Period dramas have a rep for not being able to stay on air very long, especially on non-premium networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. The majority of period dramas are going to be found on big networks like HBO, STARZ, Netflix, and Showtime. They have the budget for it, and they know how to make them at their best.
I love history, even if it's not always portrayed accurately. I've seen just about every single period drama TV show out there. It's a lot, but no nearly enough at the same time. So whether you're just dipping your toes into the genre, or already adore the genre and came here looking for some recs... here are 7 of my favorite period dramas on television.
Sidenote: This list won't include any period drama fantasy shows. I love those shows, but I think they kind of occupy a sub-category within the genre. They're mostly set in a fictional world where being a "period drama" is simply one of the characteristics of that world. Although one of the shows on this list does have magical elements, and could be categorized as Fantasy or Sci-Fi, I wanted to focus on shows that revolve around their time period and its history. In other words, Game of Thrones can't be on this list.
My second favorite show of all time, and one of the best period dramas to ever air. Yes, it is has a time-traveling element, but it focuses on the location and raging war between Scotland and England in the 1740s. This show's storyline revolves heavily around the history of its time, and one of the main threads is that the characters are attempting to alter it. Aside from the history, the next big theme in Outlander is the love stry. A married English woman from the 1940s accidentally travels back in time to 1740s Scotland... and falls in love with a Highlander. The characters are amazing. The costumes are exquisite. The storyline is compelling. And you'll want to listen to the score on repeat. Out of all of the shows on this list, I recommend this one the most.
2. Black Sails
Unlike Outlander, this show has recently concluded, so you can watch all the seasons in one glorious binge. It's one of the more violent shows, so beware if you squeamish about blood and battles. One of my favorite themes in period dramas is pirates. It might be because of my love for Pirates of the Caribbean, but I love anything with pirates. Black Sails fully delivers on that front. It's not a full set of completely new characters either. There are plenty of familiar names if you know anything about pirate history... or read Treasure Island (or saw Treasure Planet). This show is a prequel to the events in Robert Louis Stevenson's epic novel.
3. The White Queen
This show is a mini-series made up of 10 episodes. It covers one of my favorite historical topics: The War of the Roses. To give you an idea of the timeline... It begins with Elizabeth Woodville meeting King Edward and ends with the Battle of Bosworth. This is one of the only period dramas that I've watched more than once (three times so far), and I'll probably watch it again soon. It's an insane unraveling of events, and one of my favorite dramas to watch unfold on-screen. Also notable, "The White Queen" may refer exclusively to Elizabeth Woodville, but the show itself focuses on three harrowing women of the time. This allows the show to depict the conflict and events from three different perspectives. The other two women we focus on are Anne Neville and Margaret Beaufort.
4. Downton Abbey
How could you possibly have a period drama list and not mention the iconic Downton? This show definitely ranks in my Top 10 of all time favorite shows. It's so alluring and well-written that I couldn't believe I waited as long as I did to watch it. There is absolutely nothing violent or action-packed about Downton, so if you prefer blood and battles than this is not the show for you. However, if you prefer engaging dialogue, interesting characters, and more "soapy" drama... then this is exactly what you need to watch. There's a reason Downton garnered so many awards. It really does live up to the hype.5. Poldark
You may not have head of this one, but it's one of the best. It's a British production, so it doesn't actually air in the US. However, you can find it online. It's a lot like Downton in the 1700s Cornwall, England. The show is very focused on its setting. Cornwall is like a character of its own. This series is also based on a famous book series by Winston Graham.
One of the most mainstream period dramas to emerge in recent times... Why? Because it's a CW show. It definitely has that CW tint, which breaks away from the authenticity of the other shows I've listed. It's also the least historically accurate, which did annoy me at times. That being said, it's a fun show that any period drama will love. Megan Follows and Adelaide Kane are especially amazing in their Queenly roles. The whole cast is absolutely amazing, and it's the kind of show you can watch when you just want to relax and escape for a bit.
The History Channel's lower budget version of Game of Thrones (except loosely based on real history/myth). I've been watching this show since 2013. It's a consistent thread in my life. My roommate named her cats Loki and Ivar because of this show.
Honestly, the plot can get a bit muddled and confusing. It's the character that truly makes Vikings shine. I'll never stop watching as long as my faves are still forming shield walls and conquering the world together.
Subscribe to our
She pioneered the sexual wellness movement.
Rebecca Alvarez is many things: founder, sexologist, CEO, mentor, and more — as a Latina businesswoman, each of her endeavors is grounded in the strong principles of inclusivity and diversity, especially in sexual health and wellness. Bloomi is the product of her all of her shared passions, and with it she has fostered a community of like-minded, passionate women.
I didn't even know what PCOS was until I was diagnosed.
There is not a consistent standard for health education in the United States. There are a lot of variables that go into this — what state a student lives in, whether they go to a public or private school, and the district's funding and priorities. These variables can be argued for any subject, not just health class. But as we continue to grow as a society, hopefully bettering our education system along the way, it's crucial to consider this often-forgotten element of a child's schooling.
Everyone's journey to feeling healthy is very personal.
In March, the whole country shut down. School was online, extra-curriculars were canceled, and I found myself laying in bed all day every day. One day, as I was laying in bed contemplating my laziness, I decided that I wanted to do something to make myself more healthy. I was feeling so down on myself and my laziness so I decided to make a change.
September is the month for Los Angeles natives and Australian music fans.
The Neighbourhood, Bad Suns and The Driver Era are three Los Angeles bands that released songs this month. Not only was it a month for Los Angeles bands, but many Australian bands released new music — San Cisco's fourth studio album, Surf Trash single, Skegss single, and High Tropics single. I made new discoveries this month and was pleased by the amount of new music.
Read the listicle below to learn what came out this month in alternative rock music:
I know the last thing you want to think about right now is exercising, but it's time to put down the controller and put on your workout clothes.
As someone who has also been living on a bed since March, I can guarantee you that working out has been the last thing on my priority list. It's pretty far down there, along with my motivation and brain cells I used to use for work. However, I have made an effort in the past couple of weeks to move up exercising to at least number three on my priorities list.
My story is what's shaped who I am today.
Content warning: article discusses sexual assault and may be triggering for some readers.
At 18, the world looked so much different for me than it did for most other 18-year-olds that I knew.
Going into rehab when I was 19 was hands down the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. My addiction started when I was around 17 and spiraled and spiraled out of control, as addictions always do. However, looking back, I'm so lucky my addiction started and ended when it did.
Don't be afraid to ask for help or comfort if you need it.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may not be totally visible to the eye, which makes it a lot harder for your partner to understand what's going on with your body.
If you are in a relationship, it's important that you communicate your PCOS symptoms with your partner. I say "your" symptoms specifically because everyone's symptoms are different.
Millennials can remember a time without online social affirmation, but we may be the last ones.
I've been in a media job for the entirety of my professional career. From part-time social media internships to full-time editorial work, I've continued to learn how to tell stories, write catchy headlines, and keep people interested. I believe working in media is a big responsibility, as well as a valuable way to advance our world.
We can't settle for this decision or a system that is fundamentally broken and unequal.
On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were executing a "no-knock" warrant. Since then, there have been rallying efforts both in the streets and on social media demanding justice for Taylor and keeping her name known.
1. Alondra, Florida Gulf Coast University
2. Brianna Cicero, National Writer's Society
3. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
4. Madison Franz, Florida Gulf Coast University
5. Abby Margaret, University of Hawaii at Manoa