10 More Poems
Apple TV’s Dickinson is an anachronistic period drama that certainly has an acquired taste. If you’re part of that demographic that like this show, you may be itching for similar shows once you’re finished streaming this one.
Well, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar with our top 10 picks.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Dickinson.
Similarities – Tone & Characters
Downtown Abbey is a highly popular British series which chronicles the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th Century.
The costuming and lavish set design really helps breathe life into this one but Downtown Abbey is not just a pretty face. What makes this show so engaging is the way its characters interact and grow across the span of 6 seasons while interweaving real-life events into the story.
The first episode for example, begins things with a bombshell reveal as the current heir to the title and the fiancé of the Earl’s daughter die onboard the Titanic. As the family struggle to make sense of it all, the new legal heirs arrive to live on the Estate, predictably causing lots of friction and hostilities.
From here, the story grows and evolves over time, eventually settling on something that’s very easy to pick up and very difficult to put down.
Similarities – Romance
If you’re looking for a decent adaptation from book to small screen, look no further than Outlander. At its core, the story revolves around an English combat nurse in 1945 called Claire Randall. Somehow she travels through time to 18th Century Scotland and straight into the arms of dashing Jamie Fraser.
This unlikely romance goes on to evolve and grow over time, combining several different genres including historical fiction, adventure, fantasy and melodrama. It’s this blending of genres that make Outlander such an enthralling watch and while the later seasons do meander a little at times, there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.
Similarities – Period Drama
With Jenna Coleman in the driving seat, Victoria was originally set to be a stand-alone mini-series in the UK. After receiving a substantial amount of views, ITV scrapped those plans and instead hastily green-lit a second (and later third) season order.
In its simplest form, Victoria depicts the early life of Queen Victoria from her ascension to the throne at the age of 18 through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. Of course, all the political trickery, deception and manipulation shows up across the season which Victoria does her best to dodge.
It can be a little soapy at times but on the whole Victoria does a wonderful job bringing this period of time to life and does so with some fine performances from most of its main cast.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Similarities – Characters and Tone
Funny, emotional and beautifully shot, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is quite simply marvelous. Boasting a unique charm, quick wit and a tightly written script, Amazon Studios knock it out the park with this excellent comedic drama set in the 1950’s.
The story follows Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a picturesque housewife to husband Joel. After Midge’s life is turned upside down, our heartbroken, drunk protagonist may just be the next hot comedy talent and sets out to see that dream come to fruition.
It’s a wonderful blend of period drama and character-driven struggle, split across 3 seasons and with more to come on the horizon too.
The Spanish Princess
Similarities – Period Drama
Adapted from the Phillipa Gregory novels “The Constant Princess” and “The King’s Curse”, The Spanish Princess is an 8 part miniseries mixing political intrigue with romance and historical fiction. Set during Catherine Of Aragon’s early years, The Spanish Princess is as aesthetically pleasing as it is well written, even if it does twist some of the real history to serve its narrative.
With some authentic dialogue, compelling characters and visually pleasing costume and set design, Catherine is brought to life through a decent adaptation, making for a surprisingly easy watch throughout.
From her early years when she first stepped foot in England through to her eventual marriage to Henry VIII, The Spanish Princess follows the journey of Catherine Of Aragon as she tries to navigate the royal lineage of England whilst juggling familial pressure and the watchful eyes of Lady Margaret. With tumultuous drama, romance and a satisfying ending that wraps things up nicely, The Spanish Princess has enough here to make for an enjoyable watch.
Similarities – Tone, Drama & Characters
Reading the synopsis to Harlots you’d be forgiven for writing this one off as another period drama pretender. That would certainly be a mistake as Harlots proves you can never judge a book by its cover.
The main drama here centers on brothel owner Margaret Wells, who struggles to raise her daughters in London during the 18th century. Written and directed by women, Harlots has a distinct feminine touch and accurately depicts the harsh realities for ladies during the 18th century.
Harlots is certainly not a melodrama though, especially with its plot line revolving around rival brothel owners, Lesley Manville and Samantha Morton, locked in a bitter feud with one another. Spanning two seasons, things predictably escalate over the course of the episodes with plenty of betrayals, romance and light touches of social and class issues for good measure.
Similarities – Empowering Females
Despite being a little tonally inconsistent, The Great works well as a satirical dramedy, poking fun at shows like The Tudors and The Borgias while telling a uniquely original story centering on Catherine The Great. This show won’t be for everyone but much like Dickinson, if you can take to the tone you’re sure to have a good time.
Set in 18th-century Russia, The Great follows the early life of Catherine The Great as she enters into a less-than-ideal marriage to the Emperor at the time, Peter III. For those unaware, Catherine soon became the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Before she gets there though, the plot line here mostly revolves around Catherine’s plot to kill her depraved and dangerous husband. Timely and smartly written, The Great is a great option.
Similarities – Romance & Drama
Bridgerton blends elements of Gossip Girl and Downtown Abbey across its 1800’s England storyline. Queen Charlotte is on the throne and society is predominantly divided between two upper-class families – the Featheringtons and the Bridgertons. The centerpiece for this tale is Daphne Bridgerton who gains the Queen’s favour during the upcoming season of societal balls and wedding proposals. Everything seems to be going peachy until two wildcards arrive on the scene for the season ahead.
Lady Featherington’s niece Marina Thompson rocks up to stay but holds a dark secret that threatens to destroy their family’s credibility. On the other side of the fence is the Duke Of Hastings Simon Basset who remains determined to stay a bachelor for as long as possible.
Predictably, Daphne and Simon hit it off but decide to fake their relationship as a way of making Daphne more desirable. This is typical rom-com territory and Bridgerton unashamedly hits all the usual tropes you’d expect from this genre. Still, there’s no doubt this one will whet the appetite if you enjoyed Dickinson.
Similarities – Comedy & Characters
Fleabag is a smartly written, fourth-wall breaking comedy that serves up a lot more than hearty laughs across its short two seasons. Based on the play by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this magnificent BBC3 comedy balances out its laughs with some thought provoking drama that touch on subjects like grief and depression in a very unique way. This uniqueness is what helps this show stand out, as we’re introduced to a 20-something nicknamed Fleabag struggling to deal with the death of her best friend.
Across the two seasons, Phoebe Waller-Bridge does a wonderful job with this story, placing jokes at perfectly opportune times to maximize both the absurdity and impact of each scene. To reveal much more would be a disservice to this show but Fleabag is definitely one you should have on your radar.
Jane The Virgin
Similarities – Family Drama
Jane The Virgin is one of those wholesome dramas that has absolutely no right to be as good as it is. The story centers around a religious young Latina called Jane who finds her world turned upside down when her doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates her during a check-up. Jane becomes pregnant at a young age, causing havoc for her family and career prospects.
Jane sets out to find the biological Father, who happens to be a married man and former playboy called Rafael. The drama really begins when we’re introduced to Rafael’s wife Petra, who plots her own revenge when she learns the truth about Jane. Between this, trouble at home and issues at work, Jane The Virgin fleshes out its 22-episode long seasons with lots of melodrama, schemes and romance to make for a very easy show to binge through.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to Apple TV+’s Dickinson!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!