Come on, you can admit it. You spent the whole weekend bingeing your way through the eight steamy episodes of Bridgerton’s second season and now you’re ready to get your teeth into another period drama that’s just as saucy and scandalous. Well, we’ve put our investigative journalist hat on and sourced out ten period series that are worth the viewing time. 

From the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to HULU’s vulga series, The Great, these are the period dramas we’ll be watching to fill our Bridgerton void.

The Great

Causing quite the stir when it came out in 2020, The Great, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, is sure to whet your appetite for a raunchy series to binge. Every bit as wild – and slightly more dirty – as Bridgerton, this Hulu series follows Russia’s longest reigning female monarch, Catherine the Great and her unexpected rise to the throne. 

A very modern tale of the historic past, expect raucous scenes, ruthless plotting and a lot of creative licence to keep the story as exciting as possible. 

The Gilded Age

Downton Abbey fans, rejoice! A new historical drama landed onto NOW TV earlier this year and it came directly from Julian Fellowes, the creator of the adored Downton Abbey franchise. 

The series followed the American Gilded Age, a period of great change which saw mammoth economic growth, conflict between the old ways and new systems, and great fortunes made and, ultimately, lost. 

The Gilded Age follows Marian Brook (Jacobson), a young woman as she transitions from rural Pennsylvania to New York City in 1882 following the death of her father. She moves away to live with her two aunts, Agnes van Rhijn (Baranski) and Ada Brook (Nixon), both of whom come from great, old money.

The series follows Marian, and her blossoming friendship with Peggy Scott (Benton), an aspiring writer seeking a fresh start. Marian becomes caught up in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her ridiculously rich neighbours, George (Spector) and Bertha Russell (Coon).

Stream it via NOW TV

Sanditon

Based on the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, Sanditon follows young Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) as she moves to the small fishing village. Upon arrival she meets Sidney Parker (Theo James), a chap who’s trying to turn Sanditon into a popular seaside resort to flock to. 

Austen only managed to write just under twelve chapters of the novel, so it has left a lot of freedom and creativity for the creators of the series to play with. Sanditon also includes Austen’s first ever Black character, Miss Georginana Lambe, who is played by Crystal Clarke. 

Stream it via ITV Hub

Anne With An E

Another Netflix favourite, Anne With An E stars Amybeth McNulty as a young 13-year-old orphan, following her bildungsroman journey into adolescence. 

Based on the novel series called Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the three season series charts Anne as finds solace and home with a spinster and her bachelor brother.

Stream it via Netflix

The Cook Of Castamar

Based on the popular tome by Fernando J. Múñez, the Spanish series is set during 18th century Madrid and follows the forbidden love story of a widowed duke and a young cook. While the love affair provides thrills, the consequences they could ultimately face are far worse than the pair could imagine. Perfect for lovers of Bridgerton, this is a must-watch for this weekend.

Stream it via Netflix

Gentleman Jack

Written and created by Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack stars Suranne Jones as Anne Lister, an aristocratic landowner who’s trying to reinstate the wealth and success of her home. In doing so she understands she must marry but she isn’t sticking to societal expectations when it comes to that and quickly meets and sparks up a romantic relationship with Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle).

Based on the real diary of Anne Lister, the series delves into the most intimate snippets of her life through wit and humour. And if you enjoy it, you’ll be glad to know season 2 is only a matter of weeks away… 

Stream it via BBCiplayer

Pride and Prejudice

If you’re a period drama fan – clue’s in the title of this article really – then you’re probably already well acquainted with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the numerous adaptations made since its publication. However, we want to steer your attention to the 1995 British series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. 

Available to purchase via Apple TV, the six-part series follows the unlikely relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy. And if you need to know anything else about the series, you can expect a steamy scene with Colin Firth topless…

Purchase it via Apple TV

Harlots

Hulu’s Harlots is an 18th century set series that follows brothel owner, Margaret Well (Samantha Morton) and her struggles to try and raise her daughters authority and stature in the hope of giving them a wealthier future. 

The three season series sees all hell break loose when Margaret’s popular business is disrupted by a rival madam who’s after her target audience. It received huge success from fans, critics and everyone in between so it’s well worth streaming to feed your period drama obsession.

Dickinson

Starring Hailee Steinfeld at Emily Dickinson, Apple TV’s popular series is the coming-of-age comedy you need on your radar.

Now with three seasons available to devour, the series follows the life, party and perspective of the young rebellious poet. Set in the 19th century, the show pens the constraints of society, gender and family through comedy and humour.

 

Stream it via Apple TV

The Pursuit of Love

Based on Nancy Mitford’s novel of the same name, the BBC’s miniseries starring Lily James, is as easily digestible as it is scandalous. We follow Linda, a young woman that’s striving to find love but isn’t having much luck, and her best friend Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham) who’s there for moral support. 

Adapted and directed by Emily Mortimer, follow along as the pair navigate young adulthood and search for their potential suitors…

Stream it via BBC iplayer


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