With a penchant for period dramas, I’ve seen a good deal of them, movies and TV series alike, from many time periods. Usually the ones I like best are set in the Regency era, but that doesn’t mean they’re all concocted by Jane Austen! In my experience, there are lots of wonderful stories with wonderful characters that go beyond the Bennet sisters. So if you’re looking for a good show to lose yourself in (and coddle your Downton Abbey deprivation) this Fall, here are a few of my favorite period dramas that aren’t Jane Austen.
North and South: If you’re looking for a series that has a prolonged “Just kiss her already” romance, this is it. Of course everyone has the best of intentions that are just expressed in the wrong way so you’ll be itching to finish this miniseries in a single night. Also, Richard Armitage. Need I say more?
Wives and Daughters: Here’s a miniseries about the frustrations of unrequited love and the right man falling for the wrong woman. Does everything turn out right and good? This story is originally written by Elizabeth Gaskell so I would think you could make an educated guess.
Little Dorrit: Charles Dickens has some really depressing stories and some really great ones. This miniseries is about family and loyalty and chivalry. Those of you who couldn’t get enough of Matthew Macfadyen in the most recent P&P will be delighted with this drama.
Poldark: The handsome, poor gentleman standing for what is right, the unlikely heroine catching his eye, views of rolling hills and seaside cliffs in the same frame, a beautiful yet catchy theme, it’s all in this TV series. Dearest Carl and I just started watching season 2 and we can’t get enough! It’s the best thing since Horatio Hornblower!
War and Peace: Most people shy away from this story because the book is so boring, but this miniseries puts it in it’s proper place. If you can keep the Russian names straight, the story of war and love and duty and politics is really a good one. Plus, Lily James plays a star role. Side note, I really enjoyed this one because I didn’t know the story before hand so the twists and turns were a real surprise.
Lark Rise To Candleford: Here’s a show that’s especially family friendly. With every episode wrapping up it’s major problem by the end, you’ll find that you don’t need a cliff hanger to want to see more. The characters are so lovable and they’ll make you feel like a resident of the parish in this TV series about forgiveness, growing and contentment. Twister is my favorite.
While I’ll always have a soft spot for my Dearest Jane, I’m so glad that there are other period dramas out there as well. What are your favorites, Regency Era or not?