Let’s Play Questions…. Vol. 2 – Perfume & Television

I’m a TV junkie. Yes, I admit it fully and without shame. Television is one of the few ways I can turn off the endless, whirling dervishes of my mind. As someone who is an insomniac partially because of that fevered mind, television is also a lovely companion at 3:48 a.m. when even the Hairy German is asleep. I watch all sorts of series, from acclaimed dramas to historical period pieces, serial-killer detective shows to every single thing ever released on HBO and, yes, even things of a less… er… reputable nature like reality shows. (Heidi Klum, we need to have a little chat about your new perfume on the recent episode of Project Runway.)

“Kalinda Sharma” on The Good Wife.

One of those (better) shows came to mind the other day when I was mulling over Robert Piguet‘s legendary butch leather perfume, Bandit, and how, in the end, I simply wasn’t tough enough for her. It suddenly hit me who would be the ideal woman for Bandit: Kalinda on The Good Wife. Tenacious, tough, edgy, often in black leather, with a seductive, mysterious, enigmatic side to that Mona Lisa smile. And, yes, sexually open in a way that Bandit’s famous creator, Germaine Cellier, would wholly approve of. After all, Cellier was allegedly not only a lesbian but, also, the woman who supposedly sniffed the panties of models coming off of from the runway in order to absorb the true essence of a woman. (If you’re interested, you can read the story of Bandit and Germaine Cellier in my review of the fragrance.)

So, I started wondering: what other fragrances would be the perfect fit for characters on shows that I watch? I began by going through various series that I adore with a passion (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Homeland, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Person of Interest), those I really like a lot (Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, The Americans), and even those old favorites from the past (The Wire, Frasier, All Creatures Great and Small, Upstairs/Downstairs, Inspectors Morse/Lewis, Foyle’s War, House of Cards, and every BBC show ever made — since I seem to have watched them all).

I concluded that starting with the television show was absolutely the wrong way to go about things! It was overwhelming to think of all the characters and what might suit them. It was much more logical to start with the perfume itself and then cast about for which character — across all possible shows — might fit with it. Even so, it’s still a bloody difficult task!

I’ve got a few vague mental images in my mind thus far, but I’m struggling. For Game of Thrones, obviously one of the “Night’s Watch” up North would wear Frederic Malle‘s Eau d’Hiver, but which one? I think Ned Stark, Sean Bean’s character, would wear something leathery and masculine, but I doubt it would be any of the sweetly spiced ones. And no refined leather like Cuir de Russie for such a warrior, either.

“Dany” on Game of Thrones.

I’m still pondering that one, as I am for the rest of the characters on the show. For example, Daenerys Targaryen could go one of two, very different ways: something extremely light and white to reflect the Targaryen clan’s platinum hair; or a spicy oriental to reflect her time in the desert, and her evolution from an innocent girl who would have once worn a soft floral. Nothing comes to mind on the first front. For the second, however, I could easily see her with some feminine, spicy floral leather fragrance like Serge LutensCuir Mauresque or Puredistance M. The latter, in particular, would fit the molten fires of that critical scene at the end in the first season. (I won’t say which to avoid spoiling it for those who haven’t seen the show.)

Daenerys is much easier than the Lannisters. I cannot imagine a perfume for a single one of the icy, power-hungry, incestuous, and/or mentally unhinged Lannister clan. Perhaps fantasy shows do not lend themselves well to more moderate, civilised scents? That said, the very extreme Secretions Magnifique from Etat Libre d’Orange might suit The Imp, but it seems a shame to saddle such a brilliant, rich, complex character (and the only decent Lannister!) with something so singular. On the other hand, Tyrion does seek to be intentionally provocative to those around him and, also, does seem a little obsessed by sex, so perhaps it fits after all.

“Roger Sterling” (left) and “Don Draper” (right) on Mad Men.

Unfortunately, I’m struggling with modern-era series just as much, albeit for very different reasons. I don’t know enough about true men’s colognes to think of scents for characters like Walter White on Breaking Bad. (What would a chemistry teacher turned meth drug overlord wear anyway???!) I can see Don Draper on Mad Men wearing Eau Sauvage (if only because of the name) and Roger Sterling with Givenchy’s Monsieur de Givenchy — but neither seems like a truly perfect, “Aha!”-type fit.

“Carrie Mathison” on Showtime’s Homeland.

As for the women, on most of the shows I watch, they wouldn’t be the sort for the rich, spicy Orientals or the flamboyantly diva-like florals that I know so well. Bi-polar CIA operatives on an obsessed hunt for a terrorist mole/Marine/Senator don’t typify something like my beloved, boozy Alahine, the happy Bombay Bling, or the ultra-feminine diva, Fracas. (Gaby on Desperate Housewives might be another matter entirely.) On second thought, perhaps the very schizophrenic, creamy Datura Noir from Serge Lutens might fit the very troubled, blonde Carrie Mathison? As for Nick Brody, somehow I see Andy Tauer‘s L’Air du Desert Marocain, but is his purported clean-cut, All-American image better suited for something American, fresh, and conservative? So many questions!

Equally perplexity is the issue of Reagan-era, KGB “Directorate S” operatives living as moles in the suburbs of D.C. Despite the era, I can’t see the characters of The Americans wearing anything as ’80s in its potency or forcefulness as a Tom Ford Private Blend fragrance — or even the actual ’80s powerhouse, Giorgio. But I can see them wearing His and Hers versions of Armani‘s Acqua di Gio. Perfectly innocuous, bland, mass-market, generic scents that completely blend in with their lack of character and, thus, never stand out.

“Betty Draper” on Mad Men.

“Megan” on Mad Men.

Speaking of restrained fragrances, I see Betty Draper on Mad Men wearing an extremely repressed, reserved, haughtily rich-smelling Chanel scent. My guess would be Chanel’s new (and extremely boring) 1932. In contrast, Megan would probably opt for something with a little edge and probably some hippie patchouli in it as well, though I have no idea yet what it would be. Serge LutensBorneo 1834? Or, perhaps, Chanel‘s Coco Noir with its more classic character but, at the same time, with that purple patchouli note? Neither seems to be the perfect fit, though I see the Lutens being more applicable than the Chanel.

My questions for you: Is there a fragrance that you see as the ideal “Aha!” match for a character on a show that you watch? If so, what perfume and why does it so perfectly epitomize that character? Obviously, you’re not limited to the shows I’ve mentioned; I’d love to know what you enjoy. Also, don’t feel compelled to restrict yourself to fragrances that existed at the time in which the characters live or lived. For example, just because Downton Abbey takes place in the very early part of the 20th century doesn’t mean that you’re limited to Guerlain, Coty, or Caron. Lastly, are there any characters whose ideal perfume stumps you? If so, perhaps someone else can help and jump in with the answer.

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41 thoughts on “Let’s Play Questions…. Vol. 2 – Perfume & Television

  1. I don’t watch television except for the Voice, but the Good Wife is occasionally filmed on my office building. I have run into Juliana Margulies and Christina Ricci (guest star) in the ladies’ room. Next time I will tackle them and ask them what their favorite perfumes are. 😉

    • Ah, interesting, Aurora! Yes, a definite sultry classic like Shalimar might well fit Joan. 😀 I’d contemplated Femme by Rochas: sultry, animalic, very sexual and with a definite Diva presence. I think one blog once described the scent as the olfactory equivalent of a “POW! I am HERE! I am all WOMAN!” I think Joan might well slink around in Femme but, then, she has a conservative side too, especially about sexuality so perhaps a Guerlain would be a better choice. Kevin thought Mitsouko and I’m inclined to agree with that one because of its skanky/mistress background, but I have no doubt the answers would be evenly split down the middle as between the two Guerlains. Hmm, Shalimar or Mitsouko for Joan? A really good head-to-head battle. I wonder what other people think as between those two or if they see something else for her?

      • Yes, I was also going to suggest Shalimar in lieu of Mitsouko! I ended up choosing Mitsouko because there is definitely a very, very intimate sensuality to it that isn’t crass or grotesque, only alluring (to my nose at least). Perfect for the sexpot that is Joan. Although I can totally see her in Shalimar as well! Maybe she’s a two-perfume kind of lady? 🙂 She can have both!

        Betty can be 1932, or better yet, Beige (which is fitting in a number of ways). She’s definitely a Chanel lady.

        As for Carrie from Homeland, I’m not sure what she’d wear! My guess: nothing. She doesn’t seem like that kind of lady to me, but who knows! Lady Mary is often seen dabbing on perfume, it’s most assuredly something boring and uninspired, much like her character (can you tell I’m not a fan of Mary?).

        Do you watch Enlightened with Laura Dern? She would definitely wear something patchouli-ish, but only if it were organically sourced and all natural!

        But the real question is – what would some of the Real Housewives wear? 🙂

        • Re. Joan on Mad Men: You two have convinced me – she wears both! Shalimar most of the time, Mitsouko for her sexpot adventures — especially if an illicit rendezvous with Roger Sterling! 😉 Betty on Mad Men: Beige? Do we hate Betty that much? Actually, yes, I do, most definitely, I do!!! So, yes, Beige it shall be.

          Carrie from Homeland: You do have a point but what about her bi-polar phases when she’s going out to clubs in a tiny black mini-dress to pick up a guy as a stress-release? THAT Carrie would probably wear something.

          I don’t watch Enlightened, but I’m afraid I can’t help you for other reasons. Namely, a patchouli that is not only all natural but organically-sourced??! LOL! I know a few people here have tried natural perfumed oils, so maybe they can give us some help and pointers.

          As for The Real Housewives…. you wretch! You had to bring them up, didn’t you? Teresa Guidice from the RH of New Jersey — I may be up all day and night trying to decide what she would wear. Which over-the-top vulgar option could it be? But, hands down, Juicy Joe would wear the Pizza Hut perfume! 😉 😀 I don’t watch the RH of New York, Beverly Hills or Atlanta, so I can’t really guess what they would wear. What are your thoughts?

          P.S. — So far, it seems as though you and I are the only ones here who actually watch a bit of television. ROFL.

          • LOL! I’m actually two (maybe only one, I can’t remember) seasons behind in Mad Men! Unfortunately, I don’t watch as much TV as I used to (gave up cable as it was too crazily expensive and I simply didn’t watch enough to justify it). I basically watch Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock and RuPaul’s Drag Race, then usually watch HBO shows after a full season is over and I can do a binge. 🙂 I don’t really miss cable, although part of me misses all the Real Housewives franchises…

            I am absolutely cackling at Juicy Joe’s Pizza Hut cologne! He’s so repulsive, I’d say that would work. Or absolute drowning in Acqua di Gio, but that’s too high class for him. As for the other housewives, I’m really not sure! All the Beverly Hills people have money, so I would hope they wouldn’t go for anything too tasteless, except for Kim Richards, who would probably choose some weirdly juvenile scent. The Orange County ladies almost certainly would choose something tacky and low class, though.

            You should consider watching Enlightened if you ever can. I absolutely fell in love with the show when I watched it. Laura Dern plays a seriously flawed, but well-meaning character who has a nervous breakdown at work and goes to rehab and returns from rehab trying to get her life back on track. It doesn’t sound particularly compelling, but it’s a great story and she’s a really well-realized character in a way I find is pretty rare on television. It’s very hard to watch at times, but pretty awesome. But yes, she’s definitely a natural perfume oil type individual. 🙂

      • I think Joan wears Shalimar to the office and My Sin in the evenings- or at least she did before she married Greg. Marriage would make her feel like My Sin is too much, but after her divorce I can see her breaking it out again.

        Betty is Chanel No. 5 all the way.

        Peggy- I don’t see her wearing perfume except for dress up, and it’s probably a drugstore brand. Maybe an Avon scent or Jean Nate.

        Mona wears Joy.

        Megan might wear Miss Dior.

  2. I just finished watching the first season of “Game of Thrones” and am now reading the book. The first thing that popped into my head for the virginal Daenerys, prior to her sojourn with the Dothraki, is Je Reviens by Worth (vintage version). I looked up the notes on Fragrantica, and one reviewer described it as “The scent of this lovely yellow flower shades off into that of daffodils and something odd and burnt, as though the various blossoms making up the fragrance had been singed at their hearts.” So, perhaps I was on to something. The name was apparently translated in English by Worth as “I Will Return”, which also fits.

    Of course, I could have been influenced by the fact that I wore Je Reviens at that stage of life myself:-)

    • Lulubelle, what a fascinating choice. And it seems like quite an inspired one, too, given the description you quoted! I can’t remember smelling Je Reviens at all, though I know that I have and, also, that one of family members once owned a bottle. I had played with the idea of virginal Daenerys maybe wearing Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps, not only because of its youthfulness and lightness but also because of the whole “air” aspect to dragons. But, given the description and title of Je Reviens, “I will return” sounds like an even more suited choice! Brilliant, Lulubelle, brilliant! 🙂

      So, do you have any favorite television shows?

      • My favorite shows are The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Justified, The Big Bang Theory, Nashville, Game of Thrones, Parks and Recreation, and Breaking Bad. I would have also included Dexter and True Blood, but I think they may have jumped the shark. I’m currently boycotting cable TV and have been for several years, so I have to buy most of the series after they’ve been released or watch them at my mother’s house. Consequently, my 70 year old mother is now a fan of The Walking Dead:-)

        • I *love* that about your mother and the Walking Dead! It’s not a show I watch myself but the mere thought of her being a fan of it at 70 is bloody cool! I agree with you on Dexter and True Blood jumping the shark, though Dexter started becoming much better in the last season. Not sure if that says much given just HOW bad some of the prior ones were…..

          So, do you have any scents that define or typify any of the characters on the shows that you watch?

  3. I do this all the time – when I write screenplays I know what all my characters wear. But it’s not what I think they should wear – it’s what the character tells me they wear in the scene. I think Kalinda would sometimes go against type and surprise people – like wear something pretty and cold like Chanel 19. She’s just that kind of sociopath. In private though, for both men and women – Knize Ten. I think Dani wouldn’t wear perfume in the caravan – it bothers the horses. But she secretly crushes some desert flowers – she misses perfume from her days as a princess. When the courtesans bathe her it’s with ylang ylang and plumeria. And she does have a tiny silver bottle of attar from her former life – and it has a little Dragons Blood in it. But that, only her Moon and Stars ever gets close enough to smell. Of course when she gets to that city with the treasure and evil magicians, there are resins galore – and an Amouage boutique.

    • Don Draper wears whatever the client he’s pitching sells. He never wants to wear anything fancier than the client. Old Spice, Aqua Velva, Canoe. I vaguely recall him using an electric shaver – so more than his share of Williams Lectric Shave. His agency wouldn’t have gotten near the Dior account. He would wear Eau Sauvage if he thought it would get him the business, though.

      • First off, Jeff, a huge big WELCOME! I’m so glad you posted and decided to join our little community.

        I think your comments on Don Draper are incredibly astute. You’re absolutely right, he’d never want to wear or do anything to upstage the client. And he is such a chameleon, too, that he would never settle for any one, distinctive thing. The things you mention are probably why I struggled so much with trying to find a defining scent for him. What do you think Roger Sterling would wear?

        • There was a very short while when Roger tried Zizanie, but he was afraid of smelling “too French” so he settled back into Dunhill for Men. Jane Siegel kept dragging him to the perfume departments at Bloomies and Bergdorfs, but then she got bored, so Dunhill it stayed.

          • Hahahaha, this is hilarious. I can actually SEE him being bored and restless at Bloomies and wanting to escape for a martini. And you know, Dunhill might work for him, if only because of the symbolism and name. I could also see him in Guerlain’s Vetiver or, as I said, in Monsieur de Givenchy. I have that, have reviewed it, have always loved it and I see that crisp elegance as working with him.

    • I don’t think Dany’s perfume would bother the horses, but I definitely can see the scenario with the courtesans bathing her. And, you’re right, it would be with something like ylang ylang or plumeria! I have to say, your comment about the city with treasure and magicians having resins galore ” — and an Amouage boutique” made me laugh my head off. It seriously would; an absolutely perfect fit!

      Where I part ways with you is on the possibility of Kalinda wearing something cold and pretty like Chanel No. 19. Yes, she does like to go against type and surprise people, but I don’t think it would be with No. 19. Knize Ten….. maybe. I have a sample which I haven’t tested yet, but I know it’s a boozy, ambered leather, and it might work. But, no, I really see her in Bandit. In private, she may wear something very animalic and musky, sexual and seductive, but I can’t think yet what it would be.

      But you’re very good at this and I loved hearing your thoughts! I’m so glad you decided to post and share, Jeff. 🙂

      • Did I say horses? Maybe I meant horsemen. And Drogo would notice them noticing, and well you know Klingons and their violent jealousy. Did I say Klingons? I meant…

        You know I often wonder how many little girls are going to get named Daenerys or Khalisi. Best new names since Shakespeare used Miranda. I can see it.

        OK, now I’m going to need to sniff Bandit and see if Kalinda comes to mind. I do know that she steals at least one bottle of perfume off the dresser of everyone she sleeps with – so she tries a lot of them.

        • You have a super sense of humour. DID you say Klingons? 😉 As for children’s names, I think I did read of a few Daenerys being chosen by GoT fans for their newborn daughters. I have to say, I pity the poor child in trying to get people to spell it correctly….

          Kalinda would never steal someone’s perfume. She wouldn’t be definite that she cared enough for every random Tom, Susan and Jane to want the memory of their scent hanging around… 😉 😀

          • Couldn’t resist checking – Daenerys does turn out to be a topic on a number of “Baby Name” forums – with some saying the child won’t be able to spell it, and others blissfully sure it’s the only possible name for their daughter. There will be little Danys running around quite soon! Could turn out to be the next Gwyneth – another Welsh-inflected name.

            As a writer, a character does whatever I say she does! And whatever the audience projects on them – you say Bandit, I say Knize – both utterly right – and after you smell Knize and I smell Bandit, we can try those those molecules on for size on a fictional character. In my projection, Kalinda has what she considers a flaw, in that she actually does become fleetingly attached to people, but then she unconsciously shuts that down, for backstory reasons we don’t quite know. Her attachment manifests itself in a compulsive, yet small criminal act. A souvenir – but you are right it’s not indiscriminate. It’s how she got Bandit in the first place – off the dresser of a girl so astounding she broke Kalinda’s hard little heart. Knize was on the dresser of a charming older con man, from whom she learned many things. Or not. In stories, as in dreams, every character is you.

  4. I used to watch TV series way more before than i do now, so ill try to describe the characters that got stuck in my mind for being “one of a kind” and what would they wear. I always invisioned Alexis from the 80 series “Dynasty” would wear something like Tom Ford Black Orchid-loud, heady, seductive. Or Samantha from Sex and the City would spritz herself with some Frederic Malle Carnal Flower or Fracas. Nancy Botwin from “Weeds” would probably go with Kinsky or Black Afgano, whereas Dexter(the serial killer) would be wearing some Blood Concept perfumes.

    • Oooooh, interesting choices, Ross, especially for Alexis and Samantha! I actually see Samantha wearing the Black Orchid, while Alexis might go for something like the Fracas. Or, perhaps, that’s too white for her? Should we go even more ’80s for her with something like Poison? *grin* No, seriously, whichever one it’s for, Black Orchid is an inspired choice! And Black Afgano DEFINITELY is for Nancy Botwin!! Oh my God, that’s utterly brilliant! The pot seller and the pot perfume! I also agree with you on Dexter on some Blood Concept perfume. Brilliant, my dear, brilliant!

      • Actually Poison suits Alexis better I must admit! The name says it all for how vicious that woman was 🙂
        I also was watching “Twin Peaks” back when I was teenager and I think agent Dale Cooper would go with something like Rive Gauche Pour Homme or Habit Rouge

        • The name definitely suits Alexis. So, if she gets Poison, then I think we should give white Fracas to very blonde Krystal Carrington! And, speaking of Habit Rouge, that may be a good fit for the chap — whatshisname Carrington — perhaps. As for Twin Peaks’ Dale Cooper, I think YSL’s Rive Gauche is a great fit. 🙂

          Did you ever watch the X-Files? Most people who watched Twin Peaks usually are X-Filers, too. 🙂

          • Fracas fits Krystal just right!
            I watched X-Files as well, and I think that Scully would pick Chanel Coromandel or SL Borneo 1834. As to Mulder…hmmmm….maybe something from Comme des Garcons? Something extraterrestrial like Comme des Garcons Series 6 Synthetic Skai or Comme des garcons 2(the one in a metalic bottle) 🙂

  5. Don Draper has a new wife? You spoiler, you! : – ) We Brits are so behind the curve with series like Mad Men and my absolute other favourite, Desperate Housewives, which I was delighted to see get a mention too. Regarding Betty Draper, I can also see her in 1932, or maybe even Cristalle, as she is a bit of a cold fish.

        • Margaret on Boardwalk Empire stumped me, Vicki. Completely. I think Angelique Noir is far too sweet for her — but perhaps I’m letting my biases about the character shine through. (Cannot stand Margaret! lol.)

          Gillian is a bit clearer to me. I had a few very vague ideas about sexpot, seductive, animalic perfumes floating around in my head but they’re all amorphous as of now. Nothing like Mitsouko but something a little more skanky and dirty, though not as dirty as Bal à Versailles.

    • Ooops. Mea culpa. I tried to avoid all significant spoilers but I suppose I failed with that one. It’s been old news for about 2 years, but I should have been more careful. My sincerest apologies. Cristalle is a good choice, too, for Betty.

      Give us your favorites and your picks for characters on shows that you watch! Take a gander with the Desperate Housewives, for example, or anything else you enjoy. 🙂

  6. I watch many TV shows (too many for my own good!) but my mind shoots blanks whenever I try to “scent” any of the characters. So sorry, can’t play.

    My favorite current shows: The Good Wife, Elementary,The Mentalist, Castle, Go On!

    Shows I watch: Person of Interest, Downton Abbey, NCIS, Psych, and probably 5-7 more.

    Shows I love from the past: Ally McBeal, House M.D., West Wing, X-Files, Friends,Pushing Daisies, Studio 60, 30 Rock, Fraiser and Seinfield.

    • It’s very hard, I agree! I’m SO glad you shared some of your television favorites — past and present. I never expected you would be a fellow TV junkie!! 😀 I *LOVE* Person of Interest! It’s one of my very few “must see the night of airing” and “laugh out loud” shows. The extremely dry sense of humour underlying it kills me. It doesn’t hurt that Jim Cavaziel’s looks make me a little weak in the knees…. 😉

      Elementary has become fantastic, hasn’t it? I almost like it as much as the British original, Sherlock. Downton Abbey is a perpetual obsession of mine, though I’m less of a Lady Mary fan than many seem to be. In terms of past shows, I also loved Frasier (a definite favorite), House, Ally McBeal and West Wing.

  7. My TV vice tends towards FoodNetwork / TLC shows, mostly the shows that involve some type of competition or remediation. For non-food shows, I watch – Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Doctor Who, The Good Wife, NCIS, Royal Pains and before the series finale – 30 Rock.

    Hmmm…as to scenting the characters – I think 30 Rock’s jenna Maroney would wear Secretions Magnifique because of her sexual proclivities, Royal Pains’ Divya would wear Bombay Bling (I may be stereotyping here since she is of Indian descent), NCIS’ Ziva would wear Elie Saab or Bottega Veneta. As for The Good Wife, Eli seems like a Portrait of a Lady kind of guy, Diane Lockhart would wear Cuir de Russie, Alicia is a Guerlie Girl (which one? she could probably pull off a good number of them) and Kalinda would wear some heavy animalic leather and Bandit probably fits that? I’ve never smelled it…well neither have I smelled Secretions and I absolutely refuse to — I may get turned off perfumes altogether and that would be sad thing!

  8. Give me anything BBC (I watch via streaming on Netflix)! Mary of Downton Abbey would wear Victoria (a rich ambery rose discontinued), CI Barnaby of Midsommer Murders would wear 4711, Inspector Lewis would wear Gray Flannel and Hathaway patchouli oil, and Ash of Murders in Suburbia would wear vintage Cristalle. While we are on the subject of shows, any that you could recommend to me based on what you see I like from above?

    • Oooh, a fellow BBC junkie! 🙂 I’m in a bit of a hurry, so I’ll give just those I can immediately think of. Detective series: I’m assuming you’ve seen the original Morse series (where Lewis is Morse’s Sgt.)? If so, then the other fantastic show to watch is Foyle’s War. AMAZING!!! More period-y stuff: All Creatures Great and Small is my favorite BBC series and is a 1970s show set in Yorkshire in the 1930s & focuses on a vet; the 1920s & fashion are well covered by The House of Elliott; and the descendents of Charles II w/ super gorgeous dresses in the Georgian period are the focus of “The Aristocrats.” Mmmmm, so much fun! Perhaps my 2 favorite period pieces involving the British are series which focus on the Edwardian period. My all-time favorite one would be “Edward the VII” which entranced me from the moment it came out on Masterpiece in the 80s, and then, another show with definite overlap: Lillie about Lillie Langtry (and Edward VII, Oscar Wilde, etc. etc.) I could watch those two again and again!

      If you like Machiavellian political intrigue, then House of Cards is simply brilliant! If you don’t mind 1970s production values, there are few things better than the original Upstairs/Downstairs (the real sort of Downton Abbey thing, only set in a London house). Also 1970s with its iffier production values but perhaps the best BBC show of all: “I, Claudius” set in the Roman Empire.

      Back to newer stuff, but with a lighter, more comedic angle: Monarch of the Glen is incredibly sweet and great in its early seasons and actually features Julian Fellowes in a key supporting actor role. Doc Martin can be fun, and New Tricks is a hilarious take on detective shows. Ballykissangel can be good in its depiction of life in a small Irish countryside but the earlier seasons are best. That’s about all I can think of since I have to dash, but it should be enough to start you. LOL.

      • thank you! thank you! thank you! I usually like to work through one series at a time until there are no more episodes on netflix! you have given me so many!
        My hubby chides me for my fascination of all things English (ironically he is the one with English in the blood, although it spans back to the American Revolution).
        And I had forgotten about I, Claudius! Watched it in the late 80s.

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