11. "Episode One," Downton AbbeyThe miniseries drops viewers among the surprisingly swiftly paced world of the Earl of Grantham, his American wife, their three daughters (note: no male heir!), his blustering, blistering mother and their equally complicated downstairs staff, an hour so artfully written, paced and performed that we've immediately taken sides: First up: We've already sent out a dinner invitation to the Dowager Countess (the treasure Maggie Smith), we want nothing but happiness for neglected younger sisters Edith and Sybil, and we empathize with cousin Matthew Crawley, whose entrance into this elegant world coincides with our own. On the other hand, Lady Grantham's sourpuss maid O'Brien better not interfere with Bates and Anna's budding romance, Lady Mary could use a little less entitlement, and Thomas is just pure evil. In an era of dwindling daytime soaps, Downton's first episode is instantly and thoroughly addictive, enough so that we wanted to make this costume drama part of our daily "stories."