SNARK WEEK RECAP: North & South Book II, Episode 2

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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 North & South: Book II (1986), the sequel to the be-mulletted and peach-acetate-satin-ified Civil War epic North & South (1985).

In series one, which I recapped a few Snark Weeks ago, we established many of our key characters as the story wended its way to the outbreak of the Civil War. This time, war has broken out! And in case you care, note that I refuse to recap any of the war/battle shit. Read my recap of episode one if you haven’t already, and now join me:

George Hazard is hanging with Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is stressed because the North lost a major battle.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

George has also been aged via a $2 bottle of “old lady gray” Halloween hair spray.

Southern Blonde and enslaved woman Semiramis are trying to get home to North? South? Carolina from Washington, D.C. There’s no discussion of how Semiramis feels about going back to a slave state (not that she would have been free in D.C.). Some bad Northern soldiers come across Semiramis, threaten to rape her, and abduct her back to their camp, where there’s more rape threats and assumptions that she’s a fugitive slave. Southern Blonde dresses up as a Northern soldier and rescues Semiramis.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Southern Blonde doesn’t get hat hair, apparently.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Semiramis gets one ensemble.

David Carradine is keeping Tits Out against her will. He’s trying to get back into her good graces, but more by being oily and then yelling at her than by being actually nice.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Tits is wearing some kind of nylon shower curtain dress.

1986 North & South Book II ep 2

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Patrick Swayze is doing war stuff with Jefferson Davis (president of the Confederacy). He gets a letter alerting him to problems at home and takes leave. He shows up at Tits Out’s house, has a ridiculous fight with some soldiers, then an even more ridiculous fight with David Carradine in which Swayze ends up with sweat-soaked hair and Carradine falls out a window and dies.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

MAN TIME!

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Tits is wearing a repeat from season one of this weird, two-fabric dress that looks like it was made for someone two feet shorter, hacked apart, and turned into a crop-top monstrosity | Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Swayze takes Tits home! Hooray!

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

In Richmond, Slutty Brunette and her Secessionist Husband are having a party for Confederate dignitaries, including the Confederate Vice President. She and Bent have a side conversation about all the money they’re going to make from their smuggling/blockade running, and bicker about when they’re going to shag. She tells him patience is a virtue.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

She’s the most annoying character, yet Slutty Brunette gets the best wardrobe.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Pink and white stripes and black accents! But watching Slutty Brunette HOICK her skirts like there’s no tomorrow…

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Her hair is super 80s, plus side ringlets. Note the historically accurate winged eyeshadow.

Apparently patience isn’t a virtue, because in what seems to be later that evening, she shows up at Bent’s house and they have TENDER FIREPLACE SHAGGING.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Bent is wearing his best green satin smoking jacket!

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Slutty Brunette is in a lot of purple.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

With beading? Sequins?

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Bent seductively removes her VERY OBVIOUSLY NYLON stocking.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

MY ASS HAS FALLEN OFF

Apparently Slutty Brunette never has to go home, and her Secessionist Husband doesn’t care where she is, because there follows several scenes where she’s basically shacked up with Bent. He surprises her with a bedroom full of all the contraband luxury items they are smuggling. He tells her he has an evil plan to take over the Confederate presidency and he wants her to be his “consort.” They bicker but she’s into it.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Slutty Brunette is in a weird white lace blouse with a blue satin skirt.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Slutty Brunette is excited by all the luxuries, but I’m wondering why there’s a faux-18th century “Bicentennial Special” dress (red arrow)? Editor’s Note: That ‘Bicentennial Special’ dress is recycled from previous Snark Week recap The Rebels (see here)!

Tits is still worried about her mixed-race heritage. Swayze tells her they’re getting married anyway. Apparently there’s no inquest or anything about dead David Carradine?

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Exactly the kind of cheekbone highlight your average Victorian woman went for.

Northern Blonde and Semiramis arrive home, dirty and tired but safe. Everyone is thrilled. Northern Blonde and Semiramis have a meaningful, we are sisters hug — and then Semiramis goes back to her slave cabin. No irony there. Tits announces her maid of honor has arrived! Because it’s all about you, Tits.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Southern Mom is at least in something that looks mid-1860s!

Patrick Swayze and Tits Out get married!

1986 North and South Book II ep 2
1986 North and South Book II ep 2

I don’t love the lace | Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

I’m pretty sure I had this hairstyle in junior high, minus the ringlets.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

These two do not know how to kiss.

Southern Mom announces that the marriage represents Hope for the Future.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Southern Mom is rewearing her fugly dress from the last episode. Note Semiramis (background) is apparently given a new black dress, bonnet, and veil for the wedding?

Swayze and Tits Out consummate their love (not that they haven’t shagged before multiple times). They STILL haven’t figured out how to kiss.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Swayze looks like he’s going to cry.

Swayze has to go back to the war. Tits is bereft.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

My face watching this show.

Up north, George Hazard is frustrated because he’s pushing papers with Lincoln instead of out there fighting. Northern Blonde soothes him.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Northern Blonde has a historically accurate layered haircut. You know. Exactly what you’d want for hair you’d be wearing up.

Virgilia’s senator has vouched for her, and she gets to join real-life historical figure Dorothea Dix’s nursing corps. The senator shows up and propositions her at the hospital, she says no because he’s married. He says okay, but that the next time she wants a favor from him, he’s going to want one from her, know-what-I-mean.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Virgilia is committed to this zzzz purple number.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Once she’s in her nurses uniform, Virgilia makes sure to wear an eminently practical for blood and gore extra long snood.

Cousin Billy is involved in yet another stupid shootout with yet more slow on the uptake Northern troops. He’s wounded, and manages to ride to Spunky Filly’s house, where she nurses him.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2
1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Ah the shirtless bandaging scene trope!

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Zipper? Does she have scoliosis?

Cousin Billy and Spunky Filly bond. Ludicrous dialogue ensues, like Cousin Billy saying, “That’s why I’m attracted to you.” We find out that Spunky Filly and her now-deceased husband freed their slaves, and the two African-American men who live with her are part owners of her farm. Cousin Billy is WAY into her, but the older of the men warns him that Spunky Filly took her husband’s death (and that of their stillborn child) hard, and he doesn’t think she could take another loss. Cousin Billy takes off in the middle of the night to head back to the war.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

NO ONE is able to take one step without hiking their skirt in this sucker.

Southern troops show up at the Southern Clan’s plantation to requisition supplies. Southern Blonde is worried, because how will they eat?

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Why is Southern Blonde wearing a dinner dress?

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Zipper on Tits?

Back up north, Northern Mom is busy with war work. Plastic Cameo has talked husband Number One (brother of George who runs the family steel mill) to get into some shady deal to buy cheap materials and make potentially shoddy cannons for the army.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Northern Mom is team tassels, Plastic Cameo is cute in her stripes | Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Tailored look + stripes + cute hat = win! | Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Number One is literally wiping the nervous sweat from his brow.

MORGAN FUCKING FAIRCHILD shows up (I remember she appeared briefly at the end of season 1, but I’d forgotten her role) as the past mistress of Bent. She surprises Bent and Slutty Brunette in bed, and tells Slutty Brunette that he’ll toss her just like she was tossed.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Okay, the hair is ridiculous but I’d wear the shit out of this dress.

A lot happened that was too visually boring to screencap: Swayze is on the hunt for the blockade runners, and he knows it’s Bent but he doesn’t have proof. At one point he heads north trying to catch Bent. He runs into some Northern soldiers and almost gets shot, but George is there and hides him. The two start to rekindle their bromance — George is happy that Swayze is married! But they start getting into the war, both blaming each other’s side for starting things. At one point George says something about the North having to stop the expansion of slavery. Swayze responds something like, “Oh come on! You and I both agree that slavery is an out-of-date institution that will only hold the South back!” SO THEN WHY ARE YA FIGHTING A WAR, GUY? This production is SUCH an apology for slavery. In the last episode, Cousin Charles said that he wasn’t fighting to defend slavery, but the “Southern way of life.” And now here’s a similar argument. It’s LUDICROUS, and especially appalling in light of the travesty that’s going on right now in the U.S.

ANYWAY, Morgan Fucking Fairchild wants to have her revenge on Bent, so she’s summoned Swayze to some “boarding house for young girls” (that she runs? she’s just randomly staying at?) and tells him she has proof that Bent is the blockade runner.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Morgan Fucking Fairchild is wearing a loofah attached to the back of her head. HER HAIR.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

The dress is green on my screen and blue here, IDK | Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Swayze and some other Confederate soldiers raid Bent’s team while they’re unloading contraband on the beach (Bent isn’t there). There’s a ludicrous shootout, but in the end Swayze and company win, seizing all the cargo.

Bent is PISSED. He wants his revenge, and he tells Slutty Brunette that his plan is to kill Tits Out and make sure Swayze knows he did it. Not only does Slutty Brunette have ZERO problem with this plan, she suggest an alternative plan, that they share the information that Tits’ mom was mixed race, thereby ruining the family’s reputation. Which, uh, would negatively affect Slutty Brunette, right? I don’t know, I don’t think there’s any logic underlying this story/script.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

Slutty brunette is in green velvet with fur trimming.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

These lace undersleeves almost gave us a stroke.

1986 North and South Book II ep 2

 

Stay tuned for episode 3 tomorrow! The suffering continues!

 

 

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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.

37 Responses

  1. Michael McQuown

    This was from Disney, right? Good at doing fairy tales, but history? And from novels by the creator of Brak the Barbarian? Just think of the cast in clothes even more barbarous than their version of the 1860’s.

    Reply
    • Patricia Gaza

      No, it was not. They weren’t doing much in the 1980’s. They did Splash and the little mermaid, but no life action tv shows.

      Reply
      • hsc

        NORTH AND SOUTH was a David Wolper production for ABC, which was acquired by Disney in 1996– so NOW this actually is a Disney property, hence those notices on the photos. But no, they didn’t make it.

        Disney actually did do some live-action television in the ’80s, largely for their cable channel, but not a lot.

        But they did quite a number of live-action theatrical films throughout the ’80s, under subsidiaries like Touchstone and Buena Vista, in addition to films under the Walt Disney Pictures banner.

        (And I actually picked up a couple of John Jakes’ Brak the Barbarian paperbacks back in the day, strictly for the Frank Frazetta covers– but I can’t remember 40+ years later if I ever read one word of them.)

        Reply
  2. Susan Pola Staples

    Why is Northern Blonde the only one with correct hair?
    Why doesn’t Slutty Brunette know that meeting your lover – she’s had tons – for fireside sex necessitate sparkly things?
    Why hasn’t Morgan Fairchild killed and or ruined Bent and Slurry Brunette?
    Well, find out in part 3?

    Reply
  3. Terri Alley

    Slutty Brunette + green dress = not-so-subtle audition for any possible GWTW remake/sequel. It’s been a while since I watched North & South, but I’m pretty sure she goes in for a lot of hair tossing & saying ‘fiddle-dee-dee’ as well.
    And George Read + Patrick Swayze = man candy! :)

    Reply
  4. Sonick

    OMG, i need to watch this for that last dress…im sucker for emerald…but I’m sure that under skirt is from tablecloth 😅

    Reply
  5. Amanda

    Honestly I can’t decide which I’m enjoying more here…the nylon lace and feathered hair, or the twisted knickers of certain persons who think this movie ISN’T obvious pandering to the “War of Northern Aggression” crowd.

    insert popcorn gif as needed

    Reply
  6. Roxana

    The hair is just awful. Awful! A few of the dresses are pretty but they all look like halloween costumes to me.

    Reply
  7. Wildfyrewarning

    I’m always baffled to the extent that so many shows/movies (even ones with good costumes!) just don’t even bother at all with making the hair even somewhat accurate. Does everyone in Hollywood just really hate hairstylists and refuse to invite them to any of the meetings, or what?

    Reply
    • hsc

      Actually, they added hairstylists to the Oscar for Best Makeup; starting in 2012, it became Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

      Reply
  8. Stephanie

    Ashton was so pissed to be thrown out of her family that she doesn’t care if the secret ruins them all.

    Maybe I watched this a lot lol

    Reply
  9. Lily Lotus Rose

    These costumes are awful, but I have to say that Jonathan Frakes looks great in that suit and he’s really pulling off the look with those grey gloves. Although that top hat looks too tall me. Loving ALL the snark, Kendra!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Nzie

    So many questionable costuming choices. Like, what are those fabrics on the main female character? Crazy.

    But also in addition to the terrible rewrite of the history of slavery (sure, they’re all so enlightened…), it’s trades in a lot of misogynistic stereotypes. I wonder if any of the people involved who are still alive have thought about the production in recent years.

    Reply
  11. March Greenleaf

    Southern blonde’s wedding attendance dress would be great if it had a high neck. Also, I love that pink dress with black sash too.

    Reply
  12. QueenOfHomeland

    Slutty Brunette’s pink dress wouldn’t look out of place in a Victoria’s Secret!

    Reply

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