If you love Jane Austen, here’s three new historical dramas to watch, by Amanda Kai

If you love Jane Austen, here’s three new historical dramas to watch, by Amanda Kai

After years of  drought in the way of very few historical dramas being produced, it seems that TV producers are finally understanding what viewers want: more historical dramas! If you’re like me, a total sucker for any film or TV show that resembles a Jane Austen novel, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. I crave shows that highlight the social constructs of the past, that give me insights into the history and the culture of a particular era, that showcase the lives and relationships of the people from that time, and–of course– are full of historically accurate (or at least beautiful!) costumes and sets.

 

Thankfully, this year is proving to be a banquet with not one, but THREE new shows out this spring! 

The Gilded Age

poster for The Gilded Age The Gilded Age series is already playing on HBO Max, with new episodes airing every Monday night. Written by Julian Fellows, the creator of Downton Abbey, this series is set in the 1880’s in New York City, USA.  The story’s primary focus is on the battle between the “old money” families whose wealth has been established for generations and the “new money” families who have become wealthy only in the last generation through their enterprises in industries such as oil, steel, railroads, and investment banking. We see this world through the eyes of Marian Brook, a recently-orphaned young woman who comes to live with her socialite aunts in the heart of Fifth Avenue. Marian can’t seem to understand the rules of society or stand to play by them, and she is constantly pushing against the close-minded elite with their preconceived notions about who should be “allowed” in society. 

 

I can’t get enough of this show, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes Jane Austen and Downton Abbey. The show is light on the sexual content and profanity, and the costumes are spectacular. 

Sanditon, Season 2

poster for Sanditon Season 2Jane Austen fans seem to be greatly divided over Sanditon. Some absolutely loved it and have rewatched it many times over, while others absolutely hated it, or refused to watch it. For those who are unfamiliar with the show, it was inspired by Jane Austen’s unfinished novel of the same title. Season 1 is admittedly controversial, not only because of Andrew Davies’ deviation from the source material beyond the first few episodes, but his inclusion of some steamy on-screen scenes, and the disappointing ending to Season 1. In his defense, he wrote the cliffhanger ending with the intention that the story arc would be continued in the next two seasons. But the unexpected cancellation of the show meant that the storyline was cut short. It was only after a fan-led petition that the show was granted an additional season, and unfortunately by that time, several of the principal actors had already moved on to other projects. 

 

Season 2 will hopefully prove to be better than the first season, however. The show will be going in the direction of an all-new, original plot, and introducing new love interests for the heroine, Charlotte Heywood. I won’t say it’s a Jane Austen adaptation anymore, because it has pretty much departed from that path, but as a Regency-era historical drama, I have faith that it will be exciting and fun to watch. I’m looking forward to You can watch Season 2 of Sanditon starting on March 20 on Masterpiece PBS in the US, and on March 21 on Britbox in the UK. 

 

Bridgerton, Season 2

poster for Bridgerton season 2Last year, Shonda Rhimes’ Bridgerton series took the world by storm on Netflix. Based on the bestselling Regency romance series by Julia Quinn, the first season focused on the couple from the first book, “The Duke and I.” Although some fans were disappointed to learn that Rege-Jean Page, who played the incredibly hot Duke of Hastings in Season 1, will not be returning, fans who have read the books are excited to see the spicy romance between Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma, the lead couple from book 2 of the series, “The Viscount Who Loved Me.” For those who love Jane Austen’s Regency world, this series is a delightful fantasy full of beautiful empire-waist gowns, elegant balls, and horse-drawn carriages. But I will warn you, the steamy romance scenes are not for the faint-hearted! Season 2 is expected to be even steamier than the first season, so be prepared! You can stream all the new episodes on Netflix starting on March 25.

 

Which of these new shows are you most excited about? Are there any other historical dramas coming out this year that I don’t know about yet?

One more thing

So, I wanted to keep today’s post light-hearted and fun. With all the doom and gloom in the news these days, I figured you don’t need any more from me. But I’m also not living under a rock. I am praying for the situation going on in Ukraine right now and for peace to come quickly, because there has already been too much bloodshed. I wanted to let you know that there is a fundraiser going on to send aid to Ukraine, that several Jane Austen Fanfiction authors have put together. If you’d like to support us, please make a donation through the Facebook page for our fundraiser. As a thank-you for your support, you’ll be eligible to win prizes from our participating authors.

Click here to make your donation

Until next time,

Amanda Kai

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DarcyBennett
DarcyBennett
March 16, 2022 3:53 PM

I’ve watched two of the three and hope to find the time to watch The Gilded Age in the future.

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[…] If you love Jane Austen, here’s three new historical dramas to watch […]

Glynis
Glynis
March 6, 2022 12:39 PM

I was very disappointed with the ending of season 1 of Sanditon and don’t have Britbix so won’t be watching season 2.
I haven’t watched season 1 of Bridgerton yet but I have seen clips so I may watch that. I’ve never heard of the Gilded Age but will check it out if I can find it.
Thank you for this update.

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
March 4, 2022 6:11 PM

I am excited about Sanditon. I didn’t like the ending of season one but I am curious enough to watch season two! I loved the Bridgerton books but have never watched the show guess I had better get busy!lol

J. W. Garrett
J. W. Garrett
March 4, 2022 12:07 PM

Thanks for all this new information and the notice of the fundraiser. Blessings on all your hard work.

Kirstin Odegaard
AuAu
March 4, 2022 11:57 AM

Thanks for letting us know about the fundraiser. Very cool that the JAFF community put that together. I’ll check it out.

I watched Sanditon! Sidney was a bit of a jerk sometimes, wasn’t he? But I get it, Charlotte. He’s pretty and rich and goes for naked swims. What more could a Regency woman want?

I liked Bridgerton. I thought Daphne did a good job in it and was sorry she was overlooked while we were all busy burning for the duke.

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