Best & Worst Frock Flicks of 2020


Other publications tell you what the best and worst movies or TV shows were of the past year — but we let YOU be the judge! Let’s give 2020 one last kick-out-the-door by looking at all the frock flicks we watched while the world fell down around us! Surprisingly, this list is about as long as 2019’s, but many productions aired in different places (aka not movie theaters) and had their dates moved around. As always, we compile this list based on U.S. premieres and channel offerings. Let us know if we missed anything you really loved or hated…

First, you’ll vote for your top three, then you can vote for your worst three:


[socialpoll id=”2170983″ type=”set”]


Tell us how you voted and why!


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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

21 Responses

  1. Constance

    So many choices…but I did not love any of these I have seen. A lot of them do not appeal to me as I tend toward 17th-19th centuries. I had looked forward to Belgravia, Bridgerton and even Sanditon (a special yuk for that last one) but none lived up to my hopes.

  2. Susan Pola Staples

    If there’s a quiz section, it isn’t showing. But I vote for Sandition bc of the overall ‘run screaming from the room’ attitude the entire show gave me.

    • LadySlippers

      I cannot see quizzes on my phone and have to go to my laptop to see it. So I would change platforms to see if that helps. ☺️

  3. Addie

    I stared at the list for a long while and realized I hadn’t watched any of them because I haven’t been to a theater or been able to pay for streaming (or had the time or energy). God, 2020 sucked.

  4. Frannie Germeshausen

    I gave a “best” vote to “Perry Mason.” We were definitely pulled into the story, and loved the use of both interiors and exteriors of the period. And the clothes were spot on across a range of social strata. I’ve now started collecting full-body aprons to go with the “house dresses” I already had, inspired by this series.

    • Lee Jones

      “Perry Mason” was definitely one of my favorite period dramas of 2002.

  5. Empress Rouge

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Not the most exciting or variety of costumes, but gorgeous cinematography. Also, it was one of the last films I saw in theaters before the pandemic and I’ve already watched it again on Hulu.

    • Susan Pola Staples

      That and Gentlemen Jack were my favourites for 2020.

    • Meg

      I thought the lack of ornamentation and variety to the costumes was intentional, from a storytelling perspective

  6. Colleen

    Of all the options, I saw maybe three. I only liked Enola Holmes, so I couldn’t vote. Everyone else liked it, but I hated The Great.

  7. Saraquill

    I saw less than a handful of these flicks. I voted for Hamilton as I’ve seen it, and it’s super beloved for good reason.

  8. Lily Lotus Rose

    Best: Hamilton, Belgravia, and Dracula–These were all well-done and I liked them a lot. I’d seen Hamilton live on tour. It was a real treat to see the original company and to see that it was filmed so well. Belgravia was an excellent adaptation of the book–perfectly cast, costumed, and acted. Dracula was wonderful–a departure from the book in several ways but the cast made up for any shortcomings with the storyline (even so, like most people I wasn’t crazy about episode 3).

    Worst: Sanditon and Enola Holmes: Sanditon was miscast and an insult to Jane Austen. It wasn’t bad, but that show was a fun romp that should not have been associated with anything written by Jane Austen. Enola Holmes wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t for me.

    The only other one I’d seen was The Pale Horse. It was good, but not good enough to crack the top 3. Also, I didn’t mind the changes between the novel and the show. Another plus was Rufus Sewell looking RAWR as usual!

  9. Orian Hutton

    Couldn’t bring myself to vote for any of the few I have seen. What was happening with story telling that has a degree of truth for a time period? When I watch a historical tale, I want a time machine to take me back. Not some modernised view of how it ought to have been according to our ‘standards’ of behaviour and dress.

    • Constance

      Same here. Watching Bridgerton I felt like it was made for the Reign and White Princess audiences, i.e not me, a lifelong fan of period drama but teenagers they are trying to get ratings from. Honestly the many BBC series made in the 70’s are much superior than almost any of the new ones. I can accept the bad lighting etc in exchange for the acting, the storytelling and the period feel. I tend to rewatch older period dramas as the new ones disappoint me so much. I am an “old”…

      • Lee Jones

        For me, the old period dramas from the 1970s – whether they are American or British – are just as much of a mixed bag for me as today’s period dramas. Granted, they are likely to be more faithful to their literary source. But sometimes, this faithfulness tend to transform the productions into filmed plays.

  10. Lee Jones

    There is no such thing as “best” and “worst” in my eyes. Sorry, but I think the title of this article is misleading.

    My favorite period drama for 2020 was “Enola Holmes”, with “Perry Mason” a close second. My least favorite was “The Pale Horse”.

  11. Anonymous archaeologist

    The historic accuracy and costume design of VIKINGS is so substandard that the advising archaeologists begged the producers for a ‘making of … ‘ documentary called REAL VIKINGS in order to save their scientific reputations.

    • Joakim

      Did they have advising archaeologists??? Did they also do Conan the Barbarian?