This will be my last annual review of all the period dramas I watched in the previous year. Instead, I will be reviewing dramas from the current year in the Upcoming Period Drama posts. I’m not sure if these annual reviews are helpful but thank you to my loyal readers who make my blog worthwhile!
Without further ado, please find a list of the best period dramas from 2018 (and previous years) as well as a list of dramas that I did not love.
Top 20 2018 Period Dramas
- Mary Poppins Returns – I’m not sure if this will become a classic but it was certainly the perfect sequel!
- Christopher Robin – Another wonderful Disney movie that makes you think about your childhood.
- Call The Midwife S7 – Always learning new things about the past from the series.
- Murdoch Mysteries S11 – My favourite non-violent detective series.
- The Marvellous Mrs Maisel S2 – The series for when I need a good laugh and vintage fashion.
- The Durrells S3 – This family is just hilarious.
- Victoria S2 – I preferred S1 but enjoyed S2.
- Poldark S4 – Loved the ending even though I was unprepared as well.
- The Miniaturist – Absolutely intriguing. I just couldn’t get enough of it.
- The Alienist – I binged this series even though there were many parts I had to look away from.
- Babylon Berlin S1 – Another series I binged. Here’s hoping more series come out soon!
- The Greatest Showman – I didn’t realise the music would be ‘modern’ but I ended up really liking the songs.
- Vanity Fair – Not my favourite adaptation but thought it was fine.
- Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – Makes you want to visit Guernsey.
- Endeavour S5 – Favourite Oxford inspector. Looking forward to the next series!
- The Resistance Banker – I didn’t realise this was going to end with one of the main bankers dying. But very inspiring.
- Operation Finale – One thing I didn’t like is that it made Eichmann look better than he really was.
- Padmaavat – Beauitful film.
- Velvet Collection S1 – I enjoyed this more than Velvet even though 1960’s fashion is not my favourite.
- Knightfall S1 – Fascinating story but I could have skipped all the bloodshed…
Dramas that were ok:
The Catcher was a Spy – The ending was rather abrupt.
The Last Kingdom S3 – I thought S3 was better than S1 and 2.
Dramas I did not enjoy / find interesting:
Colette – They say this is Keira Knightley’s best role yet and while I think she did a wonderful job going from a young woman to a more mature woman, I wouldn’t count this as one of my favourite films (and I like her in most period dramas).
The Favourite – You can read my review here to see why I did not love this movie.
Frankie Drake S2 – I lost interest because I felt like Frankie was from another decade (not for her p.o.v.) whilst her friends were from the 1920’s.
Little Women – I had been warned that this remake would disappoint but I still cried when Beth died.
Outlaw King – I’m not sure what I was expecting but I suppose I hadn’t expected so much violence. The ending was certainly a relief! Also, why wasn’t a Scot selected to portray Robert the Bruce (not that Chris Pine did poorly).
Phantom Thread – I watched it for the gowns but the story was quite odd.
Previous Period Dramas
Period Dramas Worth Watching
Murder on the Orient Express – Of all of the Agatha Christie adaptations, this is my favourite. Casting, costumes, and setting was perfect!
The White Princess – It had been at least two years since I last read the book so my memory was a little foggy. I did notice the changes made in the series and I thought it was an interesting twist.
X Company S2-3 – One of the riveting series CBC has ever produced!
Indian Horse – Highly recommend this heartbreaking film on a boy’s experiences in the Residential School system who becomes a hockey player.
Frontier S2 – I enjoyed S2 as much as S1 and love that there’s so much Indigenous dialogue!
When Calls The Heart S4 – Costumes aside (I’m beginning to assume it’s due to a low budget), this series always makes me smile.
Timeless S1 – Really enjoyed this time-travelling series!
Mathilde / Matilda – I enjoyed this movie for the ballet and palace interiors but it makes [Empress] Alexandra look bad.
Anna Karenina (Russian TV series – 2017) – This is from Count Vronsky’s point of view and it’s quite long. I liked the costumes but I’m not sure about the ending…
Danish Girl – Amazing performance, Eddie Redmayne!
Limehouse Golem – Although this was gorier than I’d expected, it was good to see a period drama set in London’s East End.
The Shape of Water – I thought this was sweet!
Battalion – Although dramas can be historically inaccurate, they can direct viewers to learn more about the past. In this case, the Russian battalion of women in 1917.
Other dramas that also made me read more about the inspiring subjects include:
The Zookeeper’s Wife – Beautiful story of how the Zabinskis hid 300 Jews from persecution during WWII.
A United Kingdom – At times infuriating but in the end, this lovely family persevered. 🙂
The Heart of the Sea – This is why I don’t like the open ocean!
Beloved Sisters – A little long but there was a lot to cover.
Breathe – Wonderful performance by Andrew Garfield.
Dramas I did not enjoy / find interesting
Churchill – I’m not sure why I expected more but I felt bored by this movie.
Lady Macbeth – Well she was a real Lady Macbeth, that’s for certain.