01 April 2007

History on TV

I should talk about something high-minded like books or historical research or writing. Alas, I am in a pajamas-and-movies sort of mood today. While checking my blog roll, I stumbled on a preview for Showtime's new series, "The Tudors." Here's the preview, set to Evanescence's "Lacrymosa" -- because EMO bands, despite their youth, recognize the dramatic power of Mozart's Requiem!

My husband and I have not had cable for about five years. While this has saved us a couple grand and many hours of aimless tube time, that means I've also missed two of the most important historical series on TV in the last decade, "Deadwood" and "Rome." Television helped inspire my fascination with history (my obsession with "The Young Riders"), so I feel particularly left out of the cable world when new and interesting historical dramas come along.

There is hope, of course. DVDs abound, and Showtime has posted the first two episodes of "The Tudors" on the official website (linked above). Maybe I should play catch-up and spend some of that tube time I've saved up over the years. That's how free time works, right??

My questions for you: what do you think about "Deadwood," "Rome," and "The Tudors"? Inquiring minds without cable TV want to know! What other history dramas on television have sparked your interest, if any? Did they persuade you to rethink or re-imagine a particular period? Did they inspire your writing?


Eliza said...

OMG, Carrie.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sam Neill and Gabrielle Anwar? Jeremy le sigh Northam and Henry Cavill?

That is some seriously pretty casting.

I'll definitely be watching this at some point; thanks for the heads-up!

My husband's addicted to Rome, and he and his ancient history grad sister go back and forth about the fact and the ficton a lot. He's also turned me on to the '59 Untouchables series, because he watched the reruns as a kid.

I'm in love with The Black Donnellys. It's not historical, per se, but I'm seeing everything I've studied about crime at the turn of the century in play. So it's a lot like Mario Puzo, but with mobile phones.

DeborahBrent said...

I would hate to give up the History Channel. Some of the shows have repeated so many times I can quote dialogue. However, the recent program on THE DARK AGES was very well done.

I, too, write stories set in the 1920's. It was a frantic time. There are many similarities to the 1960's. The world turned upside down.

Diana Palmer's LACY and Jude Devereaux's SWEET LIAR fed my imagination showed me that books could be set during this most interesting time.

Morag McKendrick Pippin said...

I loved DEADWOOD and I'm adicted to ROME - it's the last episode for a whole year tonight!
I've watched the first two episodes of THE TUDORS on Free On Demand last week. Very good! Can't wait to see the third installment.

Tess said...

Deadwood is fantastic! My dh and I have one more ep in the Series 2 DVDs to watch. Then we have to sit and wait for either Series 3 on DVD or for next September, when it will be shown here on History Television.

We haven't seen Rome yet, but hope to get the DVD set at some time.

Will have to check out The Tudors on the website.

As for what I think of History on TV - I LOVE it. Deadwood, while not completely accurate, certainly seems to capture the essence of the period. Anything that gets me in the mood to write or read more is great. And anything that might spark the general viewer's interest in the past can't be a bad thing at all.