Last year, I shared with you several amazing period dramas available to stream on Netflix in the US. While the TV Show/Mini-Series list in 2016 hasn’t changed ‘too’ dramatically, I wanted to update it for everyone still seeking that next binge-watch. I mean, who doesn’t need their occasional Mr. Thornton fix? From international period dramas, BBC dramas, to classic whodunit mysteries, there’s something in here for everyone.
35 Period Dramas to Watch on Netflix US (2016)
(In No Particular Order)
With Anne Shirley (Megan Follows) herself as the scheming Catherine de Medici, you can’t get more addictive then this underrated series. Sure the costumes aren’t authentic (a purposeful choice), but neither is the actual story based on Mary, Queen of Scots. Romance, intrigue, and Catherine’s conniving plots keep me hooked for sure.
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Content Note: This is rated TV-14 and includes some racy scenes. Nothing too graphic.
#2: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
What’s not to love about this Australian 1920’s murder mystery? With a fantastic leading lady in Miss Fisher, a great leading man in Detective Inspector Robinson, witty dialogue to make you laugh, and out of the world costume design, you will be nothing but entertained from start to finish of each episode. One of my personal favorites.
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Content Note: Very infrequently, Miss Fisher does have some adult content thrown in (though not explicit). There’s also a lot of strong sensuality. It is rated TV-14.
#3: Robin Hood
If you love Merlin, medieval period dramas, and Richard Armitage (he plays the villainous but slightly redeemable Guy), then you will enjoy this adorable and swashbuckling fun British TV Show. Sure, season 3 takes some missteps (I won’t spoil it for newbies), but overall a great romantic series to binge watch. I adore both the love story between Robin and Marian and Guy and Marian.
Content Note: Rated TV-PG for action adventure.
#4: Death Comes to Pemberley
What happens after Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are married with children? This mini-series (based on a book) aims to discover just that. An enjoyable, though not perfect, few hours of your time.
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Content Note: While unrated, Death Comes to Pemberley would be rated TV-PG.
#5: Empresses in the Palace
Empresses in the Palace is an epic Chinese historical drama set in ancient China. The series follows a 17-year-old girl who is forced to join the royal harem and must find a way to survive.
Content Note: This is rated TV-14.
#6: The Time in Between
The Time in Between is a Spanish period drama series that deals with spies, romance, and so much more! I’ve read this is a highly addictive one…
Content Note: Rated TV-14.
A period drama set during the American Revolution. I don’t know much about Turn but one of the stars is Northanger Abbey‘s J.J. Feild…
Content Note: This show is rated TV 14. Turn includes some sexual content and violence.
#8: Murdoch Mysteries (7 Seasons)
An amusing Canadian mystery series set during the late 19th century & early 1900’s. While some of the dialogue can be stilted at times, I really love the main character! It’s definitely fun seeing the various mysteries unfold. To watch the remainder of the seasons, you will want to turn to Acorn TV.
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Content Note: There is violence in every episode. It would be rated (depending on the episode), anywhere between TV-PG to TV-14.
#9: North and South
If you haven’t seen North & South yet, it should be at the top of your list of period dramas to watch! The Mini-Series follows Margaret Hale as she moves from the comforts of the South of England to an industrial town in the North. There she meets the seemingly cold Mr. Thornton and becomes prejudiced against him in a very Elizabeth Bennet kind of way. North & South is like Dickens meets Austen, with a nice side of Richard Armitage to make this a mini-series worth revisiting time and time again. By far one of the best period dramas of all time!
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Content Note: While unrated, it would be rated TV-PG.
#10: The Buccaneers
The Buccaneers is worth catching when you want something simply soapy to devour. It’s about four American women who decide to go to England to find a good husband. The Buccaneers stars a young Carla Gugino, Mira Sorvino, and Greg Wise (Sense and Sensibility).
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Content Note: The Buccaneers is rated TV-14.
#11: The Paradise
Another favorite of mine, The Paradise tells the story of shop girl Denise as she falls for the shop’s owner, Mr. Moray. Aside from the wonderful old-fashioned romance, the strength of this series goes back to the characterization. Every person will feel layered and real by the end of the show. Few writers have this depth to their skill.
RELATED | The Paradise Review
Content Note: Rated TV-PG.
#12: When Calls the Heart
This wholesome period drama may get a bit cheesy at times, but I love the old-fashioned romance and heartwarming stories the show shares with the audience. Yes, sometimes it can get a little soapy (see season 2), however, the show is totally worth it for Jack. I adore him as the leading man and I think you will too.
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Content Note: Rated TV-G. This is about as sweet and family-friendly as you can get.
#13: Grand Hotel (Edit: Now expired…Please come back!!)
If you love Downton Abbey and don’t mind subtitles, then Grand Hotel is a must see TV Series set in Spain. The star-crossed love story between Alicia and Julio is exquisite. The best part is that all three seasons are now available on Netflix. You don’t even have to wait for an ending.
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Content Note: There are a few scenes of sexuality sprinkled throughout the show, but they are extremely infrequent and not explicit. It is rated TV-PG.
A period drama about the life of Houdini starring Adrien Brody.
Content Note: Rated TV-14. I haven’t seen this one but I believe there is sexual content.
#15: Stories by Rabindranath Tagore
Adaptation of Nobel Prize Winner Rabindranath Tagore’s tales. The stories, focused on female empowerment, are set in early 20th century Bengal.
Content Note: Rated TV-14