Period dramas are my favourite kind of TV shows (and movies!) and luckily there are constantly new ones on Netflix. Recently I’ve watched so many (too many?) of these, so I thought it would be only fair to share the love in case there are other period drama fans here! Anyone?!
I’d love to hear what your favourites are, and if you can recommend any other shows or movies that are not on this list? All of these shows are on a break at the moment and there’s only so many times I can watch reruns… So, yes, I need suggestions too!
I always say that I’ve always been super interested in British history, but really, what I mean is, I’ve always been really interested the glitzy part of British history – or rather, what lies beyond the surface of said glitz. I’ve watched most movies and TV shows of British royalty and nobility, but luckily I’ve still got quite a few left and they seem to keep making more of them too!
One of the newer ones is Victoria, which tells the story of young Queen Victoria as she learns to navigate her new position and to life as the most powerful person in Britain, whilst still being so young (she was only 18 when she was crowned). What I love most about the series is that it really tries to show all sides of the Queen, from her more vulnerable moments to the powerful ones.
One of the themes explored in the show is the Queen’s sexuality – she is shown as someone who really enjoys sex and isn’t afraid to show it. In an age where woman’s sexuality was a taboo (unfortunately not that much has changed…) and where she was mostly just seen as a vessel for children, this is a very refreshing thing to watch.
Another Royal! I do love the queens- could they please make a high budget Netflix series of Queen Elizabeth I next?!
I honestly can’t recommend the Crown enough. Its acting performances are superb as is the writing – I know so many people who don’t usually love period dramas, but they still love this. The show also really gives proper screen time to all of its characters, which I love. They might not have big scenes in every single episode, but every now and then there will be an episode specifically from Princess Margaret’s point of view, for example, which I find super interesting.
Like Victoria, The Crown, too, follows its main character Queen Elizabeth II from when she was still a young woman, a few years before she ascended the throne. Elizabeth, like Victoria, was really young when she became a Queen, so there’s a lot of similar themes here, just one century later.
I really love how Claire Foy portrays the Queen: she’s definitely not likeable all the time, but you can see why she makes the decisions she makes and what it costs her. The Crown doesn’t gloss over the rough bits at all, and actually, I’ve never envied the Queen less. She might be ridiculously rich, but I wouldn’t swap our places. Except maybe just for a day – just to see what it’s really like…
My most recent obsession Poldark is everything I love in a period drama: amazing outfits, people from different classes falling in love and of course, the most beautiful scenery (it’s almost like Cornwall is a character in the show).
Poldark is based on the books by Winston Graham (though I’ve never read these) and tells the story of Captain Ross Poldark who returns home to Cornwall from war only to find out that his family thought him dead and the woman he loved is engaged to his cousin. All. The. Drama!
Most of all, though, Poldark is a love story between Ross and Demelza, a girl he rescues and takes as his maid and later falls in love with. I can’t blame him – I’m a little bit in love with Demelza too.
Another love story transcending class, although I’m sure everyone has heard of this one already! Lady Chatterley’s Lover is a novel by W.H Lawrence, published in 1928 and known for the massive controversy it raised because of its sexual content. It feels pretty tame now after everything else we’ve seen and read, but in its time it was even banned for obscenity in multiple countries such as Australia and United States!
This new BBC adaptation breathes new air into this classic with its beautiful filming style and scenery, as well as its brilliant actors. Holliday Granger plays Lady Chatterley, a wife of Sir Clifford Chatterley (James Norton) who gets wounded in war and ends up in a wheelchair. After this their marriage becomes distant and Lady Chatterley falls for their gamekeeper, Mr Mellors, played beautifully by Richard Madden. Even though their affair starts up as sexual, it quickly develops into something more as they fall for each other. I’ve watched this twice in the past few months and I just love it so much!
Credit: The Stage
I put off watching Call the Midwife for SO long – I just didn’t think I’d find a show centred around midwives interesting as I’m usually more of a romance kinda gal. Oh, how I couldn’t have been more wrong! The show is about midwives, yes, but it’s also about so much more. It’s about friendship, tolerance and yes, even love, too – though it’s about love in its many different guises, not just the romantic kind: parents love for their child, love in friendships, you name it!
Each episode has a few different cases as expecting mothers come to the clinic, but it also focuses on the main characters personal life and has tackled issues such as alcoholism, religion and racism. I’ve cried (sometimes of happiness, sometimes of sadness) pretty much in every episode and I honestly couldn’t recommend this show more – it’s so wonderful and the characters and plot points really stay with you!