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What to Watch While You Wait for the Downton Abbey Movie: A Place to Call Home

So, if you’re like myself and my wife, you loved Downton Abbey and you faithfully watched all six seasons on PBS (or perhaps home video) as they came out. Then, maybe a month or two ago, you saw the teaser trailer for the upcoming Downton Abbey theatrical movie, and you fell in love with the show all over again, so you binge-watched all six seasons for the second or third time. And it was fantastic and magical all over again, right? But… now what? The Downton Abbey film doesn’t open until September 20th, and that’s still a long way away.

Enter A Place to Call Home. The beloved Australian drama has become our fill-in TV show for a couple of months while we burn through all six seasons, currently available in a gorgeous limited edition Complete Series box set. Imagine an Australian version of Downton Abbey set in the 1950s and you have some idea what this show is like. There are differences, of course, but the vibe (and the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you watch it) is there. A Place to Call Home focuses on a nurse with a somewhat mysterious past who returns to Australia, becomes ingrained in the lives of a wealthy family (not all of whom approve of her) and works with the townspeople and affects many lives. There is romance, mystery, humor, suspense, drama, and most importantly, characters you love.

Much like Downton Abbey, the show is rich with characters that feel like your best friends and worst enemies from the very first episode. There isn’t a false note to be found, and while the situations of 1950s Australia may differ from what our lives are like in 2019, there are themes, dilemmas, and interactions that everyone can relate to. The acting is uniformly terrific, the production value is excellent, and the show is extremely addictive. While I don’t want to overly compare it to Downton (there are many, many differences), watching A Place to Call Home reminds me a lot of the feeling I got when I started watching Downton back in 2010.

A Place to Call Home: The Complete Series – Limited Edition comes with all six seasons (60 episodes total) over 20 discs, and it gives you about two hours of extra features. Also packaged inside the gorgeous box are a number of physical goodies (always a nice treat), including a set of six drink coasters and stirrers, six note cards and envelopes, and an 8-page booklet featuring a surprisingly candid and in-depth interview with series creator and writer Bevan Lee.

In short, whether you’re already a fan of A Place to Call Home or someone who’s never heard of it but is looking for their next Downton Abbey-esque addiction, this set is a must-have.


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