Winter is my season to watch Period Pieces. I’m not sure if that’s influenced by the return of Masterpiece Theater or the fact that I drink buckets of tea when it’s cold out, but come January, I inevitably start in on British, historical dramas.
Last year, I binged the first five seasons of Downton Abbey while simultaneously watching the sixth on PBS (which was a tad confusing, I’ll admit). In 2015, I watched The Paradise–which was alternately legitimately enjoyable and legitimately hilarious depending on which season I was watching (the second season definitely falls into the “So Bad It’s Good” category). Unfortunately, I haven’t settled on which Period Piece I’ll watch in 2017 (I had to finish Alias before I could tempt myself with any such question), but I thought I’d recommend some of my favorite Winter-y Period Pieces to you.
May they keep you feeling cozy and entertained this frosty season!
Cozy Period Pieces for Winter Evenings
I’ve watched Bleak House in both the Summer and Winter, but it feels so much more appropriate watching this particular Dickens’ adaptation when cuddled under a blanket with coffee in one hand and a plate of cheese and crackers in the other. The setting of Bleak House is chilly, damp, and desperate and the entire story peopled with bizarre characters than one can quote at any moment (“Brimstone beast!”). I’ve seen this miniseries about once a year since it aired and I’ve not gotten tired of Esther, Mr. Guppy, and the gang yet.
The Way We Live Now
It took two viewings of The Way We Live Now for me to properly fell in love with this political satire. You might thinking “Political satire doesn’t sound like something Melissa would like,” and you’d be right. The characters, however, make this mini series for me. Between Matthew McFadyen and Shirley Henderson’s performances are reason enough to watch this Trollope adaptation (also, Miranda Otto’s horrible American accent).
North and South
I don’t feel like I need to sell watching North and South to you. If you’ve seen it before, there’s probably not a moment when you don’t feel like rewatching it, and if you haven’t seen it before, you should just go watch it immediately. It’s like all of those Pride and Prejudice adaptations you’ve adored but better. Trust me.
Our Mutual Friend
It may have taken me two viewings to fall in love with The Way We Live Now, but it took me at least three to fall in love with Our Mutual Friend. Again, it’s the bizarre characters that finally made this mini series for me, and yes again, I have found myself quoting this film with the one other person I know will recognize my references (my mom, basically). If you ever found Colonel Brandon attractive in the 2008 version of Sense and Sensibility, I’d recommend not watching this. You will never look at him the same way again. Everyone else, enjoy Eugene Wrayburn and Lizzie.
Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen
Anne-Marie Duff plays my favorite Queen Elizabeth I in this biopic mini series. She’s fierce and perfect, and I like to pretend this is the sequel to the TV series, The Tudors–in spite of the fact that Michael Hirst wrote the Cate Blancett version. On top of the impeccable Duff, Tom Hardy plays Dudley and dances the volta. To me, that’s all the reason you need to give this a watch.
What Period Pieces Do You Like to Watch in the Winter?