We try to keep our TV show diet wide and varying, but even more importantly, we try to keep it balanced. While we definitely enjoy the junk food that is reality TV shows (especially 90 Day Fiancé) we have no problems clearing the veggies (aka the period dramas and related educational programming) from our plate, either.
For a long time, Downton Abbey was our go-to show whenever we needed a healthy dose of culture, but it's been a few years now since the series finale aired, and we've had to find other shows to fill that quality television void. Check out these 10 other shows that Downton Abbey fans are sure to love!
Starring Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who), Victoria follows the life of the young princess and her ascension to the throne at the young age of 18. The show explores Victoria's personal issues, her strict upbringing, her courtship with Prince Albert, and her unique political position. As someone so young who required so much guidance, she's someone who was also the leader of an entire country.
If you like gorgeous costumes, then this series (which you can catch on Amazon Prime and PBS) will definitely tickle your fancy. From the luxurious ballrooms to the decorated drawing rooms to the beautiful landscapes, the show positively oozes sophistication.
9. Mr. Selfridge
As diehard Downton fans, we think everything about the show is perfect. But if we had to narrow it down to our faves, we'd say one of the best things about the series (after the characters, storylines, and historical accuracy, of course) is the costuming. If you can't get enough early 1900s fashion, then hit up Amazon Prime and watch Mr. Selfridge.
Starring Jeremy Piven (Entourage) as the title guy, Mr. Selfridge tells the story of Harry Gordon Selfridge, a self-made retail magnate who opened a chain of retail stores called Selfridge & Co back in the early 1900s, and which are still alive and kicking today. Drama abounds in this series with tales of love, loss, and friendship.
8. Upstairs Downstairs
If you love the upstairs/downstairs dynamic of Downton Abbey, then we bet our bottom dollar that you'll love the upstairs/downstairs dynamic of Upstairs Downstairs. This series (which you can watch on Hulu) first aired from 1971 to 1975, and took place between 1903 and 1930. The show was rebooted in 2010, and stars Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard), Claire Foy (The Crown), and Eileen Atkins (who, interestingly, co-created the original series).
The rebooted Upstairs Downstairs begins in 1936, and gives viewers a good idea of what it was like to live in England just before World War II. Of course, the series isn't all political discourse, it's got plenty of family drama and good humor to enjoy, too.
7. Ordeal By Innocence
A classic whodunnit erupts when wealthy heiress Rachel Argyll is found bludgeoned to death in her family's home. It appears the case is solved when her adopted son Jack's fingerprints are found at the scene, and he's arrested. Eighteen months later, Rachel's maid, husband, and four remaining adopted children are called into question when a man arrives and provides an alibi for Jack. The case is reopened, and the family's many secrets begin to unravel.
6. Parade's End
Parade's End is like somebody got a Bedazzler for their birthday or something, and then they just went crazy studding the cast of this miniseries with stars. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Rebecca Hall (Holmes and Watson), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), Rufus Sewell (The Man in the High Castle) —the list goes on and on!
Based on a collection of novels by Ford Madox Ford, HBO's Parade's End follows the life of British noble, Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch), before, during, and after World War I. His relationship with an unconventional pacifist and suffragette, as well as his wife's promiscuity, threaten to jeopardize their respectability in society.
Based on the novels by Winston Graham, you can watch this series on Amazon Prime, and it's rife with family drama, relationship drama, and just a lot of drama in general. If you like Outlander, this one's for you.
Poldark stars Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) as Ross Poldark, a veteran of the American War for Independence who, upon returning home to England, discovers his father has died, leaving behind an estate, debts, and a copper mine. Ross is bummed when he learns his childhood sweetheart is engaged to his cousin, but he finds comfort in a poor, young woman named Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) whom he takes in. And dare I say it's so scandalous for the time period and makes for gripping television.
4. The Durrells In Corfu
Based on British naturalist Gerald Durrell's three autobiographical books, The Durrells in Corfu (which is ready for you to stream on Amazon Prime) takes place in the 1930s and follows the life of Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes), a widow who moves her children from England to the Greek island Corfu, where everything is very beautiful, but also much different than they're used to.
After diving headfirst into unfamiliar waters, the Durrells are forced to adapt to the island's ways and work to solve their financial problems. Also starring The Crown's Josh O'Connor as Gerald's older writer brother Larry, The Durrells in Corfu is a fantastic family comedy-drama that'll deliver a lot of laughs.
3. War And Peace
Brought to viewer's by BBC One, War and Peace is available on Hulu, so if you're a big fan of period dramas and/or Russian literature, that's the place you should make a beeline for now.
Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy and starring Paul Dano (There Will be Blood), Lily James (Cinderella) and James Norton (Happy Valley), the story opens in Russia in 1805, just before the start of the French invasion of Russia. Five aristocratic families must grapple with the devastating effects of war, as well as the many societal conventions of peacetime. Lavishly costumed and with A+ acting, War and Peace is a must-see miniseries.
2. Wolf Hall
Mark Rylance's (Ready Player One) performance in Wolf Hall alone is enough to make it worth a watch, but if you're a major British history buff, then you can't really afford not to see it. Based on Hillary Mantel's historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, this series is educational as well as entertaining, and you can see it on Amazon Prime.
The story centers on the life of Thomas Cromwell (Rylance). It illustrates his modest beginnings, his rise to power, and his delicate position as chief minister to King Henry VIII (Damien Lewis). Cromwell seems to move the royals around like pieces on a chessboard, orchestrating the fall of Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), but he walks a very fine line.
1. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Based on the novels by Kerry Greenwood, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an absolute delight. Well, you know, as much of an absolute delight as a series of homicides can be, anyway. You can catch this series on Netflix. Oh, and, pro tip: make plenty of popcorn in advance, because each episode of this series is a real nail-biter!
Starring Essie Davis (Game of Thrones) as Phryne Fisher, Miss Fisher is a wealthy, independent aristocrat with a penchant for solving crimes. The Robin to Miss Fisher's Batman is her paid companion, Dot Williams (Ashleigh Cummings), and together, the pair solve all manner of mysteries in 1920s Melbourne.