Allow me to start off by saying I truly enjoyed Downton Abbey. I watched the first season and found myself enamored with the lives of both the upstairs and downstairs dwellers.
I kept up with the series through season 2 and appreciated the historical detail that went into everything from the dinnerware and draperies to the tragedies and triumphs of WWI.
That said, somewhere along the way, Downtown Abbey lost me.
I can't exactly say why or when or at what episode, but I stopped obsessively setting my DVR and my Sunday nights became a bit freer.
It's a pity too, because as a jewelry designer, I particularly enjoyed the costuming and walked away with a renewed appreciation for England circa the 1910's.
However, all is not lost, and where Downtown Abbey left a gaping historical-fiction-television drama size hole, Ripper Street walked right in to fill it.
Have you seen the new BBC series?
It is superb.
And I haven't thrown that word around since Jeremy Brett's masterful portrayal of literature's greatest detective. (Yes, I watched it on reruns as it did air the year after I was born.)
Ripper Street follows the story of Edmund Reid, the Whitechapel detective responsible for investigating Jack the Ripper.
Here he is in the middle flanked by his Sergeant Drake (left) and his American surgeon-turned-coroner Jackson (right).
(If he looks familiar to you, there's probably a reason.)
I won't go on and on about the series, you must absolutely watch it for yourself.
The characters are engrossing and each one has a deep, dark secret that has yet to completely reveal itself.
An American madam running a British brothel...
The detective's wife, a soul in perpetual mourning...
The plots are thick, the dialogue is transporting (I almost feel as though I'm watching events unfold from a wooden bench in H Division circa 1890's), the set design and costuming are award-worthy and I honestly can't express enough the brilliance with which each and every actor on the cast plays their part.
Oh, and the best part?
If you're still nose deep in Downton drama, Ripper Street airs on Saturday nights, which works out perfect for this Ripper convert!