Poll: What Should Kendra Recap This Snark Week?

47

It’s become my own personal tradition to recap something shitty each Snark Week. It all inadvertently started with War and Peace (2016), and then the following year I suffered greatly through North and South (1985), and last year took on The Kent Chronicles (1978-79). Well this year it must be Festivus, because YOU get to decide what I recap this year!

I’ve chosen five contenders with the following attributes:

  1. shitty
  2. available for streaming (sorry, I don’t own a DVD player)
  3. multi-episodic so there’s enough content to spread over five days, and
  4. shitty

Read on for the options, then vote below, but note voting is only open for two days (so I can get started watching!) and ends tomorrow, Tuesday Jan. 7 at midnight PST. Whatever is the highest vote-getter will be chosen!

In chronological release date order, because that’s how I roll:

 

Option 1: Marie-Antoinette (1975)

A four-episode, made-for-TV, French miniseries about the famous late 18th-century French queen. The upside is that I can get a semi-decent quality copy, the down side is that it’s from a paid French streaming site (Ina.fr) and is only available in the original French without subtitles, so it may make it difficult if you want to watch too.

1975 Marie Antoinette

Geneviève Casile stars as Marie-Antoinette | Geneviève Casile’s portrait (Marie Antoinette) during the shooting of the serial “Marie Antoinette”. (Photo by Claude James / INA via Getty Images)

1975 Marie Antoinette

The costumes have potential? | Outdoor, scene of the serial “Marie Antoinette”, with Geneviève Casile (Marie Antoinette), in the face of Corinne LE POULAIN, Anne Marbeau (Anne de Polignac), Alain PRALON (count Vaudreuil) and Henri Guisol (baron de Bezenval). (Photo by Jean Pierre Leteuil / INA via Getty Images)

1975 Marie Antoinette

Here’s a good overview of the show’s visuals.

Here’s what the video quality will look like:

1975 Marie Antoinette

 

Option 2: North and South: Book II (1986)

If you bitches choose this one I will hate you forever, but I’ve had enough requests that I’m including it — plus I’m all about taking one for the team. Apparently one North and South wasn’t enough; I assume this one gets into the actual Civil War? The upside is you can watch it too on YouTube, the down side is the video quality isn’t great (but it’s not horrible).

1986 North and South Book II

Alright, so I am down for more Morgan Fairchild.

1986 North and South Book II

But I don’t know how much I can handle Tits Out playing Scarlett O’Hara.

1986 North and South Book II

Oh god.

Here’s what the video quality looks like:

1986 North and South Book II

That’s a lot of shoulder for a day dress.

 

Option 3: Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story (1987)

I would probably just go ahead and inflict this sucker on you, but the high-res version has been taken off YouTube (unless you can handle overdubbed dialogue in Russian, which I can’t). Jacqueline Bisset is Empress Josephine (lol), Armand Assante is Napoleon (double lol), and Stephanie Beacham is Therese Tallien (LOLOLOL) in this biopic about the early 19th century French emperor/empress.

1987 Napoleon and Josephine- A Love Story

The costumes in this look ATROCIOUS.

Armand Assante in Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story (1987)

And something tells me the acting will be subtle and nuanced!

Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story (1987)

My favorite shower curtain dress!

The problem is, while we can all watch it on YouTube, the video quality is pretty shitty:

1987 Napoleon and Josephine a Love Story

Although the Russian overdubbed version looks good:

1987 Napoleon and Josephine a Love Story

 

Option 4: La Femme Musketeer (2003)

A Hallmark Channel (!!) miniseries that’s a sequel to The Three Musketeers, focused on D’Artagnan’s supposed daughter, Valentine, swashbuckling in mid-17th-century France. Michael York plays D’Artagnan, and Nastassja Kinski and Gérard Depardieu also play supporting characters. It’s available in high-res on Amazon Prime, but worryingly, it has mostly positive reviews on IMDB.

2003 La Femme Musketeer

I don’t know, is this too obvious to snark?

2003 La Femme Musketeer

And what if the costumes are actually okay, minus the shitty makeup?

Here’s what the video quality looks like:

2003 La Femme Musketeer

 

Option 5: Maria Theresia (2017)

An Austrian-Czech miniseries about Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa (mother of Marie-Antoinette), who ruled Austria, Hungary, and a lot of central Europe from 1745-65. It’s available in high-res on YouTube so we can all enjoy the fun, and the costumes look DEEPLY shitty.

2017 Maria Theresia

Which hair metal band is he in?

2017 Maria Theresia

Clearly money was spent.

2017 Maria Theresia

Although I’m not sure if it was spent WELL…

Here’s what the video quality looks like:

2017 Maria Theresia

 

 

Now It’s Up to You!

 

Voting closes Tuesday, Jan. 7 at midnight PST!

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

47 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    Marie Theresa got my vote. But are we going to snark latest version of Little Feminists – oops Little Women?

    Reply
      • Susan Pola Staples

        Thank you, Jesus.

        Just finished watching Maria Theresa episode 1 but YouTube doesn’t have Episode 2 of Season 1. And what’s the thing with the random baron?

        Reply
    • M.E. Lawrence

      Mine, too, because one just doesn’t see enough of M.T. on screen, and she was cool in her own 18th-century, devoutly Catholic, ever so domestic, and POWERFUL way.

      (I’m going to see “Little Women” in 3 hours, and am growing progressively more worried. Must prepare myself for all that loose hair. I just read “March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women,” 4 essays, one about each sister, by 4 writers. Worth reading, although Jane Smiley on Amy was the only one who really spoke to me, perhaps because she’s 70, very experienced, and a mother as well.)

      Reply
  2. Jillian

    Maria Theresia, all the way. Not a chance I would force you to watch Tits Out for a second Snark Week in a row.

    Reply
    • Lady Hermina De Pagan

      Tone fair to Kendra, my mother forced me to what Tits Out’s heavage through all 3 miniseries! No one should be forced to endure that. This was after she tortured me with both The Thornbirds and the Blue and the Grey (a poor mans version of the north and south).

      Reply
  3. Claudia Trent

    Is this solely about costumes? Or is this about costumes AND story? I’ve seen productions with great costumes and shitty narratives. I’ve seen productions with shitty costumes and great narratives? So, what is this about?

    Reply
  4. Shashwat

    I want you to suffer East and West(or whatever,it’s so bad I don’t care what it’s called).AGAIN.
    Anyways,let the snark rage on.

    Reply
  5. Nzie

    ALL THE POLYTAFFETA. :-)

    I voted for the Hallmark musketeers because it just sounds so ridiculous but the Maria Theresia one sounds amazing too.

    Reply
  6. Trystan L. Bass

    Aw hell, I would buy you a DVD player just to get review of the Napoleon & Josephine shitshow!!! The costumes are so epically bad, plus the cast, omg!!!

    Reply
  7. Mylla

    North and south, I mean, the grey chalk they use in their hair to show that they are getting old(er) is in it self a reason ;) (oh, they only focus on the temples, except for Carradines hair that looks straight out of a ghost story) They are airing a marathon on TV here in Sweden right now

    Reply
  8. Johanna

    Napoleon and Josephine was the first ever TV production I remember being excited about (ok I was 6 and we had ust gotten more than 2 channels in Sweden and this was showed on channel 3) I don’t want to rewatch it, since I’m sure it would break the heart of 6-year old me.

    Reply
  9. Patrick from Vienna

    The austrian film maker gave us a new years present – Maria Theresia got two new episodes this year…

    Reply
  10. Terézia Marková

    On the one hand, I loved your North And South recaps, on the other hand, FUCK Maria Theresia. Words cannot describe how much I HATE this one, mostly because of historical inaccuracies and personal reasons (I am a big Maria Theresia stan – I mean the actual historical ruler).

    Reply
  11. Rebecca Spencer

    I would vote, but I feel grateful for every Snark Week post you give us no matter the source and these all sound like great fodder for Snark Week.

    Reply
  12. Claire D'Costa

    The IMDB shows that Maria Theresia has some wonderful hair necklaces – makes the decision so easy.

    Reply
  13. Damnitz

    Maria Theresia is so stupid regarding the historical truth (France in war during the 1730s with Austria already, Bartenstein was not a stupid youngster in 1670s (?) clothes), that it was hardly to look for us all and it was a shame, that the ORF and others did not produced something adequate for the anniversary. However you Need to speak German to notice all of the shitty details like prince Eugen speaking German with an Austrian dialect. Besides “Maria Theresia” is so laughable, that you will surely feel some amusement reviewing that film.

    Reply
    • Peacoclaur

      I watched the whole thing on YouTube (thanks to a kind soul who added English subtitles) and one thing that stood out at me was that the Hungarians, besides looking all wrong and adding a bogus romantic plot line with one of the Esterhazys and MT; was that they were speaking Magyar as was MT. For the eighteenth century they would have spoken Latin as Magyar was peasant talk back than. Ok very minor point but it made me laugh 😂

      Reply
      • Damnitz

        If I remember it right, that strange count Esterházy was astonished that she could speak Magyar.
        That’s all so laughable. The Hungarian nobles didn’t know what happened at the court in Vienna? Were they completely stupid? Just check the map! Just check how short was/is the distance from Pressburg to Vienna!
        It’s the same with Stephan of Lorraine, who was told in that flick, how to behave at Imperial ceremonials. Wow! Did he not learned it already as he had to grow up at the Austrian court?
        Some of the strange Details: Stephan was told in the movie, that the Spanish court dress was obligatory for the event. Now he arrived at the great hall and no one of the court has that garment except himself and the emperor!

        But we should be Aware of the fact that in 2019 a third and a fourth part of this series was produced. Why? I can’t tell.

        Reply
        • M.E. Lawrence

          I feel your pain. The prime rule of Bad Historical Movies: “Accuracy be damned.” Second prime rule: “No nuance!”

          Reply
  14. Alexa

    Maria Teresia, cause our television has been forcing this on us for an entire year now so i want some good costume snark. If i could recommend something that’s also czech, but very pretty costume wise, it’s Bůh s námi (May god be with us), following the first years of the Thirty year war. It’s probably available at the internet archive of our tv, česká televize :)

    Reply
    • Damnitz

      I can remember a very good czech documentary, which I saw on Arte about the defenestration at Prague from 2018 (if I remember it right).
      By the way I don’t think that it is the fault of the czech in that “Maria Theresia”-monstrum. There are enough of famous Austrian actors too (although it’s remarkable, that I could not find Tobias Moretti in the cast, although he seems to be in EVERY Austrian hictorical flick since 2000 (Maximilian, Andreas Hofer …). We very much loved “Korunní princ” from 2015, which is really amusing. Czech had done so many really great fairy tale movies!

      Reply
  15. DRush76

    I’m sorry, but I don’t accept the “North and South” trilogy from the 1980s as a worthy of snark week. It’s not perfect and it has its share of questionable costumes and hairstyles. But it also featured some excellent costumes as well. And the story is pretty damn good, if not perfect.

    Reply
    • Jamie LaMoreaux

      and seriously, who wouldn’t want to revisit Genie Francis’s incredibly lifelike and I’m sure she was from SOMEWHERE south, southern accent? I mean she MUST be from the south of Philly or south of Maine or Mass. just no where NEAR the American south, ie. south of the mason/Dixon line. the female american version of Dick Van Dyke’s Burt the cockney chimney sweep.

      Reply
      • Susan Pola Staples

        I believe that watching Tits Out is in violation of the Geneva Convention regarding cruel and inhumane punishment.

        Reply
    • Mrs. D

      Oh, and the third one was SOOOOOOOOOO bad! The other two would look like big budget blockbusters by comparison. It was the kind of production that recycled the same shots over and over again. I watched it in high school because I had a thing for Kyle Chandler, and the shot of Bent stealing away on his peddlers’ wagon with Charles’s son (gasp!) is burned on my brain forever.

      Reply
    • Terézia Marková

      Oh, those are BAD, don’t get me wrong, but I think they would make me just mildly grumpy if it wasn’t for that absolutely asinine script which is, like, Philippa Gregory level writing, characterization and historical accuracy.

      Reply

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