Some of you may remember that last year I posted a playlist of my favorite Masterpiece Theater Classic shows available to watch instantly on Netflix.
I don’t know why, but when I am on my own period, there is nothing I like more than to watch people in fancy dresses in fancy houses being all stuffy and fancy. The inability to emote ones inner feelings really strikes a chord with me as I sit on my couch struggling to contain my supersized tears brought on by my husband looking at me wrong.
Today I have compiled a list of miniseries available that you may have overlooked. Some of them are a bit older, but are still very entertaining. All of them feature women in corsets and bonnets, and men wearing fancy clothes with bows and or bright shiny buttons. All of them are period pieces available to watch instantly on Netflix:
1. Jane Eyre: I really like this version! If you can ignore the really bad makeup on Timothy Dalton at the end, it’s great. Because of its length, you really get into some good character development that gets glossed over in shorter versions. You get more insight into Jane’s loneliness and why she would like someone, anyone, even a dude who locked his wife in the attic, because they paid her some kindness. Also the actress Zelah Clarke who plays Jane, is really quite small and so the lines about her being so make more sense.
2. The Way We Live Now: Ok, so I need to disclose to you that I will watch ANYTHING that Shirley Henderson is in. Anything. This mini series is so good, that it doesn’t matter if she is in it or not, but I just want you to know that about me. Based on Anthony Trollope’s book, written in 1875, the themes in the book are completely applicable to today. Ponzi schemes and scandals! Greed! Hypocrisy! Sex Scandals! It’s got it all, but with period sets & costumes. Shirley is AMAZING as usual, but the entire cast is incredible. You will recognize everyone, and you will love them all. Just go watch it already.
3. Under The Greenwood Tree: Based on the Thomas Hardy novel, how can you not want to watch a show where the lead character is named Fancy Day?
4. Somewhere in Time: This film was made in 1980, and stars Christopher Reeve & Jane Seymour. I remember the first time I watched part of it was because my mom was watching it and bawling uncontrollably. Sci-fi and a cry movie AND period costumes! Kind of pushes all of the right buttons.
5. Mansfield Park: This version is far superior to the 1999 version which added in a lot on the issue of slave trading, or the really weird 2007 version where Billie Piper & her cleavage were cast as Fanny. Perhaps film makers feel the need to spice up the story because Fanny isn’t as gregarious or sparkling as other Austen characters, but she is still totally interesting. This version has early 80’s production values, but is still totally enjoyable. Again, the longer format of a mini series vs. a theatrical release allows for greater character development. While this isn’t my favorite Jane Austen book, or mini series based on the book, I do think it’s still entertaining!
6. He Knew He Was Right: Be warned, this one is actually pretty disturbing. In this mini series you watch as main character Louis Trevelyan slowly loses his mind and drives all those that love him crazy with him. Really good and really depressing.
7. Lillie: I have to admit I have yet to see this one. I really like Francesca Annis. Here’s what Netflix has to say about this:
Ambitious and talented Lillie Langtry journeys from an advantageous but stifling marriage to success on stage in Victorian England and, in the process, becomes one of the world’s most famous women while attracting a string of powerful lovers.
8. Scarlet & The Black: This came out in 1993. I just started watching this, but there is a whole lot of a very young Ewan McGregor, soooo what’s not to like? Netflix tells us this:
Ewan McGregor and Rachel Weisz star in this BBC miniseries about a poor but ambitious young man in 19th-century France who hopes to better his station by seducing powerful upper-class women.
9. Pride & Prejudice: While this isn’t the best version of Pride & Prejudice ever made, it is the only one available for viewing instantly on Netflix, so who are we to complain? Made in 1980 at a time when Colin Firth was just developing the stammer everyone would one day associate with Mr. Darcy. Who cares? It’s still the story of the Bennet family & those pesky uptight new neighbors of theirs.