Another Period Mocks Historical Costume Drama

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And we’re cool with that! Actually, this Comedy Central series mocks reality TV like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and The Real Housewives of (Insert City Here) as much as it mocks Downton Abbey, which it has the vague, outward trappings of, with the 1902 setting and upstairs/downstairs characters. Another Period (2015) thumbs its nose at everyone evenly, with zero sense of reverence for anything at all, whether historical accuracy or tasteful humor. Nope, this show is not suitable for mature audiences, please to be tuning in only if you’re fond of mishmash-y Edwardian costumes and lots of jokes involving sex, humiliation, and bodily functions.

Which, btw, the Frock Flicks Editorial Team are fans of (the tasteless humor more than the lame costumes)! Much like Drunk History, also on Comedy Central, this show makes us wish we’d thought of doing it first. In fact, when I watched the pilot episode with my husband and we got to the cocaine-wine-fueled bitch-fest featuring Helen Keller, my sweetie shook his head and said, “This show was definitely made for you, Sarah, and Kendra.”

Here’s an introduction to the central characters, to give you a flavor, ehem, of the show:

 

As star and co-creator of Another Period Riki Lindhome said of the characters, “They’re all id — they have sex with whatever they see. They eat and drink and do drugs.” I’ll add that the characters are mostly unfiltered too, in that they say whatever comes out of their mouths, which is, duh, very 21st century and not 1902. But this is further played for laughs.

Another Period on Comedy Central

The entire Bellacourt clan & their servants.

Another Period, Sure, There Are Costumes

Nobody is watching this for the costumes or the history (if they are, those people would be stupider than the Bellacourts). That said, the writers did research the Gilded Age and do sprinkle random weird factoids throughout the shows as trivia or plot points.

Another Period on Comedy Central

Other than the hair, decent Edwardian white ensembles.

One bit that costumers may enjoy is the sex scene between siblings Beatrice and Frederick, which takes forever to begin because the servants have to remove the clothes from first the sister and then the brother. While we might quibble about the gown’s fastenings and is she really wearing a corset under there, this incestuous scene does make a good joke of the fact that these upper-class people were dressed and undressed by servants so you might wonder if they needed help before a romantic assignation.

Another Period on Comedy Central

Frederick & his mother, Dodo, at a funeral.

Another Period on Comedy Central

Lillian in an approximation of a period bathing suit.

Another Period on Comedy Central

Lillian blinged up, Beatrice with a quite nice gown.

Overall, the costumes in Another Period are surprisingly not terrible for a parody. There is some decent Edwardian daywear on the ladies, and the men all look reasonably period. Some characters are more consistently historically accurate than others. Dodo, the Bellacourt family matriarch, gets some grand gowns suitable to her station. Of the two sisters that the plots tend to revolve around, dim-witted blonde Beatrice tends to wear more historical garb while scheming party girl Lillian wears more random attire. Their spinster sister Hortense (butt of many jokes) gets the short shrift, natch. Everyone’s hair and makeup are fairly modern with little historical touches on occasion.

Another Period on Comedy Central

Hortense, 1960s hair, vaguely Victorian outfit, whatevs.

So if your sensibilities swing this way, check out Another Period on Comedy Central, live or watch online. And party like it’s 1899, bitches!

Another Period on Comedy Central

No idea what Lillian is wearing here, but look, a stuffed emu!

 

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About the author

Trystan L. Bass

Twitter Website

A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. When she’s not dressing up in costumes, she can be found traveling the world with her sweetie and, occasionally, Kendra and Sarah. Her costuming and travel adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also maintains a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

6 Responses

  1. Michael L. McQuown

    Looking forward to this. Edwardian. Hmmm. Reminds me of my youth in London when the “Teddy Boy’ was all the rage. Young punks in velvet-collared jackets, skinny ‘drainpipe’ trousers, longish hair — and a straight razor!

    Reply
  2. Kate Crowley

    Oh no! Glad you are enjoying the show, but sorry we ruffled feathers with the costumes! With a small budget and three days to shoot each episode, I decided it would be better to approach the “design” with a theatrical flair and make the costumes an inside joke for fellow costumers and costume historians. Sorry that doesn’t read! I learned a lot designing this show, especially that sketch comedians will write until the camera rolls ( and sometimes after) and that “corsets are bad for comedy” in the words of one of our producers! And it’s funny that you thought “Hortense’s” one and only dress is “vaguely Victorian” because it’s the only genuine piece in the whole mix! But you are right, if people are watching for historical accuracy then they are dummer than the Bellacourts! Hope you keep watching!

    Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      No feathers ruffled at all! I’m actually impressed at how accurate some of the costumes are — and historical or not, each style works really well for each character (Hortense’s outfit makes her look dumpy, but that really suits her as the ignored sister :) ). The costumes can definitely help make the jokes work. I’m loving THE HELL out of this series, & so is every fan of historical drams I’ve heard from. We really really needed this! Thank you!

      (PS: Random thing I love seeing, so many petticoats! that’s so good, so right! We’ve all been complaining how the BBC/PBS series Poldark, set in the 18th-c., seems to be missing a petticoat for every woman. But when the ladies on Another Period flip their skirts up, petticoats. Yay!)

      Reply
  3. KATE CROWLEY

    Yay! Petticoats!! Glad you have such an awesome sense of humor! I am so glad someone sent me a link to your page. I’m now following it and just read your most recent post on the Poldark ladies. This is such a great forum!

    Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      Thanks! We try to ride the line between taking the costumes seriously & poking fun — we love history & historical accuracy, but we know that every screen production has a different POV.

      Reply

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