I don’t know about you folks, but I’m a sucker for period dramas. If there’s a lavish set, gorgeous costumes, and tons of tiny historical details, I’m there with bells on—and that goes double for anything set during the Roaring Twenties!
If you feel the same, then this will be a great year, especially if you’re interested in what the 1920s were like around the world. This year features new dramas set in Germany, Canada, Australia, with returning series from Spain and England.
Let’s take a look, shall we? 🙂
Explore the Seedy Side of the Wienmar Era Republic
with Babylon Berlin:
Setting: Berlin, 1929
Personally, I can’t wait to start watching Babylon Berlin, which hits Netflix on January 30th! Set during the Wienmar Republic in 1929, it looks gorgeous, dark, and risque—and it’s taken Germany TV by storm, rivaling Game of Thrones in terms of ratings and average number of viewers, not to mention cost. The entire thing took over $45 million to produce, which is currently the largest budget ever for a TV show. Plus it’s got great period music and tortured WWI vets. What more could you possibly want? 😉
Check out the trailer below:
Tap Into the Lives of Telephone Operators Again in Cable Girls:
Setting: Madrid, 1928
Where to Watch: Netflix
While the official release date has yet to be announced (it’s getting filmed this February), this year Cable Girls is set to go into its third season on Netflix. If you’re not already familiar with the Spanish melodrama, it follows the lives of four women telephone operators as they work for the new telephone exchange in Madrid during the late 1920s. While I’ve never seen it myself, it’s gotten great reviews, and apparently features strong feminist overtones, with each character reflecting different problems still facing women today. You can read a review of the show to date here at Bustle.
Here is the promo for Season 2, which became available on Netflix in late December 2017:
Solve Crimes in 1920s Toronto with Frankie Drake:
Setting: Toronto, 1920s
Where to Watch: The Canadian Broadcasting Company has a website with episode clips, but right now I think you need to have access to CBC to see it in full, unless it’s on YouTube somewhere
This new mystery series, which follows a female private detective in 1920s Toronto, has been described as “silly as all get out“—but it’s also witty, breezy, full of gorgeous period details, and generally pretty fun, if a bit heavy-handed with the feminist messaging. While it was filmed in 2017, it’s actually airing now.
The following YouTube clip is from Episode 1:
Peaky Blinders Returns in 2019…
To Tangle with Al Capone???!
Setting: Birmingham, England, 1920s
Okay, so it isn’t happening THIS year, but it’s worth repeating here: Peaky Blinders, the stylish crime melodrama about English gangsters in Birmingham during the 1920s, will be back in 2019 with it’s fifth and possible final season…which just might feature Al Capone!
How is this possible, you ask? It sounded ridiculous to me, but according to this Bustle interview, it’s actually more historically accurate than you’d think. While it’s unlikely that the actual Peaky Blinders gang ever interacted with New York mafia, there were some loose connections between american and European gangsters, so, it’s at least within the realm of historical possibility.
And if you happen to be tuning in to Peaky Blinders somewhere in the UK, you can enjoy it with some show-themed booze, too: English brewer Sadler’s has an entire line of products dedicated to the TV show, with whiskey, gin, and rum, each one deliberately crafted with the show in mind. And if you’re not in the UK, don’t worry: you can also buy some on Amazon.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Returns
in Movie Form with Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears
Setting: Australia, 1920s
The wonderful Australian series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries may have ended in 2015, but a new movie trilogy may be on the horizon this year. The creators of the series recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring Miss Fisher back in a movie trilogy a la Indiana Jones, with lots of international intrigue and pizazz! If you’re a fan of Phryne Fisher and her adventures, you can contribute to the Kickstarter campagin here, or check out the IndieGoGo funding page here. And if that’s not enough, there was talk last year of a possible prequel series as well.
If you’ve never heard of Phryne Fisher, may I suggest you start with the books instead of the TV show? They’re terrific, quick reads, and Kerry Greenwood is a lovely writer—and they’re a great way to get into the TV show, which is also wonderful in a completely different way.
What about you, dear readers? Are you looking forward to any of these shows? Are there others you feel should be on this list? What other period dramas set in the 1920s have you enjoyed in the past? Please share in the Comments below! 🙂