Culture and Entertainment

Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag

I’m joining here: Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag.

1) Your current three (or up to five!) favorite period dramas?

Does Cinderella 2012 count? Ever After is an evergreen favorite. I honestly feel that I’ve worn all the other ones (the Jane Austen adaptations) out with over watching, and I’ve not found anything new that I love yet. The Importance of Being Ernest. The Scarlet PimpernelThe Inheritance.

I need to watch some versions beyond the basic Bronte, Austen, and Dickens.

2) What would you recommend to someone who’s never seen a period drama as a starter?

Ever After. It’s fairytale and period drama and rom com in one, I think it ticks a lot of boxes.

3) A favorite couple that wouldn’t be included in answer #1 (cause I’m figuring those are already top favorites ;)) and/or a favorite secondary character romance?

Arthur and Amy in Little Dorrit. 

Secondary character romances always just add that extra depth and sparkle to a story. I love that the nicer stepsister in Ever After gets her own romance.

4) What do you consider foundational qualities for a healthy romance?

Honesty, authenticity (i.e. generally the same in all situations, no one is playing any games, playing hot and cold). Trust. Pursuing interest genuinely (i.e. not dating/playing around or “trying to make up my mind” . . . or flirting to hide a previous attachment or marriage!). Communication (not jumping to conclusions, if the loved one is in a compromising situation, the other would go and honestly ask rather than assume the worst). Forgiveness (you know, not staying out at sea sulking because one was rejected several years before).

5) Worst villain/antagonist?

The disgusting would be rapist Pierre le Pieu from Ever After. I think he doesn’t always come to mind, because I try not to dwell on him, he’s so, so vile, actually I think I leave during his parts during recent watches.

6) A favorite proposal scene?

the 2007 Persuasion which blends BOTH of Jane Austen’s endings, granted it also includes the most awkward kiss and camera angles to be seen in a period drama. But Wentworth’s letter!

Also, I don’t know if this is a proposal scene exactly, I think it’s more a profession of love, but that scene in the carriage in Belle, with John shouting, “I love her, I love her!” at Belle’s guardian/father when his intentions are questioned. I think that might have gotten or almost gotten tears from me, which has been rather hard to do.

Now, if some one could get John Brooke’s proposal to Meg right! I think one of the older version’s gave it some justice, but I haven’t seen that one in ages.

7) Favorite period drama characters based on a real life couple?

I don’t think I’ve seen any real life period dramas, oh, wait some about Queen Elizabeth’s father. Yeah, I think that is it. Not really anything romantic. Oh, wait I like the romance in Miss Potter.

8) Any classic b/w period dramas you like?

Well, I don’t think we’d have the Anthony Andrews Scarlet Pimpernel without the Leslie Howard one. I wouldn’t say I liked it other than that inspiration for the best Scarlet Pimpernel. I’m not sure what other b/w period dramas I’ve seen. Oh, Jane Eyre, that definitely matched the atmosphere of Jane Eyre, again, not really to my liking though.

9) Most mature romance in a period drama? (mature as in age and/or characters who are consciously and wisely ripened by life experience, etc.)

Probably the Westons. I can’t really think of any more main couples. There are plenty with the guy older but they don’t feel very mature always when the girl is younger. Oh, wait, I love the Hamiltons in The Inheritance.

10) Most excruciatingly long, slow burn romance in a period drama?

I know Captain Wentworth and Anne feature a lot in this questions, but their story is so fraught with complications and details and intensity! Arthur and Amy also fit this.

11) A story that has multiple film adaptations where you love more than one of them?

I started out preferring the Kate Beckinsale/Mark Strong version of Emma (I HATE the Gweneth Paltrow version) but eventually the 2008 version won over. Kate Beckinsale is by FAR the most accurate Emma. I’ve yet to see the new abomination Emma.

I think I enjoy different aspects of different Jane Eyre’s (as much as I could seeing as how I don’t love that story). I’ve yet to see the Timothy Dalton one.

12) A book you think needs to be made into a film (or a new adaptation)?

I wish more of the Alcott and Montgomery novels were adapted (but only by people who strive for accuracy on every point!).


  • Skye

    I hated the Gweneth Paltrow, Emma too! It was terrible, the BBC version is really good though.
    Love Ever After so much. It’s such a pretty, clever, well done movie.

    • Rachel Olivia

      I was introduced to Emma via the Kate Beckinsale Mark Strong version along with the other BBC or Masterpiece or A&E versions, like the 95 pride and prejudice the Emma Thomspson S&S etc, then read the book, then watched the movie more. Later I saw the Gweneth Paltrow version and was horrified. It doesn’t match with the other mid-90’s Jane Austens and just felt wrong by the book and historically, and I loathed the casting and acting. By the time I watched it again, it might have been after the 2009 Emma came out and then there was another source of terrible contrast. I just couldn’t see out of the three why that the Gweneth Paltrow would be a favorite. I’ve seen the 2009 over and over and while the Emma isn’t accurate and can be annoying plus the weird crying scene, its just a happier movie, the scenery is gorgeous, all the other characters are better and funnier, its longer and more accurate, the clothing is gorgeous, the music is gorgeous, so its been my favorite for awhile now. I think I’m going to give the newest version a bit of time before I try it, I just don’t know why we need 4 versions of Emma in 25 years, seems a bit excessive. I mean with Pride and Prejudice only having two?!

  • Heidi P

    “Honesty, authenticity (i.e. generally the same in all situations, no one is playing any games, playing hot and cold). Trust. Pursuing interest genuinely (i.e. not dating/playing around or “trying to make up my mind” . . . or flirting to hide a previous attachment or marriage!).” YES. Ok, with the rather huge exception of Jane Eyre, I very heartily second this. It’s funny, cause I view myself as being very alive to romance, but I get so irritated when people start getting ridiculously irrational/combative and messing around just for the sake of injecting some sort of arbitrary tension. And I know messy situations exist, but it really irks me when a main character might be engaged at the beginning and it starts becoming evident it might not be the right thing, but then they string the whole thing out for waaaaay too long before putting an end to it. I’m not talking about multiple suitors or anything. But if you’re ALREADY not at a place where your fiancee is your close confidante then you’ve probably already got some misdirection in that relationship before another love interest even comes on the scene. Anyway, it just bugs me. But sorry for the rant. ;P

    Agreed on all your Ever After points. <3 And I’m so happy to find someone else who’s seen The Inheritance (sweet and simple, but very underrated) and who loves the ’07 Persuasion!! 🙂 🙂

    • Rachel Olivia

      Exactly!!!!! You know you don’t love your fiance or intended but instead of being honest, lets string it out with “I don’t know, I think he’s not the ONE, kind of nonsense.” Its okay to be single rather than just having someone.

      The Inheritance is so sweet without being saccharine, and it features some of the prettiest period drama clothes, I haven’t watched any others or many others from that time period.

      • Heidi P

        Thought of a good analogy on the arguing/tension thing as a couple is getting acquainted. In the good/great stories, I’d call it more sparring, akin to a fencing match — and all part of a dance — rather than in some less great stories where it can descend to just pointless bickering, generally because one person is just being outright difficult for the sake of contrived emotion or drama.

        • Rachel Olivia

          Exactly! That is why I sometimes say bantering couples, I never say bickering, all the copycat ones are that SUCH a huge difference and yes SO contrived. It turns it from being a type of couple I love to one I loathe.

  • Heidi P

    Did you get my other comment yesterday? When I try to leave it again it says it’s a duplicate. No worries if you just haven’t published it yet, I just wanted to make sure you got it

  • Elizabeth

    Ever After is so good! Although it has been quite a long time since I’ve seen it.

    I love the Scarlet Pimpernal version with Anthony Andrews. Jane Seymour is so young in the movie, up until then I’d only seen her in Heidi, I’ve seen parts of the Leslie Howard version but not the whole thing.

    • Rachel Olivia

      They are both such comfort movies. I grew up on the Heidi with Jane Seymour in it, and I feel that the Scarlet Pimpernel was the next thing I can remember seeing her in.

      The Leslie Howard version is SO hard to watch, I think its so old or damaged, it was like watching a movie in the dark that was filmed in the dark with a bad camcorder, like everything was dark and hard to make out. I don’t know that is was the oldest movie I’ve seen, maybe it was, it was just SO hard to see. There might be better redone copies available though.

  • Lexlingua

    Quite agree with all your thoughts, and yay for some of the older gems like Miss Potter, Ever After and Scarlet Pimpernel.
    I would also add in the movie Becoming Jane, Death Comes to Pemberley and BBC version for Bleak House. For Jane Eyre, my own favorite is the 2006 BBC version with Toby Stephens. Sigh. Great post

    • Rachel Olivia

      Yes, that’s my favorite Jane Eyre thus far, solely because of Toby Stephens, I do however still need to see the Timothy Dalton version.

      I’ve not seen Becoming Jane, Death Comes to Pemberley or Bleak House, maybe I should do Period Dramas I haven’t seen for Valentine’s Day.

  • moviecriticqueen

    “Forgiveness (you know, not staying out at sea sulking because one was rejected several years before).” <— So true! I was thinking of Persuasion in my answer, too. I’ve seen bits of the 2007 version but haven’t watched it since I read the book. I should fix that.

    • Rachel Olivia

      Lol, I love Captain Wentworth, and yeah I know the story wouldn’t be the same had he grown up a bit faster, but he really was sulking.

    • Rachel Olivia

      I’m going to let the new Emma sit while I get over being offended that there was a new plus several silly things added, lol.

      Ever After is great.

    • Rachel Olivia

      He’s just so, creepy and vulgar, almost explicit, I think lots of times they don’t have guys this bad or its only implied, or they are flat, one-dimensional. He’s quite a developed character with quite obvious intentions which he starts to fulfill. Ugh. It also makes her stepmother that much more evil for what she does, because she knowingly sells (!) Danielle to this horrible being.

  • Gabby A.

    Oohh, good answers! Btw, I don’t know if I’ve ever said this but I LOVE your header and profile picture. Did you draw them? 🙂

    I agree – I’m so glad Jacqueline got her own romance in Ever After. That was so sweet. 🙂 <3

    I so agree about them getting Meg and John’s proposal right in Little Women! Why must they skip over it and meddle with it?! growls Also, we definitely need more L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott stories brought to screen, FAITHFULLY. Yes please and thank you.

    • Rachel Olivia

      Thanks, aren’t they lovely? I didn’t draw them, I came up with the header idea and had it commissioned, the artist is I might try my hand at my own in the near future though, I’m about due for an update.

      Yes, secondary romances make things so much more fun oftentimes.

      Yes, and they need to stop making John such a prosy prig, he’s actually got a quiet sense of humor in the book (which happens to make the proposal quite a bit funny).

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