I almost didn't watch Another Period because I do not care for Natasha Leggero's humor (it's too catty and mean for me). But I find her character, Lilian, to be so hilarious and intriguing that I think I may now be a fan.
I've watched the first four episodes of Another Period more than once and I laugh out loud each time. My favorite so far has been episode four, "Pageant," simply because of how hard I laughed.
I'm a big fan of many shows on Comedy Central, but this one stands out for me. Not only is the humor historically accurate, but it's dark. It reminds me of how I laughed at Django Unchained for its portrayal of the pre-Civil War south. There are many moments in Another Period when I think, "That shouldn't be funny, but it is," as I laugh way too hard at the blatant, over-the-top classism, racism, and sexism that was prevalent at the time. In our PC culture, it's refreshing to finally see a show like this one. I hope we see many more; they're necessary. It's good to be reminded of where you came from. And it's even better that we can now find the humor in it.
I laugh at this show from start to finish, then I watch it again because I missed so much while I was busy laughing the first time. There's a whole lot of story and character development packed into each episode. I find myself paying close attention and being rewarded for it. That says a lot about a show. I find the writing witty, consistent, detailed, and intelligent.
The acting is excellent and the characters become more complex as the episodes continue. I'm so interested in some of these characters that I feel like I could watch a spin-off about each of them and never get bored.
I appreciate that the humor hasn't been too "gross out" as of yet. I don't know if anyone involved with the show will ever see this, but on the off chance they do, I have a request: please don't get grosser. Episode four had a few scenes involving buckets that went right up to the "eww!" line for me but didn't make me recoil in disgust.
I've said here that the writing is historically accurate, but I'm no historian so I don't know how accurate it actually is. I haven't seen anything that I would consider to be inaccurate, though. I already knew about the "rule of thumb," which was mentioned in one of the episodes, so my hunch is that much of it is grounded in truth.
*added later, regarding historical accuracy*
I've read several interviews with the show's creators (and stars) Riki Lindhome and Natasha Leggero. I hate that this is one of those shows that make a person think, "that's silly, none of this really happened, these plots are too ridiculous to be true" - if you think that, you are wrong.
The show's creators took tours of mansions in Newport, RI (I now want to go there and take those tours) and used some of their real, ridiculous history in the writing of this show. So far, it takes place in 1902 (during "the Gilded Age," as Mark Twain called it) when the vast majority of America's wealth was concentrated in Newport, RI There was no income tax and no business regulation. Rich people did whatever they felt like doing, and poor European immigrants were still headed to the U.S. by the thousands, resulting in outrageous class disparity between the wealthy and the poor working class.
I hate that some call this a Downton Abbey spoof. I love both Downton Abbey and Another Period for different reasons, and that description would not have enticed me to watch. The Lords and Ladies of the post-Edwardian era in England were not like the nouveau riche on the other side of the pond.
By the early 1900s, some of these American families had only been wealthy for a generation or two. These families were eccentric, with no limits, behaving how they assumed "royalty" would behave.
For example, on Downton Abbey, servants are treated with respect, kindness, and human decency. On Another Period, servants are treated like furniture, cattle, or worse, because these Americans had way too much new money -- which naturally accompanied increased industrialization -- and no "proper" examples of how to use it.
I see this show described as "Downton Abbey meets the Kardashians," but that would've turned me off, because I've never watched more than five minutes of the Kardashians, and also because I think Downton has enough naturally occurring humor. Why would I need to watch a silly spoof of it?
Another Period is not a Downton Abbey spoof. It's an original comedy that's rooted in some lesser known (and arguably shameful) American history.
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