Question about period/historical dramas...

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Question about period/historical dramas...

Postby ShadowKat » Wed Jul 6, 15:40 2016

Sometimes I like to watch period/historical dramas, being a history buff and a romance fan. For a while, I've been hesitating to watch or read Pride and Prejudice, as feminists seem to not be able to agree on it. Recently I've decided I'm going to try the fandom for myself, but I wanted to know which is better as far as feminism goes: the 1980s TV series, the 1995 TV series, or the novel? I know that sometimes the TV series is sometimes more respectful to its female characters than the novels, such as with Poldark (2014). Is this the case with P&P?

Additionally, if any of you can offer an historical drama recommendations, I'm eager to hear them. I've already seen Far From the Madding Crowd (2015) and I enjoyed it greatly. I've heard about Effie Gray and plan to watch it.

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Re: Question about period/historical dramas...

Postby Sonic# » Wed Jul 6, 20:56 2016

My primary experience is with the 1995 BBC miniseries and the novel. I think both are good; as a feminist I prefer the novel slightly, but I can't pick out a specific reason. Maybe I find it easier to read something in a feminist way when the text leaves some details to the imagination. Austen's wit and good writing are really worth it; Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth's acting are too.

Really I consider both classics. I feel like P&P does a lot to interrogate the romance genre that it does so well. That is, Austen seems to insert in the narration and in Elizabeth a keen awareness of the social arbitrariness of these institutions like marriage, even as it's difficult for the characters to imagine a better solution than a really well-matched marriage. In other words, she recognizes the absurdities in the system and focuses on women characters trying to get the best that they can according to what they know and value.

I can give some recommendations maybe. Admittedly, my "period" tends to be earlier. Is there a particular time period or setting you like more? Is heavy-on-humor okay, or do you prefer straight drama?

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Re: Question about period/historical dramas...

Postby Nachos » Thu Jul 7, 4:23 2016

I really like the '95 TV series, but my goodness it's long! However nothing beats the book itself. All movie and film adaptations are simply that, adaptations.
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