I always find New Year a bit of a hazy time to be honest and a bit of a struggle to find some sort of routine after the indulgence and slow pace of the Christmas holidays. I always find myself watching a lot of TV in the evening during January while I’m waiting to get my momentum back and this January I’ve found myself watching a lot of historical dramas on Netflix. So here are my top 5 historical dramas on Netflix to watch while in the post – Christmas slump.
Top 5 historical dramas on Netflix
I was a bit late to the party when it came to watching The Crown, but once I started watching it I ended up watching the entire two seasons in the space of a few days *serial binge watcher over here*. Following the story of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth the 2nd and her accent to the throne. The Crown begins with the marriage of Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth 2nd and the deteriorating health of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd’s father, King George the 6th. I think what sets this show apart from many others, aside from the scripting and wonderful direction, is the superb casting, with Louise Foy’s part of Queen Elizabeth and Matt Smith’s as Prince Phillip being played perfectly. This is definitely one to watch!
Prior to watching the film ‘The Duchess’ I was already acutely aware of the story behind Lady Georgina Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. Lady Georgina Cavendish was one of the leading ladies in society during her time and was an influencer of fashion and style, while also having an involvement in politics at a time when women couldn’t even vote. However, despite all of those things she had a rather difficult personal life, with extra marital affairs and illegitimate children both on hers and her husbands part. Lady Georgina Cavendish is played by Keira Knightley – who I usually find quite wooden in her roles – however, in The Duchess Keira Knightley plays the part of Lady Georgina Cavendish incredibly well and it makes for very emotional viewing.
The Other Boleyn Girl
I’ve read a mixed bag of reviews about The Other Boleyn Girl, with a lot pulling apart the forced accents of American actresses playing the part of noble English women in the 16th century. I personally found The Other Boleyn Girl entertaining and while there are some difficult scenes that are uncomfortable (particularly the scenes of rape and incest), I find the tones of inequality and injustice for women of that era very interesting.
This is another show that I *may* have binge watched and finished watching within a couple of days. I love a good drama with a strong female lead and Victoria is just that. While there are obvious vulnerabilities that would come with any young monarch, Queen Victoria – played by Jenna Coleman – is ultimately a strong willed and determined force. During Season 1, she is continuously pushing back against the attempted control placed on her by her mother and advisor, which has an underlying tone of them underestimating Queen Victoria’s capabilities. This dynamic is extremely well crafted and only strengthens the viewers understanding of Queen Victoria’s strength and determination. I found the role of Prince Albert very interesting when compared to that of Prince Philip in the Crown, while Prince Philip in The Crown is shown to act out against the idea he is outranked by his wife, Prince Albert in Victoria is shown to find his own purpose set apart from his wife’s position. Victoria is directed in a more dramatic, love story narrative compared to The Crown, but is a highly entertaining and interesting watch.
Following the story of Mary, Queen of Scots and her marriage to a French Prince to help strengthen both hers and her country’s position, while having extra themes of witchcraft. Reign is very loosely based on historical events and does have a very ‘teenage drama’ feel to it which may not appeal to a number of people, but it makes for easy watching and it entertaining to watch.
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*Note: I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and this is a collaborative post.