All the Period Dramas We Can’t Wait to See in 2023
What constitutes a period piece? By definition, period dramas are simply TV shows, miniseries, or movies set in an earlier time. That’s it. Such vagueness leaves a lot of room for interpretation, of course: Period dramas can be fiction or nonfiction, a steamy romance or terrifying horror, a stirring biopic or total fantasy.
So why do we love them so much? Maybe it’s refreshing to see a love story that doesn’t involve awkward texting. Perhaps it’s an escape, a way to imagine yourself somewhere totally devoid of today’s particular issues and anxieties. Could be we all just really fucking love corsets. Whatever your reason, just know that 2023 has a host of new period dramas coming out that are worth adding to your queue. Here’s what we recommend.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
They say we learn from the past to prevent making the same mistakes in the future, but that hasn’t always been the case when it comes to period pieces. The genre has historically centered white voices and faces, ignoring the stories of marginalized people just as history books have done for far too long. It is getting better, thanks in part to Shonda Rhimes, who totally reinvigorated the Regency romance by casting actors of color as the romantic leads in Bridgerton.
The Netflix series was such a hit, in fact, that we’re being blessed with a prequel about young Queen Charlotte and her rise to power. (Because this is a Bridgerton story, you can expect a lot of romance too.) The limited series doesn’t have a release date yet, but we expect Netflix to make an announcement soon.
This PBS Masterpiece period-drama, adapted from Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel, was saved from the brink of cancellation thanks to Bridgerton’s popularity. The two Regency-set series share a lot of similarities, including smoldering romantic leads and plucky heroines who challenge societal norms.
Watch the third—and final—season to find out why it’s gained such a cult following. Based on the teaser trailer, it looks like we can expect more love triangles and longing glances. Can’t wait. Sanditon season three premieres on PBS on March 19 at 9 p.m. ET.
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