I’ve never usually been one for period dramas. There’s something about them that doesn’t appeal to me. Odd, considering that I absolutely adore learning about history. When Downton was on telly, I was never very interested in watching it. Even now, I’ve never seen a single episode.
That being said, fairly recently, I’ve been obsessed with TV shows set in the past. It all began when I came to the end of a long series on Netflix and realised I had nothing to watch and lots of time to kill. Sure, I could occupy myself with Friends, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Brooklyn Nine Nine, but I wanted something other than my regular wallpaper TV shows. I wanted something new I could binge. Then along came Call the Midwife. Now, believe you me, I’d watched it before. It was on every Sunday night, BBC One, 8pm. And I’d watched a fair few episodes – the first series all the way through probably – and I knew the gist.
Well, what can I say? It certainly captured my attention. I fell in love with the characters, the aesthetic, Vanessa Redgrave’s lovely little voiceover bits. Now, this is technically a period drama, though I’m hesitant to give it that label. All things considered, the 1950s wasn’t really that long ago. Coming from someone who is fascinated by Tudor history, Call the Midwife is comparatively modern.
Though my adventure in period dramas didn’t end there. About a month ago, I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. Well, the 1995 BBC version was just sitting there begging to be watched. Again, I was surprised by how much I liked it (given that Downton had never been my thing at all). It was loyal to the book, the settings and costumes were perfect (and of course it gave ample screentime to the swoon-worthy Colin Firth).
Now that I’ve finished that, I’ve moved onto Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, a whodunit-style Australian drama set in the 1920s. Maybe it’s the golden age detective format I like, maybe it’s the Gatsby-esque aesthetic, maybe it’s the mix of intriguing characters with characters as sweet as a lollipop. Whatever the appeal, I’m a third of the way through the entire series. Seemingly, very soon I’ll have to find another period drama to watch. Any suggestions are very welcome.