The British know what makes good television and good cinema (hello, Office! Pride and Prejudice! Harry Potter!), and they have a long and storied history to draw on when it comes to telling great stories. Example : Downton Abbey. American audiences were immediately drawn to the series when it finally hit the airwaves on PBS in 2011, so much so that it won six Primetime Emmy Awards in its freshman year. And the rest, as they say, is history as fans obsessed over the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family as they struggled to maintain their mansion and keep up with the changing times.
Fortunately, there are a ton of other great British dramas (cough, Bridgerton, cough) about conflicted and complicated families at the turn of the century or even before. If you’ve recently watched Shonda Rhimes’ Regency-era show giveaway and are now on the lookout for more naughty shows like Bridgerton, You have come to the right place. If you’re into story, clothing, or just endless drama, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up the best series from across the pond. The following shows are worth seeking out on any streaming platform for solid weekend reverie set in the British countryside and the strict traditions of British society.
And while you’re in the zone, may we suggest our compilation of England’s cheekiest jokes and a roundup of bright and bloody British slang. Might as well go all-in!
Come for Ross Poldark heroically riding his horse over the Cornish cliffs, stay for the romance, family scandals and endless mining trouble. While Downton Abbey focuses more on life in society, Poldark is set in the countryside and the zones about what it takes for a mining-owning family to keep their business (and their jobs at the very least) alive in troubled times. And believe me, they are always disturbing.
People can’t get enough of this Netflix series. Part Gossip Girl, part Downton Abbeyand a part Pride and Prejudice, fans of any of them will love this show. There’s dark humor, romance, and of course, lots of empire waist dresses. What else do you need?
3. Up down
This might be one of the closest shows to Downton Abbey you can get, although it’s a bit more hilarious and less dramatic. The title refers to the fact that in a legendary British mansion there is the noble family upstairs and then the surly staff downstairs. Frankly, it is also difficult to choose a side.
4. End Howards
There are a ton of adaptations of EM Forster’s novel, both in television and film form. While most are great, the 2017 Hulu series starring SuccessionMatthew Macfayden and Tracey Ullman are fun to start with. The show is like Downton Abbeya story about the turn of the 20th century in England told through three families: the Schlegels, the wealthy and pretentious Wilcoxes, and the Basts, a working-class family.
5. Call the midwife
If you like the period look of Downton Abbey, Call the midwife should be your next long-haul watch. Luckily, there are a ton of seasons available to start with, and you’ll instantly be drawn into the story of a group of midwives and how they help each other and other women in times of need. While dealing with their own personal dramas, too.
6. Da Vinci’s Demons
This show shakes up history and gives Leonardo da Vinci one of the coolest origin stories. The series – filled with mystery, adventure and the search for truth – follows 25-year-old Da Vinci. Just as brilliant as history portrays him, this Da Vinci proves ahead of his time, and his way of thinking makes him a target for leaders who aren’t ready for his genius.
7. The crown
It’s no secret that the Royal Family has been subject to quite a bit of drama over the past few years, but the excitement is way older than Twitter. The crown is a dramatic historical account of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Beginning in the 1940s and stretching to the present day, the series brings history to life and brings together decades of romance, rivalry, and personal strife into a single Netflix series.
Dickinson is a creative coming-of-age series that follows iconic wordsmith Emily Dickinson through her life as a young adult. In this clever series, Hailee Steinfeld plays a young Dickinson as she embarks on a journey to understand how she relates to society, her family, and her sexuality. Dickinson may be a 19th-century poet, but this series makes her relatable, funny, and a character that really jumps off the page.
More shows like Downton Abbey
- The Durrells
- The Tudors
- War & Peace
- hall of wolves
- North South
- Mr Jack
- Lark goes up to Candleford
- Trial by Innocence
- The Spanish Princess
- dark house
- The Windsors
- North South
This article was originally published on