I recently got Hulu Plus and watched seasons 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey after the holidays. Thoroughly enjoyed them. Now watching Season 3 weekly, available at PBS.org. I find the writing a bit uneven this season, esp for Shirley McLain's character, and the constant sneering of Thomas is overkill. I agree the best character is the Dowager Lady Violet. Dame Maggie Smith is such fun. She speaks volumes with just a head tilt!