Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Period Dramas

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

This week’s topic is open-ended: 10 reasons you love _______. So, I’m taking the opportunity to ramble in delight over period dramas, whether they be film, television, or series productions.

Top 10 Reasons I Love Period Dramas

The Young Victoria. So many amazing costumes! AND it is a true story!

The Young Victoria. So many amazing costumes!

1. History

As a fan of both history and historical fiction, what better way to combine story and facts than a period drama?

2. Costumes

Cravats.

Cravats.

Style HAS certainly changed over time, and it’s fascinating. I’m thankful to live in a modern era where comfy pants are acceptable. But I love seeing the elegance and class of past eras. And cravats. Need I say more?

3. Musical Scores

Essential to enhancing a story, if you ask me! I spent a previous topic talking about some of my favorites.

William & Georgiana (James Norton & Eleanor Tomlinson) in Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries

William & Georgiana in Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries

4. Various Story Formats

Series, movie, miniseries. All great for different reasons.

5. Often adapted from books

Books + visual representation of setting + amazing casting = perfect recipe for a perfect period drama.

The Bennett sisters.... I love the way they are portrayed in P&P 2005!

The Bennett sisters…. I love the way they are portrayed in P&P 2005!

6. Portrayal of Relationships

For some reason, period dramas tend to have a better grip on relationships — or at least they emphasize them. And I’m not talking about romantic relationships, but friendship, sibling, or parent-child ones. Think Anne and Diana in Anne of Green Gables, or the Bennet sisters in Pride & Prejudice, or the closeness of Jo March and Marmee in Little Women. Maybe it’s because our life is more complex now due to technology and travel, but fewer modern stories can emphasize and portray relationships with such gravity.

Heath Ledger & Mel Gibson in "The Patriot". A favorite film set during the American Revolution.

Heath Ledger & Mel Gibson in “The Patriot”. A favorite film set during the American Revolution.

 

 

 

7. Love Stories

Call them chick flicks if you want, but I am a huge fan of love stories. And classifying a production as a period drama almost guarantees some part of the story will involve characters finding love and, hopefully, happiness. Which brings me to….

 

Little Women

Little Women

8. Happily-Ever-Afters!

Yes, I’m aware that not every period drama ends with a happily ever after scene. And that’s ok, I still like some of those! But I’m a sucker for a good ending. Or at least one that offers hope and maybe leaves you wondering about the rest.

 

 

 

9. Variety of Sub-Genres

Mystery, suspense, war, drama, romance, comedy, true stories.

North and South 2004. Drama, love, & social commentary in my favorite miniseries.

North and South 2004. Drama, love, & social commentary in my favorite miniseries.

10. Vocabulary

A little item, yes, but SO important. Language and vocabulary are two more things that have changed so much with time. It’s so interesting to be reminded how people spoke.

Henry Tilney & Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey adaptation.

Henry Tilney & Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey adaptation.

And, sometimes learning new words is a fun bonus! Examples: Plimsolls, quixotic, taciturn.

 

 

 

 

It’s your turn! Why do YOU like period dramas? Or do you prefer another genre of film/TV? Please share your thoughts below!

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24 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Period Dramas

    • Aren’t they, Jen?! I agree, reading North and South only made the experience of watching the series even better, knowing more of the thoughts and motivations of the characters. Thank you for visiting my blog!

  1. I love this post! You’ve mentioned so many of my favorite things here. Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice…. I’m swooning! I totally agree about the costumes; I think the dress of yesteryear was so elegant, but I’m thankful I can wear pants without being judged for it. And I love the way the Bennett sisters are portrayed in the 2005 adaption, too. Great list, Courtney!

    • Miranda! Yay for mutual favs! And I totally agree about the costumes…. I wonder how tires actors/actresses get when filming in such costumes. I guess it’s part of the job! And yes, the 2005 adaptation especially shows the closeness of Lizzy and Jane. I ❤ it!

  2. Oh yes, great pick for this weeks topic! Love that it means nearly all our posts are about something different. I love your post and it is making me want to go and watch some of my all time favourites: Little Women and Anne of Green Gables especially. I love the romance, the costumes, the HEA!!! Ahhhh, so many reasons to love them. You can check my TTT post out here.

    • Thank you! This topic does allow for a ton of variety — I’ve enjoyed seeing all the creative posts this week! (And now I’m off to stalk Paper Fury on Instagram thanks to yours 🙂 ).

  3. I absolutely LOVE your post, Courtney! I agree. There is just something about period dramas that pulls me in! And you have included some great thoughts and graphics!! 😀 Thanks for sharing!!

    • I really loved Downton and was sad to see it end! If you enjoyed that, maybe you’d like the Cranford miniseries. It’s not exactly set in the same era or a drama, it’s more a comedy, but it does follow a broad cast with many intersecting stories in one town. Thanks for visiting the blog!

    • Well, now you have an excuse to watch more: to see great costumes! The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt (picture in my post) has some FABULOUS costumes, if you’re interested! Thank you for visiting my post today!

  4. Fabulous post! 😀 And I totally agree with your list! 😉
    I watch all sorts of movies, but period dramas will always have a place in my heart. Pride & Prejudice and North & South are my top favorites. 🙂

    • Thank you, Aerykah! This was a fun, open-ended topic, I thought. And those two are MY favorites, as well! And I love the 2009 Emma miniseries.

  5. I’m a MAJOR sucker for period movies and TV shows! Like you, I love a ton of different things about them, but I do especially like the costumes. “Downton Abbey” had such amazing ones, and it was so fun to watch them change with the times!

    • I agree, Downton had such fabulous costumes! I really loved Lady Edith’s hats in the final season. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I almost put together a similar Top Ten Tuesday last week. Because costume drama = the best kind of amazing! Glad you chose this topic, Courtney. Such a genre deserves lots of praise and features. No one speaks as these British characters/people once did. The language was so elegant, and just one small part why I adore these. The costumes are always beautiful, and each time I rewatch one of these, I’m reminded just how much. Mom and I recently rewatched “North and South” and ohmygosh! How easily I forget its magnificence! 🙂

    • How fun THAT TTT would be to see! Maybe someday you will?

      Isn’t it fascinating the way they spoke?! It makes me wonder if people will every look back on our current era with similar interest in our vocabulary or customs.

      And N&S, YES. Every part of that drama is so magnificent! From the music to the costumes, setting, casting, ACTING, relationships, kiss etc. etc. *heart eyes* ❤ ❤

  7. Yes, yes!! How did I ever miss this post? I love it! You described my thoughts precisely on all points. I love the costumes (cravats = YES ;), the music scores, the history, the accents, the vocabulary. I love it all! But mostly? I love all the relationships, romantic and otherwise. You make a great point, about how very few modern stories really seem to understand (and describe) the complex nature of relationships. Well said!

    • No worries, I’m so happy you found it now! And thank you for the agreement. Yes, we get such complex relationships in books, one reason we love them. Somehow period dramas capture them well more often than not! 🙂

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