31 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK RECAP: North & South (1985), Episodes 5 & 6

  1. The costumes (and history) may be shitty, but this was a defining moment for me when it first aired in my early teens and cemented my love for all-things-costume-drama as well as enough of an interest in the (real events of the) Civil War that I minored in it in college several years later. I think the casting in Book II is better—especially Parker Stevenson as Billy Hazard.

      1. Parker and Kirstie been married for a year or two before that–I’m pretty sure he was brought in because they were married.

        Speaking of married couples . . . Perfect Blonde and George (Wendy Kilbourne and James Read) did fall in love IRL through these miniseries and eventually married in 1988. They’re still married!

        Tits McGee (Lesley-Anne Down) met and married her third (and still) husband, a camera operator, on set, as well.

        Oh, and Number 1 and Sweet Blonde (Jonathan Frakes and Genie Francis) also fell in love and married in 1988 and are still married!

        So while the costumes haven’t aged well (!), at least three romances that started on set have!

        1. You are a treasure trove of info on this. It’s nice that a lot of good came out of it, and I hope the relationships last at least as long as the polyester fabrics!

  2. Well, you battled North AND South for our entertainment, and you won, so I think you deserve a medal. I’ll try to make something fitting the occasion, with fake pearls and rhinestone border around plastic cameo, with nice (if scratchy) nylon lavender lace. Of course, finding the “Ave Frockflicks, Morituri te Salutant” cameo may be a little hard…Anyway, I seem to recall that Slutty was evil, but on the whole, quite nicely dressed… And is that a quite nice dress in peach and white lace I spy behind sweet blonde in that wedding photo?

  3. “Sweet Blonde meets up with Billy to show off her peach poly-baroque satin while all of Charleston is freaking out about today’s presidential election.” To my amateurish eye the ensemble that Sweet Blonde wears in that scene looks more or less historically correct and not bad too … In comparison with most dresses in that series this is a big improvement.

  4. There really is no excuse for such god-awful costumes and hair, albeit their budget was probably stretched to the breaking point. But when you have Piero Tosi doing “The Leopard” twenty whole years, there’s really no excuse. “The Blue and the Gray” aired two years before this and managed to have better costumes (albeit not by much). Even the GWTW costumes were much more accurate and more tasteful. This is like every Harlequin cover was vomited onto a roll of film.

    1. “This is like every Harlequin cover was vomited onto a roll of film”. 10/10! You’ve nailed it! The series has the looks of a romance cover novel from the 1980’s.

  5. You get all the prizes! Geez. What a slog. Although weirdly there were more okay dresses in this one… like, maybe they were actually looking at the right era mostly? I also thought the first dress Virgilia shows up in looks pretty decent for a less wealthy day dress. I’m not really sold on the brunette’s multicolored striped dress myself.

    I also weirdly kind of love Johnny Cash as John Brown? Maybe it’s nostalgia from his guest spots on Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman.

    The plot continues to be super ridiculous. The motivations are passable but the reactions bizarre (and the bad sister’s reactions are wicked OTT). Also, surprising that this is the first baby. Haven’t they been married like 5 years now? The pregnancy rates are unbelievably low for the amount of sex they’re having and the lack of contraceptives, and that apparently this bothered no one, not even Tits’ husband.

    I look forward to your review of the next season.. whenever you can bring yourself to do it. :-)

    1. “The pregnancy rates are unbelievably low for the amount of sex they’re having and the lack of contraceptives” – I’m still wondering about that too … I mean, the plot takes place from 1840 to 1865 (I’m counting the second season in) and not from 1940 to 1965 …

  6. Laughing at my desk so hard about the obvious hitman!! Snark Week for Frock Flicks means no work week for me.

  7. Gee, you actually finished it. You deserve a case of your favourite tipple. And you get to cast the next MQOS thirteen part miniseries.

  8. You are amazing! I can’t believe you actually did it…. Thank you for the snark & Congrats on completing it x

  9. I understand not having the most amazing costuming budget, but is it really that difficult to get decent, era appropriate hairstyles and clothing? So much of that looks like they didn’t even try.

    Obvious hitman is obvious. XD

  10. I enjoyed this look back into historically accurate Civil War by way of mid-80’s .I was born in 1994 so its fascinating to see mid-80’s trends play out in a porno version of GWTW in the mid 1980’s!

  11. We finally made it to Liz Taylor and Morgan Fairchild! Whew! And, I guess, the actual Civil War. That part’s kind of anti-climactic after so much eye-searingly bad costumes & ridiculous re-writing of history. Go Kendra go!!!

  12. That movie portrait/painting! Holy Tits!! Had to laugh at other post about bad movie paintings too.

  13. Noooo. The last post. I have enjoyed these so much, leaving these to last to read each day. I really hope that after a year’s recovery you can bring yourself to face series two for Snark Week next year. Something to look forward to next year and this from someone who never watched, or even heard of the series and has zero interest in it, other than to read these blogs about it.

  14. I am SO GLAD I never watched that atrocity. My eyes would have been bleeding. Thank you for your service in recapping all of that, as well as costume critiques. Brava!

  15. Kendra, your hilarious reviews of “North and South” saved my whole week (during reading the fragment about “two blind guppies” in review of episode 2, I was laughing tears) :-D. However, as I have written before, I have still a soft spot for “North and South”, because it was the first period film I have ever seen in my life (I was 8 when I saw fragments of it) and it started my interest for period films, history of fashion and art.

    I have one more question: Will you girls write a review about “Gone with the Wind”?

  16. I’ve never seen this thing, but your recaps are GLORIOUS. It has everything – Patrick Swayze, Forest Whitaker, Liz Tyler cameo, poly baroque satin, lots and lots of slut-shaming, screenplay obviously written by Bertrice Small (for those of you who don’t know, famous bodice ripper writer, her books are like mini-soap operas and I love them, mostly in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way)… And you gals are so damn funny!

  17. I own the peach satin bodice dress it’s actually more of a rose beigh colour and made of silk satin

  18. It’s been a long time since I saw North & South, but I remember the Kirstie Alley character being hanged for killing that creepy senator she had been shagging. Patrick Swayze visits her in the death cell and she says she’s looking forward to being reunited with Grady in Heaven. Am I wrong ?

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