place in the English countryside on a farm during World War II who are members of the Women's Land Army. It's not the most exciting plot in the world but I found it interesting and sweet.