Are You Not Entertained?, History in Films, television series

Are you not entertained? TV Series

I have fallen into the habit of watching television series after dinner. I’m partial to historical plots.

Many are too long and too much like a soap opera, but occasionally I get sucked into the narrative and cannot wait for the next episode like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or The Queen’s Gambit. If I learned something new, and the writing was decent, I forgave cheesiness and improbability. Have you seen these?

Lucy, a historian, Wyatt, a soldier, and Rufus, a scientist, unite to form an unlikely partnership, traveling through time to save history.  Why I like it: time travel! Recreates the historical climate well. Rufus is black, and the most interesting character — his African American perspective of US History is priceless. Visiting famous people, places and key events of US History was fun. I learned something new every episode. 2 seasons. Prime.
This French series involves a female detective duo. Impeccable Astrid has Asbergers and helps solve murder investigations with her messy, police commander. It has heart. Astrid, played by Sarah Mortensen, is a marvelous, memorable character. I watched it on prime, BBC Masterpiece Theater.
Pierce Bronson plays Eli McCoulagh, father of a Texas oil dynasty. The two-season series demonstrated the collision of cultures between the Cherokee, the Tex-Mex Tejanos, and the oil barons of Texas history. The book was better, of course, written by Philipp Meyer in 2013. Honestly, I could not keep my eyes off of Pierce. Great acting! Prime and Hulu.
Perfect late-night viewing.

I recommend reading Kristin Hunt‘s article featuring the fact and fiction behind Ryan Murphy’s Netflix original series, Hollywood. She says, “Although Hollywood features several real-life celebrities, directors, and agents, their biographies are intentionally pumped full of lies to suit the limited series’s alternative history, which imagines how life might’ve been different for queer, black, and brown entertainers if racism and homophobia were not barriers to their success.” I thought the series was a bolt of pizazz. I am a sucker for old Hollywood, and I liked the alternate history. Read Hunt’s article here:

https://www.vulture.com/2020/05/hollywood-netflix-true-stories-real-people.html

Jamestown

Never have I witnessed the perspective of women who journeyed to Jamestown, Virginia in the 1600s explored before. That unique perspective was highly entertaining. It was another historical series showcasing the clash of cultures. The Powhatan culture. The British class system. The beginning of slavery–it’s all there.

Have you seen any of these?

39 thoughts on “Are you not entertained? TV Series”

  1. I haven’t seen any of those, though some caught my interest reading this.
    I am currently watching ‘Killing Eve’ (final season) and ‘Peaky Blinders’ (final season).
    Add to those my wife’s choices of cookery shows, medical documentaries, and ghost-hunting shows, and my viewing calendar is stuffed full! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’ve seen (and liked!) both The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (the first two seasons especially) and The Queen’s Gambit.

    As far as shows set back in time, have you seen Outlander? Or Rome (which is on the gory side, but if you liked that one, I have a great recommendation for a great show!)? Or Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries which is set in the 20s, in Australia, and it’s really well done both in terms of casting and in terms of the meticulous attention to details to be true to the era (as far as I can tell).

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    1. Yes, I love Outlander. I’m looking forward to the final season. I’m interested in Barbarians. It surrounds the Rome occupation. However. I have not watched Rome or Miss Fisher. I love Australia, so would be quite interested. Thanks for the tip.

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  3. I loved Jamestown! I was very sad to see it end after only a few seasons. Haven’t seen the others but always trust your recommendations ❤

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    1. Welcome, Stephanie. It was soooo original to see that timeframe in US History with women at the forefront. I loved it. I do think it’s better to end the narrative arc sooner than later. I hate it when you love a show and it drags on beyond its time. I hope the creators of Downton Abbey pick up the storyline with a new set of characters. Honestly, the poor 1600s. They are hardly ever represented. So much happened!

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  4. Some brilliant shows here and ones we’ve got stuck into – particularly Mrs M and The Queen’s Gambit (Anya Taylor-Joy is just captivating to watch in anything she does!). Loved, loved, loved ‘Hollywood’ – gorgeous to watch, such a great ending, but of course so very bitter-sweet. Watched the first season or so of Jamestown but think we may have lost interest – although did enjoy it. The other shows you list look very watchable and will go on a list somewhere for when we’ve exhausted the current list – thanks for these recommendations!

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    1. My pleasure, Sarah. I remember when I watched Outlander, there were a couple of seasons that didn’t obsess me. Then the narrative picked back up. It’s very hard to extend a series effectually. If it is too long, it feels like the same ol same ol. With Jamestown, my favorite was the last couple episodes. The director/writer was different and it had a totally different feel to it. Probably a fault, but I loved how it had the feeling of a play.The staging and conclusion of the series was masterfully done.

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      1. I haven’t picked up with Outlander yet but it’s on the radar. And yes it does seem it’s very hard to extend any series. I found that with Vikings and got half way through S.5 before losing interest – although it was certainly waning before then. Happily the spin off, Vikings: Valhalla, has given some renewed perspective to the saga! I do like when different directors are drafted in as it definitely gives a different feel to a much enjoyed series. Notably Robert Rodriguez for The Mandolorian and Boba Fett. I may try again with Jamestown…

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        1. I havent’s seen the newest season of Outlander. I’ll get to it eventually. I feel the same way about Vikings — it’s hard to sustain a story when there’s more than a few seasons. It becomes redundant. I’m starting Barbarians. So far so good. I was glad Jamestown ended when it did. Thanks for the chat!

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    1. Wasn’t it awesome? Wasn’t sure what to expect. Loved the chess world and her growing up with that gift. There was never a dull episode. I love the actress Anya Taylor-Joy.
      Just read that the real woman grandmaster was Nona Gaprindashvili who lives in Georgia and is 80. Apparently she’s sueing Netflix for not telling her story right…

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  5. Not seen any of these though Jamestown would interest me. We are doing Peaky Blinders which we love and just about to start the new series of Outlander and The Last Kingdom. Also We’re in the 12 way break in the last season of the Ozarks which is just excellent, and at 4 seasons not too long. New Vikings is on my radar too!

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    1. I liked Peaky Blinders for the first two seasons. Lost interest after that. Tom Hardy did a great job, though, in a bit part. I adore The Last Kingdom. I do believe it starts today — or was it yesterday? — the new season is out. I’ll be watching it this weekend!

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  6. There are so many worthy shows on Netflix and other similar venues that it wouldn’t be hard to watch TV all day. But we can’t. SO we have to choose? Watching ‘The Last Kingdom’ again! and will check out ‘Vikings: Valhalla’ tonight. Waiting for ‘Carnival Row’ to come back. Very disappointed on ‘Star Trek Discovery’ (as are many) but hearing that they’re revamping things? They better figure something out quick. and on and on. Have a good one Cindy!

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  7. Love Mrs M. Now I have to wait for the next season. Afraid the only streams I am paying for is Prime, Brit Box, and Acorn. I know there’s a lot 0f good viewing out there.

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    1. One could spend a lot of money subscribing to it all. And then comes the half hour searching for something to watch and I can’t find anything! Ha!
      I love Mrs. M., too. They are releasing every Friday another episode to season 4 on prime.

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  8. Hi Cindy, I don’t watch any TV so I can’t comment. I clicked on you post and somehow ended up reading an extract involving Barbara Kiss and a hospital in the jungle. Then I lost it and I don’t know which one of your books it was from. A really interesting extract.

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    1. There are a couple episodes that had me on the fence, but then it picked up and became like watching a play. There were different directors and I felt pushed and pulled. But the story line is soo cool and I forgave the moments that felt like a soap opera. It ended perfectly.

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