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Starting with our second Snark Week, I’ve picked a shitty frock flick to recap, because I love sharing the blow-by-blows with you. This year, I asked you to choose what film/series I should recap, and the clear winner was Maria Theresia (2017-). This is an Austrian-Czech miniseries about Empress Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress and empress/queen of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma, beginning in 1741 and reigning through 1780. The series had two (LONG) episodes in 2017, two more in 2019, and apparently a further two more are planned. I’ll recap the four existing episodes this week, and on Friday I’ll do some actual research and talk about what the production got right, and where they messed up, in the costumes.
Check out my recap of episode one! Onwards! Unfortunately the only English subtitled version of this episode has been taken down, so I had to watch one in German (maybe? or maybe Hungarian?). So my understanding of all the dialogue is spotty, and hence my recap of What Happened is limited.
Maria Theresa (MT) and hubby Francis travel to Vienna so she can claim her crown. Insert requisite “the poor are miserable, shock, I had no idea, I will do something about this” scene.
Rocking the fur.
MT will wear this lace-trimmed outfit A LOT this episode.
A riding habit look. I question the waist lace.
Back at court, we’re reunited with mom and sister Maria Anna, who shall now become a minor character, and only about half the court got the mourning/dress in black memo.
Maria Anna’s only dress for this episode. It’s hard to see, but again we’ve got a different fabric (solid) for the center front, and patterned for the rest. Why?
Maria Anna’s dress from the back.
Mom’s main mourning dress has black and gold lace trim.
It also has some beading you can’t really see on screen.
MT is busy trying to secure the throne and deal with political shit.
Ok, if this isn’t a rhinestone headband worn as a head necklace, with a brooch hot glued to it, then this isn’t Snark Week.
The skirt-hiking was EPIC this episode. I screencapped pretty much every instance. You’re welcome.
Francis is a typical manchild, feels left out, and starts flirting with the court lay-deeze. MT notices and has a sad, but is busy with actual political shit.
Dumpy crewel-ish, weirdly piped dress on the left; Court Bitch #1 on the right.
Court Bitch #1 in a cute riding habit, flirting with Francis while holding one of his & MT’s kids. I’d cut a bitch, personally!
Back to lace, back to skirt-hiking.
Francis likes this lady’s clunky back boning.
Here’s what dumpy crewel lady’s dress looks like from the back. More weird piping.
Maria Anna zooms by; Francis is committed to his twirled and be-ribboned (powder blue!) cravat.
Francis continues to feel left out, continues to flirt with the Lay-Deeze, especially Court Bitch #1. Insert requisite “man pushes lady on a swing in a period drama, it’s a euphemism for sex” scene.
Court Bitch #1 LOVES her rust-colored dress with too-long sleeves. WHAT IS WITH THE BADLY POLONAISED DRESS IN GREEN?
Green is EVEN BETTER from the back! You’ve got your back-lacing! Skirt split IN BACK! Weird tails! (Other lady is in a robe volante which is boring but accurate).
MT is getting increasingly unhappy about Francis and his lay-deeze.
This dress has me scratching my head like WOAH
First of all, it closes at only ONE side front, which is unheard of by 18th-century standards.
With HOOKS AND EYES
But after MT unhooks her side front, she calls her maid to finish undressing her (cue requisite “period film lady is undressed in crucifixion pose” scene), and her lady’s maid clearly unlaces something in back. And not, like, unlaces an underlayer as in a proper robe à la française — there’s no flip up of the dress. So apparently there’s some hidden lacing in there? WHY?
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!! The skirt is MISSING ITS SIDE AND SIDE FRONT PIECES. Also, why does it appear to be attached to the petticoat (except for the train)?
THIS CONFUSES ME.
It ALSO has a gaposis issue caused by not having a side/side front panel…
Also note MT is rocking the side-braid a la Katniss Everdeen.
An array of court bitches.
Mom drunkenly yells at MT for not having had a male child, going so far as to GRAB HER DAUGHTER BY THE CROTCH. As all good mothers do!
Hey wait! Mom has a decent shot taffeta dressing gown!
Always good to make your leading lady look highly unattractive in an UNNECESSARY wig cap.
Also, chief lady’s maid is rocking the 1970s Holly Hobby dress.
MT continues to deal with political shit, which grows into war (go look up the War of the Austrian Succession if you want to know more).
War = skirt-hiking!
Politics = skirt-hiking!
Random LIME GREEN background couple.
BUT WAIT! We’re back to my favorite dress, which has now LOST ITS SIDE FRONT HOOK & EYE FASTENING!! Did lady’s maid find out it wasn’t historically accurate and do a quick remodel?
But Francis and his lay-deeze!
Who can resist the seduction of a Battenberg lace fan?
WE ALL get Battenberg lace fans!
Rando with inaccurate contrast-fabric bodice skirting.
MT loses her shit about Francis and his lay-deeze; mom finally gives her the “get your shit together/you’re a strong Hapsburg woah-man” speech.
Again with the short sleeves that would just get in the way the second you put a bodice/gown over these stays; again with the unnecessary wig cap (because the ladies should just have their own hair styled, not be wearing wigs).
Somehow MT gets Court Bitch #1 on her side.
Court Bitch #1’s sleeves are too long; MT’s sleeves are too short. ELBOW LENGTH, PEOPLE.
At least Court Bitch #1’s gown closes properly in front!
But don’t worry, all the other court bitches are still there to tempt Francis! Nonetheless, MT manages to steel herself to seduce Francis, since she still needs a male heir. At one point the two are mid-shag and someone knocks on the bedroom door, and MT GETS UP AND ANSWERS THE DOOR HERSELF I AM SO CONFUSED.
This court bitch’s dress is too tight.
At some point, MT and Francis’s eldest daughter dies (of smallpox?), and F has a sad. Later, A ball is planned!
Now that Court Bitch #1 is Team MT, she gets a new dress! MT = Empress of Skirt-Hiking.
The ball is RIFE WITH THE DUMP. MT makes some kind of rousing speech.
Hike it, baby!
The bust darts! The weirdly split front AND back, and looped up front AND back skirt! The shitty lace!
How many skirts does center lady have, and why?
THIS IS A BEAUT.
The puffy sleeves confused me!
Sewn-in stomacher! Too short petticoat! MULTIPLE BUST DARTS! HOOP TOO BIG FOR THE SKIRT!
Bitchy Courtier #1 loves her too-short sleeves.
MT has the longed for male heir! And then promptly gets some kind of Portentous War News.
Portentous War News = skirt-hiking!
Court Bitch #1 is now firmly on MT’s side. The other court bitches continue to circle, and Francis is Team Court Bitches.
Court Bitch #1 has this weirdly parti-colored green and black dress with really ugly trim that flashed by too quickly to screencap.
That’s … an interesting color combo.
Miss Pink continues to rock her too-tight dress.
My Hottie Hungarian comes back! Apparently he’s Nikolaus I, Prince Esterházy.
Oh god that lime green … I was actually liking lady-on-the-left’s dress…
Til I saw the back.
MT gets Nikolaus, the Hottie Hungarian, on her team politically … and the two have a major flirtation.
Someone needs to teach MT how to sit in a hoop.
I’m not sure this ensemble is really working.
They go riding and it seems like the two are gonna get freaky, but MT pulls back.
Okay, vague attempt at a riding habit!
Worn over the Not Working ensemble … sad trombone.
Francis has gotten involved in fabric manufacturing. He brings his latest floozy to his dress shop.
On a mannequin is an outfit that I hope is for a Scottish Games, because otherwise it has no right to live.
A masquerade ball happens. MT is dressed identically to some other court bitch. At one point she goes off on her own, presumably to meet Hottie Hungarian, and is discovered by Francis, who is cranky. Later, she catches Francis making out with the court bitch who is dressed like her. She has A Moment with Hottie Hungarian, but it’s clear there’s not going to be any actual sexytimes.
Francis’s suit trim is interesting!
Did someone stick their finger in a light socket?
OH GOD MT (and lookalike) IS WEARING THE SCOTTISH GAMES OUTFIT
MT gets crowned Queen of Hungary!
Coronation robes! I promise to look into these for Friday’s Actual Research review.
Puffy Sleeves from the ball is back!
The back is DIRE.
And we are out with MT looking HIGH-LARIOUS atop a rearing horse, wielding a sword, in front of an obvious greenscreen.
Stay tuned for another episode each day until Friday, when I’ll do an Actual Research review!