Though I’ve documented my love of period drama in various different ways, I don’t think one of them has been through a collective list of the best period dramas on Netflix. Today we shall remedy this with one such list and hope there’s some interesting dramas to find on the streamer.
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I’ve never really taken a “deep dive” into the period dramas on Netflix. I browse on Saturday nights in the hopes of finding something that looks interesting, but to be honest, I usually resort to watching my “tried and true” which is Hallmark or UPtv. But as I got curious about what might be out there, I decided to take a look and see what I might find. Like any list, this won’t be all encompassing because of a few things. One being some films I just do not like and don’t feel they fit with my content here or I simply know nothing about the film. Regardless, there are some I hope to find, so let’s get looking. The results of this search will be revealed below.
BEST PERIOD DRAMAS ON NETFLIX
At publication, these titles are currently available on Netflix
1: ANNE WITH AN ‘E’ (TV SERIES)
Not sure I should admit to this, but I haven’t yet watched this re-make of Anne of Green Gables. Maybe I just don’t want to tarnish my childhood favorite (which, of course, are the Sullivan productions) or maybe I just don’t like what I’ve read about this version. Either way, I haven’t made the time. But SO many people do love this series, which does make me curious.
2: THE CROWN (TV SERIES)
Arguably one of the most famous period dramas on Netflix, I watched some of this early on. It’s good and makes for a solid production, but to be honest, it’s really not my cup of tea. Content: just note, this one is TV-MA and contains adult material and language (f-word) throughout its entire run.
3: CALL THE MIDWIFE (TV SERIES)
This is one of the most loved British TV series to come along in a long time. It spans 10+ seasons (at this point) and goes through a series of familiar and new characters. The show is likely one an older audience will enjoy, and funnily enough, Netflix does tag it with a TV-MA rating. The only reason I can think of as a legit reason for this is the medial procedures, childbirth and thematic elements.
4: THE DIG
This is a more recent Netflix acquisition and won’t be for everyone. It’s not the usual kind of romantic period drama we love, but nonetheless, it’s a story about the love of a mother and there is a kind of minor “flirtation” that’s cute. Beyond this, it’s slow moving and the filming method is somewhat unconventional. If you don’t mind any of this, it’s also an interesting historical drama about a real person.
5: THE ENGLISH GAME (MINISERIES)
Another Julian Fellowes production, this is slower moving than Downton Abbey, but still quite interesting. It follows the players of the first ever profession football team. In some ways, it has North & South throwbacks, too.
6: ENOLA HOLMES
Based on the novel by Nancy Springer, this adaptation ages up Enola, allows Sherlock to be more comforting (and I love it!), and best of all, gives the audience a fun adventure. Needless to say, I’m here for future installments.
Based on the novel of the same name, this is, without question, one of the best Netflix has to offer. Some will find fault with the more romantic approach. I do not. It’s charming and lovely and sweet.
8: THE HELP
Based on the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, this film has a superb cast with includes Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer (also good in Chris Evans’ Gifted), Viola Davis and Bryce Dallas Howard. Plus, Spencer’s character Minnie is hilarious.
9: HOWARD’S END (1992)
Much prefer the more recent re-make, but Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins feature in this adaptation based on the E.M. Foster novel.
10: LAND GIRLS (TV SERIES)
Seeing this one on Netflix made me happy! I didn’t know it was readily accessible to stream. It’s a charming albeit sometimes darker WWII series about the women who run the country farms and grow crops.
11: LES MISARABLES
Wanted to love this 2012 musical re-make so much. Sadly I don’t, but I’m 100% in the minority so if you love Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway or Amanda Seyfried (impressive cast for sure), you may enjoy this version. For me, I’m staying loyal to the Liam Neeson adaptation.
12: MY FAIR LADY
Had to include this one if for no other reason than nostalgia. Plus I don’t see many classics like this appear on streaming services and I think this is one of Netflix’s newer add-ons.
13: MERLIN (TV SERIES)
If you’re looking for something with a bit of magic, then this BBC series is fun. It gradually gets darker, and to be honest, I don’t think I ever did finish the series in full.
14: MIRROR MIRROR – LEAVING APRIL 23!
Like Merlin, this is one you’d watch if you’re looking for a more magical experience. Unlike Merlin, this one is almost slap happy in comparison. There’s lots of humor and certainly a more lighthearted approach to the material, which is a story that re-tells the Snow White legend.
Another Netflix original, this one really impresses me. It gets the tone of the story right, but also romanticizes the relationship between the new Mrs. Danvers and her husband. As someone who loves a good romantic period drama, I’m perfectly fine with this.
16: THE SAPPHIRES – LEAVING APRIL 26
Haven’t seen this one but I hear it’s quite good. It’s an Australian drama about a group of women who go on to become a success in the music industry.
Darker and more serious than the normal period drama I love, this one has its sights in historical events and features a pretty top-notch cast which includes Carey Mulligan.
18: THE ZOOKEPPER’S WIFE – ARRIVES APRIL 16
Based on a true story, this one is a tough watch just because of its intense story. It’s about a family during WWII who helps smuggle out Jews. Jessica Chastin stars.
If you’re into more adult titles, they also have many titles that would suit; along with a healthy dose of foreign language period drama, like Bonfire of Destiny (TV-MA and REALLY heavy), which again, just isn’t my jam.
I’ll try to update this through the month as some of these are leaving (note the dates) and hopefully, Netflix will be adding some new titles in May. What are some of your current favorite period drama on Netflix? Have you seen any of these? Did I miss any of your favorites? Comment all of your thoughts down below.
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