Life and art overlap. Sometimes, finding that fragile boundary between life and history is difficult. Other times, the fictional world differs so much that reality is an echo in the film’s plot. Just think of ‘The Crown’ and ‘The Great’ respectively.
Regardless of the historical credibility, a modern student would choose a film or a documentary over a book. Because binge-watching is fun, right?
If you prefer watching over reading, check the list of the best historical series from our experts.
Why Watch Historical Series?
Obviously, watching films is far more exciting than reading pictureless books. While the film appeals to your visual and auditory senses, books appeal directly to your brain. One is lucky to find a few maps or pictures in the textbooks, let alone puns and human emotions. No wonder students leave such boring tasks like history essay writing to paper writing services or spend hours in the college writing centers.
Why Add Educational Historical Series to College Curriculum?
Instead of resisting technology changes, teachers should go with the current. Industry moguls like Netflix and HBO have already stolen students’ attention. Nonetheless, things are not as bad as they seem at first sight.
- Rekindle that thirst for knowledge. The excitement that the series causes in students will direct them to real-life books. Once a learner becomes interested in the British 1980s, they’ll gladly read Thatcher’s biography or books on Princess Diane’s life;
- History-based series follow real historical facts as closely as they can. This means a learner gets credible data as a part of history studies;
- Modern series improve student’s memory. When a subject appeals to a few information channels, a learner memorizes the facts better. When watching a movie, students see dates written on a screen and hear names of historical figures. This translates into an enhanced learning experience;
- Become students’ favorite teacher. A teacher that assigns watching series as a hometask is the coolest teacher, right?
#1: ‘Anne With An E’
A screen adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s story of the same name, ‘Anne With An E’ is a history encyclopedia. The series tells a story of an 11-year old girl, an orphan who gets adopted by an Avonlea family. Created in 1908, the story happens in late nineteenth-century settings of a small Canadian village.
With stunning music and majestic landscapes, this series will not leave the viewer indifferent.
Why watch ‘Anne With An E’?
- The series shows nineteenth-century Canada and its social peculiarities;
- It follows the history of schools for Natives where their tribal culture was violently erased;
- The series shows the road of female empowerment and the social stigma associated with LGBTQA individuals.
#2: ‘The Crown’
Watch the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II in its best fashion (literally). The series beautifully captures 20th-century clothes, cars, and jewelry. Meanwhile, the magnificent views of the royal palace and music will put anyone in awe before the show’s creators.
Why watch ‘The Crown’?
- Check the amazing performances of brilliant Olivia Colman, Claire Foy, and Helena Bonham Carter;
- Learn more about the historical figures and their personal attitude to the world. Sure, you couldn’t imagine how much Margaret Thatcher felt awkward while spending time with the royal family;
- Learn everything about World War II and Irish history;
- In the end, you’ll know everything about European politics, since Britain was a powerful player.
Created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, ‘Underground’ explores the history of slavery. The story happened long before a Black person in America was guaranteed the same rights as whites. The show has developed amazing characters with unpredictable actions and amazing personal traits.
Why watch ‘Underground’?
- It tells the story of pre-Civil war slavery and explores all peculiarities of American culture;
- You’ll learn why and how the Underground Road saved thousands of Black lives;
- Obviously, you’ll learn the history of racism as it is. You’ll also learn the most incredible escape stories. For instance, the famous story of Henry ‘Box’ Brown who traveled to Philadelphia packed in a post box on a ship;
- The show has an impressive soundtrack. Rumors say that even Kanye West contributed to the project’s musical side.
Created by David Milch in the middle 2000s, ‘Deadwood’ left millions glued to their TV screens. No wonder the show became so popular. Its mind-blowing plot twists and well-developed characters put the show to the top among its peers. Set in the 1870s American West, the series describes the gold rush and social corruption.
Why watch ‘Deadwood’?
- It speaks historical truth about nineteenth-century America;
- The show explores one of the key epochs in American history;
- The characters’ humor is witty, while monologs and dialogues are created in the best Shakespearean language;
- The town of Deadwood is based on South Dakota, a real place. The plot encompasses historical figures from American history. Hence, you’ll effectively learn the history of the American West.
#5: ‘Babylon Berlin’
First of all, let’s mention it’s the most expensive drama full of characters who don’t speak English. Secondly, the show is a win-win option for the fans of ‘Cabaret’ and Liza Minelli. Thirdly, the viewer gets everything from a mystery up to historical drama.
Why binge-watch ‘Babylon Berlin’?
- It will tell you the history of 1920s’ Germany and the turn the country was making into National Socialism;
- You’ll learn about European politics and particularly the German economy
- You’ll study the history of psychiatry and psychology and the changes they underwent because of Freud’s psychoanalysis.
Educational TV exists. The best thing about historical shows is that, unlike textbooks, they’re not boring. One can find marvelously built stories with gripping characters based on real history. Moreover, watching films stimulates one’s memory and cognitive skills. Next time you learn a new historical period, find a series to improve your understanding of the topic.
We hope our list helped you find the next drama to binge-watch with a history book put aside. Good luck!