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What BSH is watching: Steph Driver

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Oh baby, get ready for some period dramas.

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Vikings filming - Co Wicklow Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

There are no sports. This isn’t news to you, you already know this. But it bears repeating. No sports. Not just no hockey, but no sports. At all. And this sucks. We’re in the same boat as you, trying to find other things to do to occupy our time, it turns out a lot of our daily lives revolve around sports! In an effort to help you and to help us, we’re going to be sharing what we’re watching, reading, and listening to as well as why you might be interested and how you can find what we’re watching/reading/listening to.

I’m going to start this series with what I’m watching. Buckle up because I love me some historical dramas. Period pieces? Give me more. Documentaries? Oh hell yes. I’m going to keep it limited to what I am actively watching because I could nerd out on this all day.

Vikings

This season is in its sixth and final season, you can find it on Amazon Prime, Hulu, or the History Channel app. Now, when I say six seasons, of course I mean it is really in eight out of nine because why wouldn’t there be three half seasons? It all gets confusing, but it’s a really solid show. If you’re looking for historical accuracy, this is not that (maybe look at The Last Kingdom on Netflix), this is more based on historical people and events with a lot of creative license.

Me without hockey

It follows the legendary Viking king Ragnar Lothbrok from the time he was a farmer through raids and sacks of England and Paris, details his family life and his many sons, and does a really great job explaining the differences between paganism and Christianity. That’s my summary and Wikipedia essentially says the same:

Vikings is inspired by the sagas of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the best-known legendary Norse heroes and notorious as the scourge of England and France. The show portrays Ragnar as a farmer who rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a Scandinavian King, with the support of his family and fellow warriors. In the later seasons, the series follows the fortunes of his sons and their adventures in England, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

This is not a show for the squeamish. Yes it’s on cable and not a premium channel, but it is not uncommon to see a beheading, a disembowelment, or just generally gory fight scenes. And there are a lot of fight scenes.

Us when we get through this period without sports

Season 4 Part 1 is a little tough to get through, but stick with it because the show bounces back. I also haven’t caught up on the current season yet, so I can’t speak to the current storyline.

So why should you watch? It’s an underserved period of history, and it’s being told from the Viking standpoint as opposed to the English, which makes it all the more interesting. Also, phew, the eye candy. The entire cast is gorgeous.

You, on your way to watch this show

Downton Abbey

This is not a new show and you all should have heard of it by now, if not watched it. It is the show I watch in my kitchen while I’m cooking, it’s almost constantly on in my house. You can watch on the PBS app or Amazon Prime.

Mood.

The series starts with the sinking of the Titanic and the ripple effect through the home of the Earl of Grantham, Downton Abbey, which is where the series get its name. It follows the life of the British upper class and the servant class through the first world war and the period of upheaval afterwards. Wikipedia did a better job with it than I did:

The series, set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey between 1912 and 1926, depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post-Edwardian era—with the great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy. Events depicted throughout the series include news of the sinking of the Titanic in the first series; the outbreak of the First World War, the Spanish influenza pandemic, and the Marconi scandal in the second series; the Irish War of Independence leading to the formation of the Irish Free State in the third series; the Teapot Dome scandal in the fourth series; and the British general election of 1923, and the Beer Hall Putsch in the fifth series. The sixth and final series introduces the rise of the working class during the interwar period and hints at the eventual decline of the British aristocracy.

The Downton Abbey movie that came out last year is simply perfection. It wraps up all of the storylines in the most beautiful way. If you’re feeling particularly eat the rich these days, this series will probably feel satisfying as it is a historical period of decline for the aristocracy. There are love stories and there are murder plots and The Great War and plenty of scandal. It’s a really great show that is incredibly well done in a gorgeous setting. And Dame Maggie Smith. Full stop.

Did you think I was kidding about period dramas?

Honorable mentions

I’m not actively watching these shows, but I would recommend them at any given opportunity.

Victoria

This is about the life of Queen Victoria, beginning from when she found out she was queen. I believe the actor who plays Prince Albert resembles a grumpy and brooding Nolan Patrick but that could just be my own bias.

Grey’s Anatomy

Yes this show is still on the air and yes I am still obsessed with it. I am married to Grey’s Anatomy, one of us is going to have to die to get out of this relationship. They’ve done a really good job of keeping the show fresh even though there are only three original cast members left.

Bob’s Burgers

It’s just a damn good show, if you’re not watching, you should be.

Wild Earth

Safari Live has rebranded to Wild Earth and it’s still great. Spend six hours a day on your own personal safari in Djuma Private Game Reserve and see some animals and plants and stuff. It’s awesome. It’s on YouTube so you can watch anywhere at anytime.