I don’t always watch television, but when I do, I gravitate toward shows that dive into characters and events based upon real times and people in history. These are some of my favorite series:
Victoria – Victoria is the story of a young queen thrust into power – and how she navigates the challenges of love, family, and leadership. This show touches on many of the turning points of British history with fine acting and writing, from the repeal of the Corn Laws to the Irish Potato Famine.
Generation War – This powerful German-made show illustrates how war destroys the lives and character of five young friends in Germany in World War II.
John Adams – Paul Giamiatti does an excellent job of portraying American founder John Adams in this series which starts with the Boston Massacre and ends after a long life in the thick of events which shaped the early country.
Downton Abbey – Downton set the standard for historical drama and certainly has something to do with the success of shows like Victoria and The Crown. This show follows a British noble family and their household servants, family, lovers, and friends through the tumultuous 15-20 years between the end of the Edwardian era in England and the end of the roaring 20s.
The Crown – I just started this Netflix series based on Queen Elizabeth II’s rise to power as a queen in the modern England of the early 1950s. It has much of the same feel of Victoria, so I like it. I’ve already learned about people and notable events I didn’t know, from the Great Fog to the personality of the Duke of Windsor.
Band of Brothers – This is hands-down the best dramatization of World War 2 available in a miniseries. Band of Brothers follows the men of EZ Company, 501st Regiment, 101st Airborne division as they train, then invade France as part of the D-Day mission, the Battle of the Bulge, and the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest.