Poll: Worst Frock Flicks of 2019


We don’t want to reserve all the snark for ourselves, so it’s time for you to vent your ire on the past year! The other day, you voted on the best frock flicks, now you can vote for the worst historical costume movies and TV shows of 2019. We’ve listed all the frock flicks we could remember that got a general release in the U.S. this year, up to the December 25 openings. Let us know if we missed anything…

Now, vote for your worst three!




Tell us why you voted for your worst three!



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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.

23 Responses

    • LadySlippers

      I also am not sure how this is even a contest. THAT women gets so much wrong, it makes me furious. And the costumes are merely an extension of the wrongness.

    • Constance

      Same except I had the opportunity to try to watch The Aspern Papers…Omg. But Spanish Princess almost killed me, what I managed to get through anyway. I am desperate for a good Tudor movie or series…the real stuff that happened was more than weird and exotic enough to not need any fictional bullshit. Am excited too for the Regency ones in 2020…Belgravia & Brigerton(?) though am likely to be disappointed by one or both. I do love the era of the Georges but not a huge Austin fan…the main men are often such weak losers.

  1. Alys Mackyntoich

    FX’s Christmas Carol was unspeakably bad as a form of entertainment, but the costumes were decent.

  2. Bobbie

    There were moments during the Spanish Princess I had to rewind to catch dialog, the costumes were so horrible.

    • M.E. Lawrence

      Bobbie, that might be my favorite line of critical snark this year. (But how did you feel after catching the dialog? Choose 1 through 5, depending on your pain level.)

    • M.E. Lawrence

      Have PFG’s handlers contacted Frock Flicks about its disrespectful attitude? I ask because they did demand a retraction from some site asking–rhetorically, I presume–“Philippa Gregory–should she be shot?” After laughing several minutes, I found this proposal shocking and very wrong, but agree that her computer, writing paper, pens, pencils, crayons, smart phone, and dictaphone should be taken away from her forever.

      • Nzie

        I’m super curious about the incident you describe. Anyone can demand a retraction but I have a hard time believing there’s any legal basis requiring their compliance… it’s not a copyright violation, for example. Did they take it down? Depending on how clearly rhetorical (or not) or serious it was, it may well have been cruel and/or over the line, but I doubt they were legally obligated to make anything down.

        • M.E. Lawrence

          Nzie, as I recall (this was several years ago), a favorite history-discussion board, Res Historica, did run a thread called “Philippa Gregory–should she be shot?” and were warned off it by her people. The thread is now called “Philippa Gregory–historian or bodice-ripper?” and a few posts there mention a second, American site that supposedly wanted to defend PFG, but made the mistake of also using the word “shot” in its thread: https://reshistorica.forumotion.com/t23p250-philippa-gregory-historian-or-bodice-ripper?highlight=Philippa+Gregory

          I personally believe the American site was a response to Res Historica’s original title, and that Res Historica is keeping its head down about this; U.K. libel law can be severe, and they are just a bunch of academics, not rich authors. Anyway, an entertaining site: https://reshistorica.forumotion.com/

          O.T., kind of: Does PFG lack any sense of humor? I don’t remember one amusing or witty moment in her books, whereas Diana Gabaldon’s Claire and Jamie enjoy some good laughs when they’re not shagging or fighting off villainy. I can’t imagine Gabaldon being such a jerk when/if mocked.

  3. Charity

    Bad on what level?

    Because as far as “pissed me off a lot,” The Spanish Princess is the worst.

    But as far as “the writing is absolute rubbish,” I finished watching season three of Jamestown last night and said WTF? IS THAT IT??? Contrived, convoluted, plot lines dropped, nonsensical motivations, and inconsistent characters. Jocelyn spends three seasons building up power and refusing to fall in love with the blacksmith, only to agree to go out in live in the woods with him — if they survive the massacre? Three or four episodes of Maria and Temperance attempting to drive the governor insane — and then he loses his position, they presumably stop, and we don’t know if he lives or dies, or if he dies, what he was doing outside the walls during the attack? WTF. I can’t even with this show.

  4. Eryn

    Little Women was my vote, simply because I’m so sick of everyone kissing the costumer’s feet online when the clothes were alright at best, with a few real clunkers. (Also I live in New England, so I have to hear about it IRL constantly).

    Dickinson was a close second- yes, I’m glad it’s gay, but they actively MADE UP MORE OPPRESSION FOR HER in the form of family disapproval that never really existed. Plus the costumes were meh. Plus twerking.

    • Abby

      As a fellow New Englander, I feel your pain- my local NPR station has been doing a lot of coverage on it too and the end result was a discourse from me on the lack of hairpins at the family Christmas table (well, you did ask what I thought of it).

  5. Liz Myrick

    I chose Downton Abbey. The costumes were fine, but the story was so utterly dull and pointless with the zero stakes we came to expect in later seasons. Also gagging at the message of how important the aristocracy is, how delighted are the servants are to serve, and especially the dowager countess telling a teary eyed Mary how necessary Downton is as a ‘center of the community.’ The same rich folk ‘job provider’ logic we hear today.

  6. spanielpatter14

    I’m not sure how to vote three times – maybe on different days? Anyway, The Spanish Princess gets my (so far) only vote for Worst of 2019. Teenaged jock Prince Henry who was actually 10 years old when he met Catherine for the first time; and the actors have very little chemistry. The only characters in whom I had any interest were Catherine’s Moorish maid and the latter’s boyfriend, despite the anachronistic interfaith wedding ceremony they had. The less said about the continued character assassination of Margaret Beaufort, the better (and poor Elizabeth of York didn’t fare much better); or Princess Margaret Tudor being about 10 years too old…I did like the character of Prince Arthur except for that awful business of younger brother Henry supposedly having ghost-written his letters.


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