Thursday Open Thread: Period Pieces

I’m very interested in history, so it’s no surprise that I sometimes find myself very attracted to shows that take place in a very particular time and place. Over the last ten years or so, there have been a lot of period pieces, and many of them have been very well made. Here’s just a very brief list that came to mind:

  • Deadwood (1870s frontier town in the American West)
  • Rome (Late stages of the Roman Republic)
  • Carnivale (Dust Bowl, depression era U.S. southwest)
  • John Adams (Colonial America through Early Republic)
  • Pillars of the Earth (Medieval England)
  • Mad Men (1960s New York)
  • Boardwalk Empire (Prohibition-era Atlantic City)
  • Hell on Wheels (Late 1860s Nebraska, during the building of the Transcontinental railroad)

And there are others, of course. Period pieces fascinate me because, if they’re well done, the visual medium of television can draw you into a period of history that may be difficult to visualize through blurry black and white photos and text on a page. HBO’s covered World War II, with Band of Brothers and the Pacific, but I’d like to see someone look at young soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force in World War I, as they set foot in Europe for the first time.

What specific time and place in history would you be really interested in seeing a TV show focus on?

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3 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread: Period Pieces

  1. There was a group of African-American soldiers in World War I, who I believe had to fight in French units because the American army was too racist to fight alongside them. I think that would be an interesting mini-series story for HBO to tell.

  2. I feel like there could be an interesting show that surrounded theater and ballet or something, perhaps around the time when actual theaters became big. I don’t really know the time period I’m talking about, but I picture around the time period of the “The Cradle Will Rock” or maybe when some of the most famous ballets we know (The Nutcracker, Swan Lake) were being performed for the first time.

    Ok, so maybe only I would watch that. Maybe it’s more of a miniseries than a TV show. But that’s what I came up with.

  3. I can’t say I still have a desire for a specific period piece. I mean, my biggest wish was fulfilled when Dinosaurs was aired in the 90s. Who wasn’t waiting to see a period piece about the Mesozoic Era?

    I really learned a lot from it.

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