24 thoughts on “Frock Flicks Free-for-All April

  1. Masterpiece Theater is starting Atlantic Crossings this coming Sunday. Forties clothing and a Danish princess as the lead, maybe good costumes?

    1. What impressed me most about Atlantic Crossing was the truly international production, specifically the care taken to have King Haakon (the grandfather) played by a Dane, the Crown Princess played by a Swede, the Crown Prince played by a Norwegian, and the Americans played by Americans–actors matching the characters’ real nationalities. The costumes seemed on-point for the late 30’s-1940, but there was nothing remarkable about them. Kyle MacLachlan in a white suit as FDR….rrrrroww.

  2. I am not seeing many new stuff for me this year…my preferences being 17th-19th centuries and early 20th sans magic or time travel etc…but will try Atlantic Crossing if I get PBS one of these months. And Gentleman Jack, Gilded Age if it ever shows up, Pursuit of Love and a few others appeal on some level. Also Mr. Malcolm’s List sounds possible as well as The Devil in the White City.

  3. Surfing at random on the net, I found fanwebsites about Italian show (2003) Elisa Di Rivombrosa. Not sure I will find a way to catch it but will try.

  4. My partner and I have been on a Sherlock Holmes (ish) kick lately. We started out with a favorite mystery-solving game, and over the last few weeks we’ve binged the Suspicions of Mr. Whicher series, the Robert Downey Jr. movies, a few of the Basil Rathbone films we could find, even the CSI episode with the Sherlock Holmes club. For the moment we’ve exhausted our supply of easily available mid-to-late Victorian detective media.

    So I thought it would be fun to check out that new Netflix show, ‘The Irregulars’. I was a little skeptical about the supernatural content, but figured it was worth watching at least one episode.

    We gave up after that one episode. Maybe it’s just not meant for someone who cares about history and/or mystery solving. I was so happy to see such a diverse cast, but otherwise … the main character is a young woman who walks around in trousers all day and no one bats an eye. The story is just not compelling, it’s so cheesy. And the costumes are … nondescript. With a few exceptions, if I saw them outside the context of the show’s setting, I would not know that they were intended to be worn by someone living in the 19th century. They add nothing to the story – it’s almost as though they were explicitly designed to be ignored.

    Maybe it gets better in later episodes?

    On a positive note, that partner – who is not a reenactor and has never even been particularly interested in my historical hobbies – has agreed to let me make him a suit for SF Dickens Faire (we’re hoping it will be back on this year)!

    1. You quit before you met Not!Holmes. His introduction is vomiting over the side of the bed, then peeing in a corner. This is before you find out he SPOILER fell in love, knocked a girl up, lost her, and abandoned his children to a workhouse so that he can spend all his time binge-drinking and high on cocaine while being worthless. I liked the show, but HATED what they did to him. :P

    2. you ought to look for Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes. it’s the closest version to the master works. also look for Ellie Norwood. they are silent era Sherlock Holmes movies and are very good as well.

  5. There’s an upcoming Starz Drama called Becoming Elizabeth that’s just started filming. I was wondering if you could review some behind the scenes images of the drama this month?

    1. I had to remove your links to the Daily Mail – we had to stop linking to them or using any of their photos, they’re not nice about it! If the photos show up on a more reputable & cooperative source, sure, I’m interested :)

  6. Has anyone seen the short lived BBC series Servants from 2003? I stumbled onto it on Britbox last week and while the plotting is all over the place, the costumes are lovely. It has a young Felicity Jones and was made a few years before her Northanger Abbey. It’s also very, very pre-Downton Abbey- no romanticizing of relations between servants and masters to be found here!

    The hairpin shortage is nowhere in evidence (the men’s hair is admittedly pretty bad). There are scenes with women with their hair down but it is made clear by the plot that they are female servants who are on their off time and when back at work, upstairs or outside, their hair is both up and covered by a cap. The women’s dresses also do a lovely job with the pleated bodice fronts of the 1850s (apologies for possibly getting the terminology wrong here- I’m an 18th century historian by trade) and nobody ever hoists a skirt either.

    In short, an unexpected pleasure!

      1. I would love to know what any or all of you think of the costumes if you find the time to watch it. I really wish it had gotten a second series as I regretfully finished the last episode this afternoon.

    1. I watched the series, and can see why it was canceled after one season. 21st Century behavior and servants with WAY too much time on their hands for the period. The seemed fairly undressed, but not as much as many other series.

  7. I watched Seabiscuit the other day for the first time in years, and DAMN, I want everything Elizabeth Banks wears.

  8. I just finished Season 2 of Black Sails. While my thoughts on the show range from middling (most of S1 except when it was bad) to pretty great (most of S2), I keep getting distracted by the ATROCIOUS costuming! Definitely a topic for a future snark week — many of the pirates seem to be in leather pants and Henley’s and then sprayed with mud in the hopes of looking “historical” while the female lead gets a distressed Carolina Herrera-style “gown” to show that she’s “down to earth”. The costuming improves (at least in terms of coloring and grandeur) in scenes set in London but seems rife with many Frock Flicks’ pet peeves!

    (As much as I complain about the costumes, I am now enjoying the show greatly. I was not fond of, or simply unengaged during much of S1 but the finale and S2 have really turned things around with complex characterizations and some unexpected zigzagging.)

  9. I spent the afternoon watching The Luninaries series on Starz.

    The series is set in 1865-6 New Zealand but the costumes looked to be spread over the mid 1870s to late 1880s. The antagonist wore her wig/extensions to create waist-length red hair that was NEVER up on her left side, and only partially so on the right.

    I want those 6 hours back.

    1. We in NZ were SO frustrated by this production. Apparently they put a huge amount of time and effort into getting it wrong. The country is DRIPPING with costuming expertise, and yet, this happened. I am so sorry. For all of us.

  10. I just came across a miniseries called Class of ’61 from 1993 directed by Steve Spielberg by the photos looks decent but I don’t know can you give it a little look to see if it’s historically accurate please? And I was reading Snark Week and still misses NORTH and South 3 from 1994 I just came across it on a free streaming site in 1080p if you’re interested I can send a link

  11. Watch out for my state. Our mask mandate ends tomorrow (4/6) because germs don’t cross our borders.

    Light on historical costume content recently. I didn’t mind Irregulars. It was cheeseball, girls wore pants, the great hairpin shortage struck again, Holmes went out in unbuttoned undershirts, the language was beyond anachronistic, etc. I turned off my brain and rolled with it.

    On the couture front, Villanelle always looks devastating (her stated goal) in Killing Eve.

  12. The Women of Brewster Place is available for streaming on Hoopla. I have vague memories of it from my childhood. I look forward to seeing it as an adult.

  13. I watched the movie “Ladies in Black” and I LOVED it. the dresses were to die for. the story was enjoyable and the book was fantastic. it’s well worth recommending and watching. I watched it on Roku.

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