Miscellenia

Five for Friday: Television shows people think I must love (that I actually loathe)

Whenever people here that I am a textile and fashion historian they assume I must love certain TV shows.  And when people who know me hear about a new historical TV series they think I’m going to be super excited.  And I don’t.  And I’m not.  It takes a lot more than costumes and a bit of dressed up history to make me like a TV show.

So here are the top 5 TV shows that everyone assumes I love (but I don’t).  They are arranged according to how much I dislike them compared to how often people assume I will love them.

1. Downton Abbey.

I know.  Shocker.  Downton Abbey is #1 on my list of shows that I don’t love (even though everyone expects me to).  Why don’t I love Downton Abbey?  It has too many characters I wouldn’t want to know in real life.  None of the storylines ever have any resolution.  The characters (especially in the first season) are poorly developed and one-dimensional.  The history is well…not historical.  Downton Abbey has had the opportunity to explore all sorts of fascinating social and historical developments in the 1910s (I got so excited about the storyline with the Turkish ambassador, as the fall of the Ottoman empire and creation of Turkey is so interesting, but did they use that…no…!), and has ignored them in favour of soap-opera histrionics and bad period clichés.  Also, despite all the love, most of the costumes are pretty disappointing.  Why don’t any of the daughters wear petticoats!?!?  And why do the maids wear fuller late ‘teens fashion when they are out of uniform in the 2nd series, while the ladies of the Abbey stay in outdated early ‘teens fashions?

This scene made me SO grumpy

I watched the whole first season with friends: Thursday night sewing and frocks was fun, but I didn’t enjoy the actual show.  Even though the characterisation improved in the second series, I just couldn’t deal with the ridiculous plotlines.

My sister asked me why I stopped watching it and I said “It’s just like a soap opera.  Next thing you know some maid is going to get pregnant out of wedlock, someone else was going to come back from the dead, and the Earl is going to have an affair”.  My sister said “Uhhh…I have bad news for you….”.  I assume I got at least two out of three of those right.  If Season 3 has a storyline involving an evil twin you heard it here first.

2. Mad Men

This one is easy.  It’s a show about despicable people doing despicable things.  I work hard to surround myself with good people, who do good things.  Why would I want to spend my leisure time with morally bankrupt characters who I wouldn’t want to know in real life?  I don’t care if they are wearing pretty dresses: that doesn’t make their actions any prettier.  And I know it’s very cleverly written, but so is plenty of stuff that is about nice people trying to do nice things (not necessarily on TV, but books are good too!).

What a lovely looking bunch of people

3. Boardwalk Empire

I didn’t manage to watch enough of this show to discover if the characters were well developed or if it was historically accurate.  I just disliked all the characters too much.  Even Kelly Macdonald, who I adore as an actress and who could make Lucrezia Borgia seem like a sweetheart (actually, there is no evidence she wasn’t), couldn’t make her character be un-slap-worthy.  The ads for BE in NZ had the tagline ‘we all need to decide how much sin we can live with’.  My choice is as little as possible – even through TV.

Such a lovable face, such an un-lovable show

The only thing I like about BE is that everyone started telling my Mum how much she looks like Macdonald, which is pretty adorable considering my Mum could easily be her mum.

4. The Tudors

Yeah, I know it’s not on TV anymore, but I didn’t like it when it was, and everyone was sure I must be drooling over it.  Why didn’t I like it?  I think the creators words sum it up pretty well: “Showtime commissioned me to write an entertainment, a soap opera, and not history … And we wanted people to watch it.”  People didn’t include me.  I think history is interesting enough without needing to add any extra drama.

This pretty much sums up everything I wasn’t going to like about the Tudors

5. Game of Thrones

Yes, it’s the ultimate fantasy geek story.  It’s also hopelessly complicated, super violent, and pretty darn sexist.

 

So, have I horrified you 😉  Or are you glad to know another costume enthusiast who doesn’t think costumes are the be-all-and-end-all of enjoying a show?

And lest you think I am a grumpy little curmudgeon, next week I’ll tell you all about my five favourite TV shows (some of which you really might not expect)

56 Comments

  1. emily says

    ahaha fair enough! I am glad we will get to hear your favourites — I am curious now 🙂

    I think I’ve seen, of all of these, one episode of downton abbey and five minutes of mad men — glad to know I’m not missing terribly much!!!

  2. Thank you for this post! 🙂 I actually haven’t seen (and don’t plan to) any of the’5′ except Downton Abbey. I saw the first season of Downton, thankfully with a friend who kindly skipped the worst scenes, but nevertheless I was rather horrified by the entire story – all of the characters were abominable and there wasn’t one I cared enough about to even consider watching season 2. 🙂 Hours and hours of watching unloveable characters wallow in their own self-created sin and misery is not my idea of a good time……:\

    I’m sorry this has been as popular as it has, because I fear me it will send a cue to film-makers that it’s okay to put the same garbage into future period dramas, and that everyone is going to love it anyway. *sigh*.

    again – thanks for this post!! 🙂

  3. I really dislike Game of Thrones for the same reasons you list. (I only made it through one-and-half of the books before I got fed up, the one episode I saw on TV did not bother me as much, but then I can deal better with stupidity on the screen). The intrigues in it only work because all characters act in the most stupid manner, which makes one wonder how they got to be in positions of power in the first place. The books are touted for its ‘realistic’ brutality, but I find reading biographical snippets on wikipedia of historical figures much more interesting.

    I am a big Terry Pratchett fan (I am looking forward to see your Polly Oliver costume), and I prefer reading about good people as well. Have you read anything by Lois McMaster-Bujold or Judith Merkle-Riley? Both write books with very human but likeable characters with integrity and a great sense of humor (but still with lots of adventures!), maybe you’ll enjoy those books as well?

    As for TV: do you like the Poirot Series with David Suchet? I love the costume design (it appears to fit not only the period by also social standing and character of the actors very nicely, but I am no expert.)

    • The Mad Purple Chicken says

      I love the Poirot series with David Suchet! The stories are great and it’s so funny how he obsesses over silly little things. In one episode, when he was brought two boiled eggs, he said he could not eat them because “they are of totally different sizes”.
      They really did the books justice.

    • Elise says

      I love that series! The earlier episodes especially seemed to capture much of that 30s glam.

      Nero Wolfe was also fun, and just as stylised in a not-silly way.

    • I am not familiar with those authors, but I’m definitely going to look them up! I’ve just started watching the Poirot series. I’ve avoided them in the past because Poirot is such a prat. I’m much more of a Miss Marple girl!

      • I adore McMaster Bujold, both her SF and Fantasy. What I like less is the Shairng knife books, but then they are basically romances which I don’t care for, and as such, they are better than most. Merkle Riley is very enjoyable as well.

        I think Poirot is more likeable in teh series than in teh books, and the costumes are lovely. The new Miss Marple series have equally lovely 50’s clothes but alsmot all the books have been changed so much that they may even have a new muredered, which drives me bonker! (Even a few of the Poirot does that- I don’t get it at all!)

  4. With you on all of these, as you know. Lesigh. I WANT our costume dramas to be bothered getting their historical contexts accurate, because it really doesn’t cost any more or take any more effort to do so, and there’s ample real drama and action and romance there to work with.

  5. Well, there is definitely a lot of crap to be seen on tv… I have to admit I watch Downton Abbey and Madmen, and I can totally understand if you don’t like them. I look forward to your post on the shows you do like 🙂 I actually watch a fair amount of anime–there are some really inspiring characters with blatantly good morals!

  6. Zip Zip says

    Your post rings very true with me. Those shows just bug me. Annoying or just icky characters you wouldn’t want to know in real life? No thanks. Silly plot lines, conscious, or worse, unconscious ignorance of history, and eye-rolling amounts of domestic drama are grating. Besides, other than Mad Men, the costumes are rarely on target, so even the visuals are disappointing.

    Thanks, I’ll take a frothy 1930s farce instead, a really good book, or better, the letters or journal of someone I admire. Abbigail Adams, anyone? Or just take in a football or tennis game…

    Very best,

    Natalie

  7. Natalie says

    I can take or leave a lot of these shows. Downton Abby is ok to watch but I’m not obsessed with it.

    The Tudors on the other hand I could obsess over but only because of the costumes. A ton of them were drool worthy IMO. I don’t know much about costuming for that time period so I’m not sure how accurate they are but I don’t care. Some where too gorgeous not to love.

    • You might like the Borgias? The costumes are made in a similar vein, but are a lot more accurate to their setting.

      • Natalie says

        I should try watching it! I really am a sucker for beautiful costumes.

    • Elise says

      I thought that Jonathan Rhys was PERFECT as Henry. Did he look like him? No–but he acted exactly like I imagined the historical Henry and really ‘got’ it. (I love that picture you found of the Tudors…it really tells a story)

      There was a French/German production of the Borgias which I really loved. It was neat that they had an American play Rodrigo, when the historical Rodrigo had a reputation for being an outsider. The actors that they found looked like they walked out of Raphael paintings. And the acting was competent. Great stuff!

  8. My favourite quote for this comes from noodles_leone on Sergio Leone Web Board:
    “the audience that cares more about sets and costumes than useless notions such as story, characters or cinematography”
    That’s your typical Sergio Leone Web Board irony.
    In other words, I like a good costume and really bad costumes can ruin an otherwise fairly good film for me, but not even fabulous costumes can save an otherwise stupid story, a despicable or boring character or a badly shot and edited film!

    I don’t watch any of those shows. Mostly because I don’t watch many shows (no TV in this home, just the computer). Some of them, I would never watch even if I could (Mad Men, Tudors). Some of them I have not given much thought to. Maybe now I never will.

  9. Lynne says

    I’m with you 100%. I need to like a fair number of the characters, and am not willing to put up with gratuitous suffering. I agree with Miss Prism: “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.” Real life forces us to face too much misery and cruelty – I have no desire to wallow in it in the fictional world.

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I completely agree about Mad Men. I had heard so much about that show, so I decided to try watching it, and all I could think during the whole episode was, “Merciful Heavens! Who are these horrid people?!? Don’t they know what a conscience is?

    As far as the others go, I’ve never seen any of them. I’m not much of a soap opera fan, so thanks for the heads up (seriously!). It seems like any time I have to go wait in a doctor’s office, Days of Our Lives is on, which I DESPISE. That is probably the show I hate the most, but it isn’t a period drama.

  11. Thanks for the laugh and baring your soul. I have had similar issues in the past….but I care less now….so it tends to irritate me a lot less. I don’t know if that is a good thing or not.

    I agree it is difficult to find characters you care enough about to spend precious time with but I do enjoy DA to sew by, and I really don’t care if its historically accurate, its not a documentary I expect a lot of “artistic license”.
    MM captured my attention the first season because I was born during that era….and Don Draper is pretty much my father. I remember when we did not wear seat belts, or worried about children playing with small objects. When people dressed to leave the house!! Yes actually dressed…and lets not forget the ironing. It reminds me of my childhood…..so it connects.

    The Tudor poster…….is….well it does leave you speechless unless of course you’re a fan of romantic novels….is that what they were going for? We need a fan to way in.

    • I have seen just enough of The Tudors to say that yes, they were going for the romance-novel approach. Lots of totally unnecessary skin scenes! It reminds me of Phillipa Gregory’s books (I was unfortunate enough to read The Other Boleyn girl on a friend’s recommendation, since I am fascinated by the (real, historical) Tudors. Oh my.

      • Elise says

        Ech…Philipa Gregory… But for realz: I watched the Tudors because I was fascinated how they really found a Henry VIII in JRM. There are few times when I see an historical character brought to life–and despite all of the other flaws, I felt like I really was watching Henry.

        • I can see that – he does a good job with the character. It’s all the women I couldn’t stand! I’ve spent a great deal of time researching Henry’s wives, as I performed a song cycle a couple years ago based on their final words and found I couldn’t perform it properly without knowing about each of the characters I was portraying. Fascinating women!

  12. Our family likes to watch old Doctor Who. He always makes a sartorial statement and the companions are always dressed with the latest fashions of the time the show was made. Jo’s hippy clothes in The Green Death always make us laugh.

  13. The Mad Purple Chicken says

    Hmmm, I don’t know exactly what to say since I have never seen any of these shows, I’ll take this post as a warning. That picture from the tudors does indeed look awful.

    I completely agree that bad characters and lousy plots ruin shows, no matter how pretty or accurate the costumes are. I found that Avatar: the last airbender had great characters, the villains are real people with backgrounds and motives that make sense. The clothing is very well designed and it’s interesting to see how each of the four nations has it’s own unique style of dress. The live action movie is garbage though.
    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is also great, actually it’s probably the most awesome anime show ever, the characters, plot, and visuals are all fantastic.
    I find it’s easier to watch fantasy shows than ones meant to take place at a specific time in the real world. You can easily put all worries about accuracy out of your head and enjoy the show. But if the show is meant to be historical, or even if a fantasy world represents a real setting too closely, then every “wrong” thing you see becomes an annoyance.
    Is anyone else here a fan of anime?

    • Avatar was hilarious too! I even got my husband to watch it with me. We loved the whole series 🙂

  14. I agree with all but #1, with which I don’t actually disagree. I concur with your reasons for not liking it (I was pretty frustrated by the end of Series 1) but continued on to Series 2 anyhow, which I found a lot better. As far as history goes, it’s definitely not at the top of the list (or even the middle… way to hardly mention WWI, DA!), and there were definitely too many odd soap opera twists for my taste, but somehow I still managed to like it, and am now anticipating Series 3. Huh, must be some kind of massive tv-broadcasted mind control o_O

  15. I would have to say I agree with you completely on three of these shows. As far as Downton Abbey goes, I don’t disagree with any of your sentiments, but I have to put out there that Maggie Smith is awesome and I pretty much watch the show not because I like her character, but because I like to watch the way she portrays her character. Which probably sounds odd, but there it is.

    I also didn’t have as much of a problem with Game of Thrones, but I think that is because I am reading the books. I feel like the character development isn’t quite as obvious on screen as it is in the books, and I think that hinders the story. Though I will say that it took me a long time to feel any sort of attachment to any of the characters in the books, but when you sit through them reasoning things out it builds up a certain level of appreciation for their complexities that is entirely missing in the TV version. I feel like for TV we are just watching actions (which is heavily skewed to violence and sexism, I will agree on that point), but in the books you get to watch them think as well, which makes them all seem a bit more human. Well, most of them. I don’t know if I would enjoy the TV series as much (or at all) if I hadn’t been reading the books though. I appreciate the craftsmanship of the writing, and the complexities of the characters, but I can understand how you wouldn’t necessarily want to spend time in that world. (Sorry for the long ramble – I just finished the third book in the series and there was actually character development and plot resolutions and lots of other things that make me feel like defending the story a bit. I will concede that it did take a really really long time to get there, and that I am talking more the books than the TV show, and that if one was ONLY watching the TV show it would be a different story.)

  16. I pretty much agree with you on all of these I’ve watched at all! I enjoyed the first season of Downton Abbey pretty well, but mostly because Maggie Smith is awesome. I got halfway through the second season and lost interest. It’s basically a soap opera in period(ish) costumes and I don’t like soap operas.

    Haven’t watched Mad Men but from what I’ve heard about it I wouldn’t care for it. And I was pretty sure I would hate The Tudors before I watched a single episode (what’s up with the costumes, and didn’t Henry VIII have enough of a drama-filled life without making stuff up???) and after two episodes I decided I wasn’t going to waste my time.

    I watch Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Castle (although I’m a couple seasons behind in that one now.) None are particularly “period” (although the Doctor Who episode which featured Madame Pompadour had some lovely costumes!)

  17. Out of all those I only like Downton Abbey. My mother is very into English history, particularly the Tudor period so I can’t watch that without picking holes in the plot. I personally believe that if you’re basing something on something real then you should at least attempt to read a little history first to make sure you’re not stuffing it up completely. Never watched the other programmes, I like the clothes, but can’t be bothered getting involved in the actual TV show.

  18. Ha, I think we have diametrically opposing opinions on tv! I enjoy all of them, probably Boardwalk Empire the most (they did a lot of research at FIT for it, and I think their interpretation of the early ’20s steers clear of clichés/stereotypes). I like shows about good people who have to deal with bad people and situations and gradually get sucked in, their white morality turning to grey. 😀

    I’d rather watch Game of Thrones than read it because it’s a lot faster and slightly less violent, but you definitely lose a lot of characterization and such. Sansa and Dany and Brienne are on my list of favorite characters – for a guy who seems pretty happy coming up with a crazy sexist world, GRRM writes some strong female characters.

  19. Maureen says

    You have excellent taste. I couldn’t be arsed with any of them.
    I’m still longing for the days of Jewel In The Crown!

  20. I haven’t even considered watching any of those….well except for downton abbey…which I resisted for a while but then they repeated the 1st series and I saw a bit and got hooked (last few episodes never saw the beginning) and I actually enjoyed the 2nd series of it. I do find Lady Mary really annoying…I don’t want her to marry Mathew she doesn’t deserve such a dutiful nice bloke after her behavior.

  21. I haven’t watched any of those shows and it looks like I’m not missing much. I don’t know if you get Murdoch Mysteries there but it is one of my favorites. It is a crime show based in 1890s Toronto Canada. The fashions and history seem to be accuate. And it is written as if the audience has a brain.

    • I’m a big fan of Murdoch Mysteries, but the women’s costumes tend to be very inaccurate. The men’s are perfectly fine, but I’ve yet to see Dr Ogden in anything approaching period accuracy and the costumes of Murdoch’s friend from the UK (Anna-something?) were horrendous. I could go on, but I won’t. While I am charmed by the 1890s Toronto setting, context, tid-bits of earlier Canadian history, and the enjoyable plots, I certainly don’t watch it for good costuming. I can’t help but wonder if they’re just borrowing from the Stratford and Shaw festivals stores.

      • You probably know better than I, but to my eye the costumes were not that bad. I have seen much, much worse coming out of Hollywood and the boob tube.

  22. It’s like a breath of fresh air to read your opinions, and to know I’m not alone. Except for the best/older Austen adaptations and Anne of Green Gables, I find I don’t really watch costume dramas at all. I am a compulsive reader and I love Story. Things without a good Story are totally pointless to me, and no amount of pretty and/or accurate costumes can make up for it.

    • Elise says

      Remember when A&E did wonderful costume dramas? And PBS would show Masterpiece Theatre *and* Mystery on the same day?

        • Elise says

          You know, I have a hard time here in the US getting the good Canadian, Australian, UK and Caribbean TV that I enjoyed watching so much in Canada. We’ll just have to enjoy watching what we each can get double for the other person!

  23. I agree with you on three out five 🙂 . I have to say–I don’t find the characters poorly developed in Downton, but perhaps I read much more under the surface than the writers intended. Even in the first season, I found Mary and Edith particularly complicated and interesting. Though Sibyl always has and always will drive me nuts and that scene you mention made me headdesk. I was disappointed that they didn’t get into more history–it’s more of a backdrop than a true historical, in some ways–but I suppose that’s not the point of the show, so fair enough, Downton.

    I do like Mad Men, as well, mostly because I love watching how the writers and actors manage to create a compelling show out of people doing wretched things. And then their humanity shines through a little and you can’t help but wonder about them, really…it certainly isn’t how I would choose to live my life, but it’s so well-done I can’t help but admire the way it’s transposed onto the screen. And it inspired me to dress more nicely for the office, so it’s done some good in the world!

    There was only one reason to watch The Tudors and it wasn’t the storyline or the costumes. 😛 We tried skipping those parts and were left with very little show to watch.

  24. Sarah says

    So glad I’m not alone in not “getting” these shows. I’ve looked a few of them up on youtube, but just found them, well, boring. I agree with you that real history is way more exciting, and I think if you know anything about real history all this made up soap opera mush is ruined forever for you, thankfully. I’d much rather see lovely historically accurate creations on a blog or originals in a museum and then read a good book about the period or diaries/journals from real people who lived it, way more riveting and far more beneficial, imho. 😉

  25. Robin's Egg Bleu says

    Agree fully on Mad Men, The Tudors and Boardwalk Empire. Tried to watch them but couldn’t. I have to like at least ONE character and if they’re all icky, I want nothing to do with it. Didn’t think I’d like Downton but found myself enjoying the character of Maggie Smith so much I got addicted. Haven’t seen the other shows but I am so very very picky about period productions I am easily disappointed.

  26. Kathryn says

    hm, this is a really great discussion. Cassidy said above of “Boardwalk Empire”: “I like shows about good people who have to deal with bad people and situations and gradually get sucked in, their white morality turning to grey.” I feel exactly the same about Mad Men. While I admit that I often need to break form it for monthsat a time because it’s so heavy, not everyone on that show is horrible. Some of those characters are kind of decent people, but see themselves getting bent into ugly shapes by the people around them and by overwhelming cultural constraints. I think it’s a really good study in how humans react to their changing circumstances.

    Also, the sheer artistry that goes into that show on every level, from production to wirting to acting, is a joy to see, even if the show itself is difficult to watch. I feel about it the same way I feel about the films “Capote” or “Dancer in the Dark”. Very hard to watch, probably won’t re-watch, but my life is definately enriched for having seen such well-crafted work.

    As for “Downton Abbey”, yeah. I had great, great hopes that it could offer for the 1910’s what “Mad Men” offers for the 1960’s-an examination of how privileged people react to social change that threatens their privilege. But no. Pah.

    But on the other other hand, I heard a very interesting comment about Jane Austen once-that she lived in facinating and turbulent times, and yet didn’t write about the Napoleonic Wars, rapidly increasing industrialization, the implications of colonial practices. She wrote about the minutae of English country life. Yes, there is *much* social commentary to be mined there, and she did it expertly, but she didn’t take much trouble to contextualize her characters in the larger world, and no one seems to have a problem with that. I know, she wasn’t a “period” writer, she was a contemporary one, but her work is considered “period” now…

  27. I’m glad to hear a stand for goodness! A rare stance in an industry overly infatuated with ‘darkness’ which takes much less imagination. Really looking forward to your five faves!

  28. Claire Payne says

    Here! Here! I’m desperate for a good frock drama and start watching shows like Downton Abbey and Mad Men with a longing for them to be brilliant. Alas, I have to agree with you. Lack of period authenticity is my first gripe, not making the most of events at the time is another complaint. The dresses fo Mad Men are stunning but the plots and characters so utterly depressing that frocks or no frocks, I just couldn’t watch it.

    The Tudors just isn’t worth mentioning. DREADFUL.

    On a more postive note, my favourite drama of all time is the BBC adaption of Edith Whartons “The Buccanneers’. It has good political plotlines as well as stunning frocks. Highly recommended.

  29. Rachael Fraser says

    I didn’t think that kelly mcdonald was in The Borgias? Or at least its Holiday Grainger that plays Lucrezia Borgia in the version with Jeremy Irons. Is there another version?

  30. Moira G. says

    I agree wholeheartedly with your dislikes except for Downton Abbey. Yes the plots are ludicrous but anything with Maggie Smith has to be worth watching. As for the costumes I saw some of them in an exhibition in Belfast last year and they were beautifully made even if they might not have been entirely authentic.

  31. I haven’t seen all of these, but I agree with your assessment as far as the ones I have seen are concerned. Downton Abbey in particular aggravates the @&%# out of me. It takes real work to make that period of history boring, but they managed it on Downton Abbey.

  32. LindaMB says

    I’m a history major, specializing in Medieval, but with interests through to WW I. Watching Any Type of historical drama is an exercise in frustration, there was enough real drama happening in the past that you don’t have to shoe horn in crap that didn’t happen (you hear me Mel Gibbson you anglophobic moron: The Brits did not burn the Patiots in a Church-and would someone please mention land speculation by the founding fathers, and as for Brave Heart Wallace was a thug who did not have an affair with Princess Isabelle, unless he was a peodophile), or Ridley Scot (Aurelius died of the plague, Commodus was killed by a gladiator in his bath, but Rome didn’t suddenly rediscover the Republic, the Empire continued in one form or another for ~ another 300 years and the Muslims and Christians didn’t sit around singing Kumbaya until the Crusaders showed up to make things unpleasant for everyone aka Kingdom of Heaven, It was dreadful before, that is why the Crusaders showed up, say hello to the Seljuq Turks and the Fatimid Caliphate. The real story is fascinating could they plase make a movie based on that? TV shows are even worse. At a time when most people seem to get their history from the TV and movies, it is irresponsible to be careless with the truth. I end up yelling at the TV screen. Thank heaven for fantasy and SciFi (yeah Dr Who). That being said I had great hopes for downton Abby, then I watched it: thank God for Maggie Smith, the Dowager is the best character, she’s the elderly relative whose filter no longer works, making the rest of us cringe. The costumes are nice, not entirely accurate but nice, and it wouldn’t have hurt to spend a little more time on WWI, we are living with the fallout almost 100 years later. And Mathews miraculous recovery, please… I tried MM, and GoT and BE didn’t like any of the characters, I prefer the Murdoch Mysteries, the fashion maybe a little sloppy at times, but at least the characters are identifiable. As hunkable as JRM is I saw the promo for the Tudors and realised the TV might not make it thru intact. The ealer BBC shows, HenryVIII, and Elizabeth in the 1970’s, were more accurate. One of my favorite recent shows was lost in Austen, anachronisms galore, but they were supposed to be there. I suppose that for us History Buffs, it sort of like a Dr watching a medical drama, (if House is so good why does it take him several guesses to get the right answer?) you just want to shake someone and ask what the hell they were thinking

  33. Black Tulip says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel SO much better, knowing that I am not alone. So many people seem to think that I must like Downton Abbey, “because the costumes are gorgeous”, and are mystified when I say that I loathed it with a vengeance. Not even Maggie Smith could save it.

  34. TheTayloress says

    Hoorah for the Dreamstress!!

    Thoroughly anticipating the Five you Like!

    Though I love old-fashions, the story can ruin it for me. Many a film I’ve looked forward to, for the time period it is set in, has not been finished!

    I’m not interested in inviting sinful, foolish creatures to perform a unhistorical farce in my home.

    When will wealthy producers hire quality screen writers?

  35. I’m with you. I have so little time to consume media, and even less to watch tv – most of my reading and listening is on the bus – why would I spend that time with people I don’t like? With plot lines that make me angry and upset? I get enough of that in real life, why would I choose to think about it in my free time? I’d rather concentrate that energy either on things that make my brain feel good, or the real stuff – the thought equivalent of ‘have nothing in your house that is not useful or beautiful’.

    I did watch three episodes of Mad Men season 5, when staying with my cousin this last weekend. I quite liked it, but I am definitely not going to seek it out. Besides, all the clothes I saw that I liked, I’d already seen on the internet. So I don’t think I’m missing out on much!

    I tried for two episodes of the Tudors, and it just raised my bloodpressure too much. The others I haven’t even tried – I guess I don’t expect historical accuracy from tv shows, but when they’re historically inaccurate, even to my amateur eye, I get so cross I can’t watch. Luckily, there are plenty of other things out there to enjoy!

  36. Thank you for being another person who thinks the people on Mad Men are just horrible! I tried watching an episode because I had heard so many rave reviews about the costumes, but I couldn’t stand it.

    I do love Downton Abbey, though, mostly for Maggie Smith. I will also credit it with making me realize that post-Edwardian fashion wasn’t all horrible, even though further research did reveal that their costumes weren’t always accurate.

    • I think everyone loves Downton Abbey for Maggie Smith. She may do the same thing in every film, but man, does she do it well!

      Hopefully I can convince you to like post-Edwardian fashion for its accuracy too!

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