10 shows The History Geek Should Be Binging on Netflix Right Now

10 shows The History Geek Should Be Binging on Netflix Right Now

From the mildly realistic to authorized royal accounts, this list has everything.


I am huge into historical shows and movies, and especially those that involve some great costumes, great drama, and great plots. I am convinced that you could create a show set anywhere in the past, give it a smidge of romance and a lot of drama, and I'll probably sit down and watch at least a few episodes.

I thought I would share some of my ultimate faves from Netflix:

1. Versailles

This show is one of the best I have seen in a while, and it is still relatively unknown, which is a shock to me, but then again, it does show on BBC2 really late at night when it is on the air.

The story follows Louis XIV, The Sun King, as he builds Versailles while also dealing with his younger brother, Phillipe, who likes to crossdress and is openly gay (and I'm not spoiling anything. You'll know that from the first time you see him), his wife, his mistress, and a court full of nobles who will do anything to get to the top.

Versailles has been accurate enough in its retelling of events that some scenes are even included in documentaries about the famed palace (of course, not the sexual aspects, but more the designs and battles, both on the battlefield and in the bedrooms).

This is a mature show, for sure, and there is nudity, strong language, and a lot of violence, to provide some warning.

2. Call the Midwife

This show is usually more fun than dramatic, but it does have its moments of being quite intense. Based on the memoirs of midwife Jenny Worth, this show follows a group of midwives in 1950s London and the nuns they work with at Nonnatus House. It's fresh, fun, and gives a lot of info about what exactly went into healthcare and midwifery decades ago. My mom and I devoured the first few seasons and now there is even more to catch up on (and I'm guilty of needing a refresh, too).

As well as showing the healthcare aspect of the show, it also gives a crucial glance into what women were supposed to know, learn, and do in polite society. The characters see a wide range of families, but also go through issues of race, sex, gender norms, and even at times, what it means to turn your back on what you expected of life for an entirely new path.

3. Marie Antoinette

This movie has been deemed a contemporary classic in the last couple of decades, and while its accurate storytelling methods could be called into question (I don't actually think the queen listened to rock music and wore Converse with her gowns and wigs), it does do the basic job of telling a more complex story- with a new twist that makes it easier to swallow and understand for audiences that want a less dry telling of the events.

Not many documentaries focus solely on the eventual fall of Versailles through the lens of what Marie Antoinette was going through, but this account moves all the way from her betrothal to King Louis XIV all the way to the end of her reign. Other people are involved, for sure, but this story is all Marie's.

4. Alias Grace

Another vaguely historical show, this Netflix original comes from the work of the same name by Margaret Atwood (the same author as Hulu show basis The Handmaid's Tale). It claims to be based on true events, some even comparing it a bit to real- life killer Lizzie Borden. I will have to do more research to know how true that is.

The story details the story of a maid who is accused of killing her employers. While investigating the crimes and autopsying the bodies, a young doctor falls for the maid, who has no real details about her known to the public.

I know I have to watch this past this first episode, and if I'm being honest, I really only was looking into it for the Atwood name drop, but those who like shows with crime and drama will love this show.

5. The Paradise

This show is a bit different from what I typically watch simply because it is a show that is much more popular in the UK and was not heavily advertised here. For those who don't mind delving into a bit of a slow build up, this show is a unique and dramatic look at the biggest department store chain in England- starting with the bankruptcy of the company and moving back to that point throughout the show.

It feels very new and exciting at times, and boring at other times, but it is fun to watch something I normally would not have heard of. The old fashions and elegant atmosphere makes it different than other shows.

6. The Crown

Okay, so this show is pretty well known. It is a Netflix original, and one of its highest viewed. That being said, for those of you who are on the fence or have not watched this gem, you need to immediately.

Not only is the British royal family still important (I mean, everyone was watching the royal wedding recently, or was talking about it, or at least knew about it), but this story is incredible. I had no idea that Queen Elizabeth II was kind of badass at times in her younger youngs. She takes the throne and is immediately wrapped in scandal. Her husband doesn't want to listen to her, Winston Churchill wants to help her but is bound to the government to act a certain way, and her sister wants to marry a commoner. THIS SHOW IS NUTS SOMETIMES.

I don't want to give too many spoilers, but this show is relevant, timeless, and important.

7. Reign

Another show that has been around for a while is the CW teen drama Reign, telling the story of a young Mary Queen of Scots and her marriage to Prince Francis of France. Her home country is at war and she was sent away to safety, though arriving in King Henry and Queen Catherine de Medici's court is almost worse- and someone is plotting to destroy everything. This show has everything- romance, drama, beautiful clothes (if not a bit too modern), friendship, and a sexy half-brother for the prince who did not exist in real life- just to create a love triangle.

I used to sneak downstairs to watch episodes of this while my parents were out of the house after my bedtime. Since then, I've been obsessed.

8. Frontier

This show is relatively new, and from a person who has watched a lot of historical shows (and her mother), it is not the most captivating. I think the main draw is Jason Mamoa, who many people know as either Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones or Aquaman from the Justice League. Mamoa's character is a trapper living in the woods of Canada, under British rule during the 1600s. Besides lots of drama and use of swords, Jason Mamoa is shirtless a bit, which kept my attention when the show got slow (yes, that is shallow, but I don't really mind). The love story between some of the other characters is simplistic, but good, and the women on the show are powerful and working around the roles society wants to give them.

Ooh, and there are lots of British and Irish accents, too, if that's your sort of thing.

9. Turn: Washington's Spies

Even though you know the eventual outcome of this colonial drama, it's very interesting to see how the war shapes up in this adaption of Alexander Rose's novel of the same name. The audience gets to see both patriot soldiers and British, and, contrary to what I thought would happen, there are people I love and hate on both sides. One of my favorite characters is British Captain John Andre, whose relationships and life in Philadelphia is super interesting.

This show is always super complicated, with the main character spying for the resistance while living in a mainly loyalist town with his magistrate father. Heart pounding, suspenseful episodes are hard to stop watching.

10. Ripper Street

For anyone who likes true crime, Ripper Street is a show that couples the investigation into Jack the Ripper with romance, suspense, intrigue, and lots of British slang and sass. I have yet to meet a show from BBC that I have not liked, and this is one of the shows that, though it is mature rated and has been out for a while, I remembered the trailer well from when I was younger, watched the first episode, and now need to watch everything else as quickly as possible (and rewatch, now that there are more seasons).

Which show are you most excited to watch? Let me know in the comments below.

Cover Image Credit:


Popular Right Now

My Predictions Of The Top Five Acts Of 'America's Got Talent'

Only one act can win which one will it be?

"America's Got Talent," is one the greatest shows ever created. People come from all over the world proving they are the act to win one million dollars, some of the acts are inspiring while others are well..unique. Every act believes they deserve the million dollars, their problem is they need to convince you they are.

All of the acts do have one thing in common though, if you believe in yourself and give it all you got you will go far (in your self confidence and realizing you are talented even if the judges do not agree. you do not have to win the show to prove your talented, you have to leave impression to be remembered those are who the real winners are.

In fact, the acts you remember start to influence your opinion on them, eventually you start to become one of judges, watching their every moment to witness their mistakes or greatness.

Since only one act can win I have started to narrow down to my top five acts I feel will win. Imagine one morning you were just an ordinary person, then decide to audition, end up on the show, make it to the live show, and win. Your life will never be the same.

America does have talent in performing, what I want to know is do we have talent in judging accurately.

Top five acts:

Only 14 years old and she has a voice of a professional. Impacting back story, very poised and makes you smile. I just cannot imagine how someone so young can be so mature and have this voice that really pulls your heart strings.

A magician and an NFL player? I already think this guy is extremely talented, and I'm sure his team is rooting for him too, and did you see the way he made Simon Cowell not only smile, but laugh a long time, he was practically in awe. I think he already proved significantly he is talented.

A magnificent voice, and impressively covering a beautiful song. Once you watch his backstory you will understanding the meaning. This guy truly knows the meaning of performance. He leaves an impression on every in the audience, and has a standing ovation.

This act is bringing the fire out of everyone, perfect timing of movement, song choice, and the intensity that makes you want to scream maybe not quite like Mel B, but you cannot contain yourself. Plus how does it make your heart feel seeing how happy they were with the golden buzzer from George Lopez?

The final act is best for last. Not only are they an acapella group, they prove the true meaning of "do not judge a book by its cover" never assume someone cannot do something, based on their appearance and these guys proved stereotypes have nothing on them. Oh, by the way Simon Cowell said they are his favorite. That alone proves they are the real winners.

What did you think of these acts? Do you have a favorite act that was not listed? Let's all hope our favorite act will win. Until then America will keep us on the edge of our seats until they reveal the true talent.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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6 Reasons Sydney White Is An Inaccurate Representation Of College Life

Sydney White and the seven dorks take over college?


If you haven't noticed, "Sydney White" ('07) has been added to Netflix.

When I saw it, I watched it and was reminded of how much I loved this movie back when it came out.

Seriously, if you haven't seen it, you need to, and if you have seen it, it's a great movie to watch again and live in the nostalgia of the days before Amanda Bynes went crazy.

It wasn't until I watched it a few days later with my friends who had never seen it before (who remind me of my own group of dorks) did I realize just how wrong and stereotypical this movie is about life in college.

1. The Sorority

The biggest inaccuracy in this movie is probably the Kappa Phi Nu Sorority.

Yes, there may always be a Rachel Witchburn wherever we turn, but there aren't entire sororities made of them. Actually, from the friends I've made at the College of Charleston who are in a sorority, none of them are anything like Rachel and her clique, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

I myself may not be in a sorority, but I know you're not given a bid based on how pretty you are.

I also know that once you are given a bid, as a pledge, you are not hazed. It doesn't matter what they call it, Sydney and the other pledges were definitely hazed and that wouldn't fly.

Especially the close examination of their faces, judging the pledges and dictating what they are and are not allowed to eat. That's just straight up bullying.

Also, I don't think pledges sleep on the floor of the floor of the sorority house and give up their dorm rooms to live in the house.

2. "The Greeks" rule the school

No institution would ever allow "the Greeks" to have that much power in important campus-wide decision making.

The movie plays it up as Rachel Witchburn and Tyler Prince's (of Beta Omega Rho) families being the biggest patrons, but even then, they wouldn't have that much power.

I don't believe the Student Council can have that much power to say "knock down this to build that."

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what the school's Student Council does (sorry), but I know it's not that influential.

3. The Vortex

As George (Dopey) put it, "it's called the Vortex because it sucks losers in." It's not so much the seven dorks who live in the Vortex that bother me, it's the building itself.

Seriously, how can the university just ignore the fact that this place is a literal death trap? Unsafe living conditions, bad plumbing, probably poor AC/heat as well.

And do the Dorks pay to live there?

You have to pay housing to live in a dorm and you have to pay fees to live in a sorority/fraternity house.

So, is the Vortex just so neglected that the school doesn't care either way if people live in it or not?

4. The stereotypes

Speaking of stereotypes, some of the ones presented in this movie were just straight up offensive to some communities.

Obviously, one is the greeks and how sororities are full of blonde, fake bitches who will ruin your lives and that the fraternities just have sex all of the time.

Although Tyler debunked that when he revealed to the Dorks that the guys at Beta also spend most of their time playing video games.

But, when Sydney and the Dorks start appealing to the other school clubs and organizations for the Freedom to the 7th Power campaign, we see a lot of these groups depicted as their stereotypes, in what is supposed to be shown as a montage of diversity, but instead, is just casual prejudice.

The Jewish Student Union, to start with, only showed Hasidic Jews with the Payot, dark clothing, various headdresses and Tallits. Obviously, they really focused in on one sect of Judaism and stuck with it, not showing that the Jewish community itself is also very diverse.

The part that really bothered the hell out of my one friend is when Sydney and the Dorks attended the Open Mic night with the LGBTQ+ Alliance.

But, they seem to have associated a Trans-person with a Drag Queen, which is absolutely wrong and also very offensive. I get that this movie came out in 2007, and there was an aura of ignorance when it came to the LGBTQ+ community, but still.

Not to mention the other organizations she visited that were completely stereotypes and I'm sure, in return, offended the people who belong to those groups, but that whole montage had so much going on, I couldn't even tell.

5. The Hot-or-Not List

This would never ever happen on a college campus!

Maybe in high school, where you know at least the majority of the people that go there (small school vs. large school), but not on a campus with 10,000+ students.

The school featured in the movie, Southern Atlantic University, seems like a huge university.

Yes, Rachel WItchburn may have been super popular, but there's no way the entire school kept voting for her to be #1 for years!

Plus, who the hell would care about something like that in college vs. high school?

Well, Rachel Witchburn, I guess.

6. Everything just seemed too perfect

I wish Move-In Day was as organized, stress-free and happy as they show in the movie.

SAU must have a lot of parking spaces because they depict it as the entire school moving in at once. And everyone just looks so happy about lugging these boxes!

Sydney literally only moves in with 3 bags: a duffle bag filled with clothes, a backpack, which I hope have her toiletries in and a huge ass briefcase just for her comic books!

Where is the stuff for her room like sheets? Is that sleeping bag her own or did Kappa lend her it?

Then there's the library scene! When Tyler and his Beta Boys come in singing Accapella to Sydney to get her to go out on a date with him. This would never happen, or maybe it would, but he'd be banned from the library or something. They were so loud and these poor students were just trying to do their work and study.

Nobody ever even comes up to him and tells him to shut up — the Greeks can't have so much power they're immune!

While this movie may be completely inaccurate and horribly offensive, it teaches that you should not judge a book by its cover and you should band together to stand up to your oppressors. It teaches that we can find friendship in the strangest of circumstances.

If this movie was made today, half the stuff in it would not fly, but we can watch it for nostalgic purposes and enjoy it for what it is.

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