Poll: What Should Kendra Recap This Snark Week?

26

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 years I suffered greatly through North and South (1985), The Kent Chronicles (1978-79), and Maria Theresa (2017). Once it again it must be Festivus, because YOU get to decide what I recap this year!

I’ve chosen five contenders — yes, some repeat options from last year! — 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 a few days (so I can get started watching!) and ends Monday, Dec. 28 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: George Washington (1984)

Barry Bostwick as the president! Jaclyn Smith as Sally Fairfax!

George Washington (1984)

I have questions about those pants.

George Washington (1984)

SO Scarlett O’Hara!

1984 George Washington

Not bad, minus the makeup.

1984 George Washington

Guessing that’s Martha?

Here’s what the video quality looks like:

1984 George Washington

 

Option 2: The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)

An American TV miniseries that’s an adaptation of an 1834 novel about, you guessed it, the last days of Pompeii. Everyone who’s anyone is in this: Brian Blessed, Ernest Borgnine, Lesley-Anne Down, Olivia Hussey, Laurence Olivier. And the costumes look EPIC, at least on Down — although I don’t know ancient dress well:

The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)

I think there will be a lot of oiled-up men.

The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)

This kills me every time I see it! I feel like I’m watching the Solid Gold dancers!

Laurence Olivier, The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)

Allegedly quality actors!

The Last Days of Pompeii (1984)

So much winged eyeshadow!

Here’s what the video quality looks like — not great:

The Last Days of Pompeii 1984

Option 3: 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?

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 4: Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story (1987)

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 (note: I have found you can watch both versions at the same time, muting the Russian one but watching its visuals and then listening to the English one, with some fiddling):

1987 Napoleon and Josephine a Love Story

Option 5: La Révolution (2020)

I find the cheesy pre-1990s series more fun to recap, but we’ve had some requests for this Netflix miniseries that pairs a “mysterious disease” with the French Revolution. I’ve heard there are butt bows! Either way I promise we’ll review it; do you want recaps too?

2020 La Revolution

Mad Max meets French Revolution?

2020 La Revolution

Um…

2020 La Revolution

Well this looks shitty! Also what’s with the rockabilly hair?

Obviously we can all watch it in high quality on Netflix.

Now It’s Up to You!

Voting closes Monday, Dec. 28 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.

26 Responses

  1. Bronwyn

    You gotta do La Revolution! The others have the excuse of being 80s. This ones new, it should know better!

    Reply
  2. LadySlippers

    I am torn between The Last Days pf Pompeii and La Révolution. I’ve always suspected gold lamé, disco, and the late 1970’s/early 1980’s were influenced by Italy in Biblical times and this would further my education in such matters (and hot pink and purple are SO prevalent historically). BUT I was not aware of the influence of both the Vikings and Wonder Women in the French Revolution (see Norsemen and both WW movies). So I am intrigued.

    On the basis of video quality, newer productions surely win out. However, oldies but goodies are fun, I meant educational, too.

    You can see my dilemma here. How does one pick???????

    Reply
  3. EA Gorman

    I went with The Last Days of Pompeii. Sure the video quality may not be perfect but there’s near naked men and that should count for something.

    Reply
  4. Northcountry girl

    I also liked George Washington when it came out (yeah I’m old). I suspect the costumes are pretty bad though, so I’ll vote for George. (Introduced me to Alexander Hamilton, long before he had a hit musical!)

    Reply
  5. susan l eiffert

    Ooh !’d look forward to your glorious snark on any of them! I did chuckle when I saw the obligatory exotic dance Down is doing in the photos but laughed out loud at those gold dance shoes from 1985. WTF were they thinking?

    Reply
  6. Gosia

    Please, please, snark about “North and South”, book two. I’m curious, if the there are ANY improvements in comparison to book one (book two has a different costume designer than book one).

    Reply
  7. MrsC (Maryanne)

    Huzzah Pompeii is winning!! I adore Lesley Anne Downs and you got me at the dance heels. Who knew that style had such deep historical roots!!

    Reply
  8. Lily Lotus Rose

    Oh, boy. These are all major contenders in their own ways. I voted for The Last Days of Poempei because—those shoes!?&*$#

    Reply
  9. Terry Towels

    It’s got to be Last Days of Pompeii (altho the French one is a contender). It’s based on a book by the ‘It was a dark and stormy night” guy (Bulwar-Lytton) which is a florid and trashy novel AND (added bonus) GOLD JASS SHOES! What other treasures might be found in costume or dialog?!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Nzie

    I’d be tempted to say Pompeii but I’m not sure there’s enough costume there to comment on, based on the pics you included! I didn’t vote N&S, even though it’s very tempting, but I see it’s winning anyway. I am curious about the bizarre Revolution trailer so that got my vote.. I get the impression it’s an overwrought metaphor in action, with costumes that reflect that full… vision.

    Reply
  11. Lady Marmaduke

    Aw, man! I was really hoping for Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story! I remember when that came on TV. I was 12.

    Reply
  12. Luna Jones

    Because this blog likes period drama tv shows and movies to be at least 99 percent accurate. You’re right, some of the costumes on the ladies are quite pretty. But many of them are made with the wrong material, material that wouldn’t have been around in the Civil war period.

    Also, they don’t critique every outfit. They compliment the outfits that actually get it right, same with hair. It’s not the show’s fault that perms were such a popular hairstyle in the 80’s.

    Also, many ladies have their hair down when they are the age where they should be wearing it up, and low necklines for daytime. That was something most improper in the era.

    I would say that half the costumes are not correct, but several of them are.

    Reply

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