So Jamestown Is All About Sex?


ITV sure is pandering to the lowest common denominator. Check out these promo vids for the series Jamestown, starting May 5, 2017, in the U.K., all about the settling of the English colony at Jamestown in the new world:


“From the makers of Downton Abbey.” Yuppers. But wait, there’s more!


I don’t know where to start … The bucket of shit? The tongue? The random costumes and free-flowing hair are almost negligible in the face of all the smut and actual crap.

No idea if this will make it to the states. Kind of ironic, that.


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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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. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

38 Responses

  1. Broughps

    Let me guess it’s going to be touted as Jamestown/the new world from the feminist viewpoint.

      • Broughps

        Because half the time when a show it touted as being feminist it isn’t in the least. It usually means the women are bitches. Because you know strong women = bitch. And yes do read that last sentence with sarcasm.

  2. Susan Pola

    The costumes are, of course, rejects from various Ren faires. And we will have a spunky feminist heroine. Argh.

      • Susan Pola

        Nothing, but if she’s a feminist they need to keep it in a 16th/17th century context: a widow running her husband’s business perhaps as there are records dating from medieval times of that – but not a 20th/21st century modern context.

  3. MoHub

    I shudder to think what will happen with Pocahontas.

  4. Valerie

    Nope nope nope. I have finished a series of books on early colonization of North America. Alllll wrong. From the clothes, to the hair, to the behavior. Bleck

  5. Kim S.

    What is that muck? Looks like runny oatmeal. And the tongue… yeah, someone has been told to pull from existing costumes, and make things more colorful. Alternately, they are clueless and high…

  6. Nzie

    Can we just make the article from a few weeks ago on portraying women in history required reading? This just looks bizarre. And did I hear right that it’s been “twelve years” without women? That’s just not accurate. It would be cool to have a female-focused story about Jamestown, but I won’t be sad if this never makes it across the pond.

  7. ladyaquanine73551

    Last time I checked, there were almost no women in the early Jamestown colony at all, maybe not any at the start. Even Disney, in their fantasy version of history, showed it was all men coming over in the boat. I think this series has about as much chance of surviving as “Timeless,” which means, it’ll be on some network full of money-hungry idiots who don’t care about history, and it’ll be canceled after the first or second season. If any history teachers are smart, they’ll forbid high school students from using this garbage for research.

    • MaryD

      Two women arrived in the second supply of colonists in 1608–though it was a woman traveling with her husband and her maid. The maid ended up marrying a colonist shortly afterwards. About ten years later, the colony started to bring wives over in greater numbers, though these women were bound to marry the men who paid for their passage, which seems might be the point of the story (besides sex and poo bucketing).

      • Susan Pola

        In bad Ren faire costumes or the James Stuart era card table skirts. At least Reign & Tudors costumes were beautiful.

      • MoHub

        So it’s actually a reboot of Here Come the Brides set in 17th-century Virginia.

  8. ladyaquanine73551

    In defense of this monstrosity, the costumes are way off the mark because the time of James I was probably one of the ugliest eras when it comes to European historical fashion. If you take a look at the English fashions from the early 1600s, they are just plain hideous. Everyone looks like bulky, pilgrim-esque clowns in the styles that were popular in that period. Even Pocahontas’s costume in her painting looked terrible.

    • Kendra

      I totally agree! Those high waists AND full skirts AND huge sleeves make all the women look so dumpy!

    • Peacoclaur

      The high waists and big sleeves didn’t become a thing until the 1620s after Queen Anna (Mrs James 6&1) died and only really became uber puffy and silly when Henrietta Maria (Mrs Charles 1) entered the picture. The basic silhouette in the 1600-1610s is still the basic Elizabethan cartwheel low waist and tight long sleeves for court and long sleeved bodices with natural waists and fairly moderate skirts for most other women. Still those costumes look cheep and stupid for something about early America – even if the show is about T&A and not actual history. I agree with the above – when an animated Disney movie payed more attention to accuracy than you, than you are really not trying…

  9. Sarah F

    The actual history of Jamestown and the other early settlements are fascinating, and should be more widely known.
    Sadly I don’t think we’ll ever get an accurate tv show/movie about it, because “The unrelenting fuckwittery of everyone in charge got 90% of the settlers killed until the 9th or 10th time they tried it” prob won’t go over well.

      • Karen K.

        I second your motion, it sounds much more interesting that a historically inaccurate spunky feminine heroine without hairpins. Or how about the story from the Native American point of view?

        • Erica

          “Or how about the story from the Native American point of view?”


          • Sarah F

            Exactly! We, the lovers of historically accurate media, would eat that shit up. But instead we are given Real Housewives: Jamestown.
            The story from a native point of view would be incredible!

  10. Fran Sturgess

    Is this the British making fun of their former colony? Of course British TV is put on quite the pedestal over here in the US, which doesnt actually mean they dont do their share of bombs.

  11. Jeri

    Someone please pass the eye bleach. Brain bleach would be great too!

  12. Marie McGowan Irving

    It’s Sky, not ITV :) I have set it to record. I know very little about 16th Century costume or about Jamestown so I’ll sit back and wait for the snark. I suspect it’s an attempt to cash in on the popularity of vaguely historical drama; the cast looks pretty good but the show itself seems off even to my uneducated eye!

  13. Carolyn

    I was asked to preview the show by Radio Times, so got to see the whole first episode. OMG…it was just awful. I couldn’t follow the story well, it jumped around so much. The characters were so unlikeable that by the time the episode was over I couldn’t remember any of their names…all I could think was, “Who cares?” Yeah…it will be a blessing if this one doesn’t make it to our side of the pond! And yes…I did tell them everything I didn’t like about it!

  14. Susan Pola

    Re Series told from Native American viewpoint on Jamestown. How much is known about the tribal nation in Virginia during early 1600s?

  15. Bronwyn Cole

    “No idea if this will make it to the states. Kind of ironic, that.” LMAO.

  16. Joanne Renaud

    Hey guys, I decided to take one for the team and watch this show. I went into it with rock-bottom expectations. I just wanted good trashy fun with passable costumes. Judith Krantz goes to the New World! Jackie Collins goes to Jamestown! The costumes are okay (okay-ish)… if you overlook the metal grommets and women wearing their hair down when they’re farming. It fits the basic silhouette of the time, and some of the dresses worn by Jocelyn (the blonde) are nice, though the real highlights are the foppish Jacobean outfits (with embroidered half-capes!) worn by Burn Gorman, who is almost unrecognizable. God, I love that guy.

    But the writing… meh. Okay, I didn’t hate it as much as Taboo, but it’s just so by-the-numbers 2010s Wannabe Prestige Costume Drama Glurge as written by men. As Carolyn said, the characters are unlikeable, and it constantly jumps around so much it’s hard to know or care what’s going on. The blonde is the conniving, manipulative snob who murdered somebody back in England, the redhead is a sassy thief who hates drunkards and who runs off into the forest in mens’ clothing once she finds out she’s engaged to one, and the brunette only comes across as a victim– she’s raped by the brutish guy she’s engaged to, but she falls into insta-lurve with the brute’s hunky brother, and DRAMA. It’s pretty lousy, especially when compared to the complex women and fascinating plotlines done in Harlots and Feud, which are both excellent and show what historical TV drama can do when depicting womens’ lives in the past, whether it’s the 1760s or the 1960s.

    Another funny thing about this show is how many moldy old Adventure Film Tropes it flings at you. Stuck in Quicksand! Attacked by Wolves! Captured by Indians! A guy is smoking near a canoe full of gunpowder and blows up! However, since I didn’t actually hate it, I’ll try watching a little longer, because I actually did enjoy Versailles after about three or four episodes… Maybe Jamestown needs a bit longer to find its groove. Maybe the actors will grow into their roles. Maybe the show will actually find a protagonist somewhere…

    Or maybe they’ll just turn Jocelyn into the Frances Carr!expy, since it looks like Blondie goes poison-crazy in the next episode. headdesk

    tl;dr: Jamestown is dumb. It’s really dumb.

  17. Frannie Germeshausen

    I missed all of this because I was on the road at the start of May. All I can say is, What the Absolute Fuck.

  18. Becky Nankivell

    Now (March 23, 2018) available on the Masterpiece Amazon Channel, and through your PBS subscriber “Passport” programming.