Oh the lives of the upper crust. We return to stately Grantham House to hang out with the Crawley family and experience how the other half live. Their dramas both big and small are filtered through the virtual army of servants that look after their every whim.
Wisely the filmmakers have stitched together multiple plot lines this time (as opposed to a royal visit being the main feature in the first film). This leads to a richer tapestry to work with and this creates improvements on the first movie in almost every way.
One plot line is the mystery inheritance of a villa in France by Violet Crawley, played by the series MVP Maggie Smith. This necessitates a trip across the pond and provides the opportunity of showcasing some amazing scenery and contributes to even more visual candy.
Another is allowing an American film crew to use the house as a film set and this insures an interesting expansion of the cast. Nowhere does this feel like anything the common man would ever experience in normal life and that is surely the point. Pure escapism sometimes needs the grand life and this is grand indeed.