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Two Snark Weeks ago, Trystan took one for the team and wrote a post on just how shitty costumes can be in historical documentaries. She pretty much covered it, although there are always more fish in the barrel to shoot. But then there I was, happily watching two different documentaries and actually REALLY LIKING the costumes – historically accurate! Really historically accurate! Someone did their research! And then something happened that made me go, “WHAT THE FROCK.”
Really, this is not worthy of a post… but it NEEDS to be more than just a meme or random link we share on social media, so here we are. Think of this as a Snark Week interlude?
England’s Forgotten Queen: The Life and Death of Lady Jane Grey (2018)
I’ve written before about my love for historian Helen Castor’s documentaries. Formerly Director of History at Sidney Sussex College (one of the many individual colleges that make up Cambridge University), Castor is smart, personable, feminist, and tackles interesting subjects. So when I recently rewatched her three-episode doc on Lady Jane Grey, I really enjoyed it. In fact, I kept thinking, “Wow! These people have really done their research! Actual Tudor clothing!” But then…
Ride the wave with me:
And true, I’m filling out this post with this one. But let’s get on to the one that made me sit up and scream:
Charles I: Downfall of a King (2019)
Lisa Hilton isn’t an academic, but she’s studied English and the history of art, and has written popular history books and historical fiction, among many irons in the fire. I was trolling documentaries on Amazon and came across this one, and while I’m no Charles I maniac, I was in the mood!
Again, color me shocked! Someone put some real effort into getting this costumes actually RIGHT for the period! Until…
The payre of bodies….is…backwards? Not upside down but….backwards? WTF??
And no chemise underneath!
Oh yes, well that’s a given isn’t it? :-)
How do they do the research to get so much right, and then get something THAT wrong?
I’m practically rolling on the floor right now, because that Charles I show was recommended to me by Amazon. I was going to watch it last night, but then decided to go with Lucy Worsley instead.
Gotta watch them. Puppy alone would have guaranteed it but the Charles I shirt clinched it and Lady Jane doesn’t pout.
The pair of bodies remind me of horror stories with witches who had their heads facing backwards.Eldrich abomination.
Is that backwards? Yep, backwards. On bare skin. Poor actress!
The stays look like they were made wrong, if you look at her waist it looks like the bottom half is correct.
Not backwards. That’s 18th century stays with stomacher, only 4 sizes too big and then laced almost all the way closed.
This was the presumed high budget documentary series on Swedish queens that was aired on Swedish TV i nthe autumn. I had to read the text to understand that the woman in yellow is supposed to be mid-17th century. https://img-cdn.b17g.net/06419f17-c41d-4948-a51f-a4640e29275f/crop16x9.jpg
The first episode is the worst though, I wonder what they raided to find her stuff
Drottningarna is a ride in terms of costumes and hmu, and not a good one… from the h&m blouse in the first episode to the plasticky fancy dress dresses with no proper undergarments, and, of course, the corsets/stays as torture myth thrown in…
OMFG I may have to look this up for next year’s Snark Week!