I like to play a DVD while I do the ironing. And that then gives me a good excuse to sit and do something enjoyable when the final shirt is hanging in the wardrobe. A coffee. A little hand sewing. Time wasting.
The series is a British production and so is restrained, less wordy, and less physical than a Bollywood or Hollywood film. Quite often the point is made by not saying and by using subtle body language. Colours reflect the social conditions. I felt that this series brought history to life for me. I am now better able to make connections between life in my country and life in Britain during the mid nineteenth century.
I found the mores and customs of the time and place to be challenging at times, but I believe they are quite accurate. People had so little access to good medical support. Employment conditions were harsh. Social position was based on both marital status and money. Arrogance was both common and accepted as the norm. Deference was the order of the day. At one point a woman's sister dies and no other family member is around at the time of the death. In Cranford women do not attend funerals at all. When one of the central characters defies this unwritten rule and attends the funeral with her bereaved friend the entire town is shocked. Some of the customs and practices were familiar to me, mainly due to my own European heritage. Others I have learned about.
If you get an opportunity to watch this series on TV or on DVD then try it. I do not think anyone would have to watch endless hours of Cranford to get the general picture. I enjoyed what I saw.