BBC, how I love thee. Here’s a few reasons why.
- You gave me Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch
- You gave me Doctor Who with David Tennant and Peter Capaldi
- You gave me most of my favorite historical dramas.
It’s only the third reason I really want to talk about today (although Sherlock, Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows really do deserve their own post). I love historical BBC Dramas. Here’s why, and then I’ll give you my top three favorites.
- The plots are so intricate. Most BBC historical dramas are adaptations of older novels, like Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell and Jane Austen. This “complex plot” thing mostly applies to the Charles Dickens’ dramas, but when I watch the others I’m still blown away by the emotional and character layers that add to the plot. Often there are connections you don’t see coming (unless you practice at it like I do) and I love the guessing game.
- The actors stick around. I’ve never been good at learning actor names (it’s the whole ‘love the work not the person’ coming into play again) but I can definitely spot a few faces in BBC dramas. There are some actors I suspect don’t even leave the historical world, spending all their time dressed up in Regency or Victorian clothing and gasping “why sir!” at each other all the time. It’s awesome.
- The format. This one’s a big one, because while I like the episodic feel of cop shows and mystery series’, I don’t really care for it anywhere else. And so it’s nice that when adapting these books, BBC made them a bit like an English kdrama in that there are usually 4-16 episodes, each about 40 min-an hour long and with a cohesive plot. The real question is, since they’re historical does that make them English Saeguks?
I also want to give you my “I’ve watched” list, in particular order from most to least favorite.
- Bleak House
- North and South (oooh, I don’t know about making this one second. Let’s just call it a tie, shall we?)
- Little Dorrit
- Wives and Daughters
- Sense and Sensibility (the BBC one)
- Emma (and I don’t like the book, so it’s a wonder it’s on the list. BBC, you work magic.)
- Pride and Prejudice
- Death Comes to Pemberly
Hah, I never would have thought I’d put anything Jane Austen at the bottom of a list. But there you have it, folks, my little list of BBC dramas. If you have any suggestions on what I should watch next, I’d welcome them!