In Which I Flail about BBC

by - 3:29 PM

(Photo from Unsplash)
By some unfortunate turn of events, I have somehow found myself tumbling down the rabbit hole into the land of BBC.

Yes, it's utterly tragic. I don't know what ever came over me.

I highly advise against joining me here. It's a rather lonely & feelsy place. The BBC people are a Cruel Lot, and they don't care one whit for your emotional well-being. If you aren't fully convinced, just read this and thank me later for my service to all mankind.

However, should you decide to follow my bad example and journey to the land of BBC, fear not--there is yet hope for us. So here I am today, reminding us all of the things we love about BBC and some of the lovely shows therein.

 Colin Morgan as Merlin |via Tumblr

Merlin | 18 Shows To Binge-Watch If You're Having "Game Of Thrones" Withdrawal

adorkable. (Uther voice)"SoRcErY." tournaments. 
dragons. gleaming armor. camaraderie. spells.
dusty books. rich velvet. amber eyes. secret missions. 
Merlin being awkward. assassins. alliances. 
golden crowns. echoing halls.

It was entirely because of my dear friend Christine's love of this show that I decided to give it a try. It's not my faaaaaaavorite show ever, but it's 10000% worth the watch just because of smol, awkward Merlin.

HE IS OFFICIALLY MINE. I claim him as my sweet child.

I'm not even finished with the second season and have been avoiding spoilers like the plague bUT GUYS THEY'RE SO HARD TO AVOID. Looking on Pinterest for quotes and gifs was treacherous territory, and I'm pretty sure I saw some spoilers. But it's fine. Everything is fine. :P

What I Like:

-  All the classic medieval fantasy things! Dragons, jousts, flowing gowns, epic battles, castles . . . the whole shebang.

- The characters are all so funnnnn. I adore Merlin and how he's such an unlikely person to suspect as having magic. He's slightly clueless, Very Awkward in the cutest way possible, and loyal to a fault.Then there's Arthur, who's the entitled & full-of-himself prince with a hidden softness to him. Gaius, the Gandalf of the Merlin show universe; Uther, the king who is kind of a decent human being if you search hard enough, but pretty much everyone just wants to strangle him tbh; Gwen, who is so admirable & confident & kind; and Morgana, whom I'm feeling VERY conflicted about because you want her to be good and yet you know what's coming. *dies a little inside*

- THE FRIENDSHIPS. Merlin and Arthur - name a more iconic duo. ;) And of course, Gaius and Merlin have the sweetest father/son relationship.


We can see that you are deeply troubled. <<< Clearly, this is hard for Arthur.

- Merlin just trying not to ruin everything and reveal his magic + Arthur being oblivious to it all. xD


- Uther: *sees a suspiciously large grape on his plate*
   Uther: SORCERY

-  That time Merlin tried to hug Arthur *chokes on drink*

The almost hug!!! 

- Everyone going to Gaius when they can't figure everything out because honestly, same. 

BBC Merlin |  "What's this?" "I don't know. Gaius it." 

What I Don't Like:

- It's basically one big cheese-fest. The costumes, plot, and special effects are kiiiiiiiiiind of ridiculously cheesy and low-budget? Which bothers me, but the characters are so wonderful that I can mostly ignore it.

- The magic can be a little dark/weird. Eh. I don't know. I've never been 100% sure what I think about magic entirely, and since that's obviously a major component of this show, it does detract from my enjoyment. (Also, does anyone remember those episodes when Uther fell in love with a troll in season 2? Yeah. That was an . . . interesting plotline. :P)

- Nothing particularly "earth-shattering" has happened yet and I'm about 20 episodes through the show. It's just basically people trying to kill Arthur, Merlin, or Uther all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love the characters! The plot just isn't as engaging as it could be, which I have the feeling will probably change later in the show. (Edit: Things are definitely starting to happen more now that I'm almost finished with the second season.)

Robin Hood

Robin Hood, I usually LOVE anything Robin Hood related but this was a bit cheesy, like teenage fantasy. 6/10

I love how in season 2 many of the episodes had the gang dressing up in similar but horrible outfits. Hilarious!

when words fail . music speaks: Photo
renegades. forest. cocky grins. justice. moonlight.
crackling fires. stolen gold. friendship. taut bowstrings.
daggers. deception. mud-caked boots. wind in the trees.
hooded cloaks. flaming arrows. disguises.
"we are robin hood."

*deep breath*

I am not okay.

I actually had to put the final season on hold for a while because of a very traumatic thing that occurred in the second season. So yeah. Who knows when I'll be emotionally intact enough to finish the show? Maybe never???

Thanks, Olivia and Natalie, for recommending this to me. xD

What I Like:

-  I live for the Sheriff's idiotic sense of humor, Much's endearing loyalty to Robin Hood and constant complaining, and Allan's devil-may-care attitude. There's just so much to love about the humor and dialogue (which can be corny sometimes, but y'know).

Day 7- Scene that Made You Laugh: There were so many funny scenes!  I guess I would have to say one of the funniest for me would be the one in Dead Man Walking  when Robin and Allan dressed up as soldiers- with Will as their prisoner. That was all so funny  when Allan was pushing Will along, also where Guy had Robin to bring Marian's things up to her. By the way, notice Allan in the background of this picture. :)

- All the Robin Hood's gang camaraderie. It makes me so happy. They're the best of friends and would sacrifice so much for each other. The characters truly make the show, friends. I'm not kidding. Without such an amazing dynamic between the characters, honestly, I would hate this show. I almost stopped midway through the first season because the production quality was That Bad. :P

Buuuuuut the characters eventually won me over completely. To be perfectly honest, I'm not a huge fan of Robin in this adaptation. He's really selfish and arrogant and just drives me a little nuts sometimes. Still, I know he means well and genuinely wants to do the right thing.

My favorite characters in Robin's gang are probably Djaq and Allan. I love how Djaq is so compassionate and caring, yet undergirded with steel. I admire her and her way of seeing the best in people and fighting for those she loves.

And Allan . . . oh boy. He's a pain in the side and I hated him for awhile . . . but then he grew on me. I love the complexities to his character. (And can we talk about that episode where he and Guy saved Marian?? Favorite. Part. Ever.)

- GUY OF GISBORNE. Be still my heart. This man has serious Issues, but he is hands-down the best part about this show. It's actually a little concerning how much I love him, considering the fact that I never fall for "bad boy" characters. He's such a conflicted character. You can tell he wants to do the right thing, deep down, but he still works for the sheriff because that's all he knows.

My heart breaks for Guy. But only in seasons 2 and 3. He was a jerk in the first one.

He's lonely and tortured by his past, and it kills me because the one person he loves breaks his heart. I know this might step on some toes, but it's because of how Marian treats Guy that I never really forgave her. Like, I understand that she had to be a spy in the castle to help Robin, but I felt that she was really cruel towards Guy and his feelings.

Day 26- Most Inspiring Moment: This one is a tough one. {mainly cause I don't exactly remember which moments I thought were inspiring} I love this moment from Season 2 where Guy is willing to die by Marian's side. :)
Okay, but this *cries*
Can we all agree that Guy just really needs a hug? I may need to write a whole post about this ahem . . . guy (#sorry) because I have an inordinately large amount of affection for him. Including him as a character in this show was the best decision BBC ever made.

- The Sheriff being a ridiculous buffoon 110% of the time.

- Will and Djaq my babiessss. <3 

- All the gorgeous English forests and the missions that Robin and his pals embark on. They're always breaking into the castle in the most amusing ways possible & I love it.

What I Don't Like:

- As I mentioned previously, Robin annoys me quite a bit & I harbor some anger towards Marian for her treatment of Guy. I just . . . have some issues with them and, therefore, am not quite on board with their romance. I kind of liked them, but they were bad at communicating and argued a looooot. I didn't ship them like I was probably "supposed to."

- The production quality is laughable. I literally cringed watching the first season. It either improves later on or I just ignored it because of my love for the characters. Regardless, the costumes are awful (Marian had some HIDEOUS outfits, my gosh), and the special effects distracting. Be prepared to want to gouge your eyeballs out during the first half of season one if you ever watch this show. :P

- THAT ENDING OF SEASON 2 THOUGH. I'm scarred. Do not recommend watching this while working on a massive homework assignment because you will not be able to function. Ask me how I know this.

Downton Abbey


Downtown Abbey geek-interpreter 

Lily James as Lady Rose MacClare. A perfect expression of grace and classic fashion. 

faded photographs. sparkling champagne. pearls.
afternoon tea. telegrams. cozy villages. jazz. 
Violet being #savage. chandeliers. 
guarded smiles. wildflowers. scandal. heartbreak.
glittering tableware. rain-splattered windows.
automobiles. silk. lost love. secrets. beaded gowns.

*screams into the night*


okay, BBC. I see you.

I've wanted to watch this for a while now but was worried the content would be a bit much for me. While it definitely has its iffy moments, I was actually pleasantly surprised by it!

But that's putting it mildly. The more accurate version?

I'm obsessed.

What I Like:


- No, really. This show is a masterpiece. The cinematography and sets are gorgeous, the costumes are a feast for the eyes, the character development is awe-inspiring, and historical time period is SO VIVID. Literally the only thing I don't like about the show is some of the content (and some Things that happened but I can't mention because #SPOILERS). It's my favorite show ever, and that's saying something. I have only a season and a half left before the show ends, and I'm not okay with this fact. (Thank goodness the movie is coming out this fall.)

- The general aesthetic of everything.
- British stuff! The accents! The 1910s/1920s setting! The character relationships!

- Okay, so let's talk about these characters because I have a lot of feelings:

Sybil. She's my favorite Crawley sister. I adore her. She's the kindest human being in existence. You can't help loving her. (I mean, even Thomas likes her, and he's the worst.)

downton abbey season 6 memes | my gifs mine Downton Abbey allen leech jessica brown findlay i love ...

Matthew. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. MY BOY. I have a small (aka massive) crush on him. Matthew and Sybil are the best characters to ever happen to Downton Abbey. Both of them are so kind & gentle but they will also fight for their loved ones' happiness. I love how empathetic and sweet Matthew is. He brings out the softness in Mary when she sometimes seems cold & unfeeling. Plus, he's just such a gentleman. :")

Mary. The first season, I didn't much care for her, but things have since changed. I love love love her character development. Though she is harshly criticized for being "heartless," I actually love Mary! She has her flaws, yes, but she has a softness covered beneath her prickly exterior. (Coincidentally, she also roasts people all the time and it's the best, haha.)

Violet. Admit it: she has the best lines in the show. She's savage towards everyone and that's why I love her so much. Talk about an icon.*&output-format=auto&output-quality=auto 

For when you know your ex is going to be at the same thing as you: 23 Of The Shadiest Things The Countess Dowager Has Ever Said 

Edith. Hmmmm. I feel bad for her, but she always struck me as the blandest of the sisters. There's an interesting plotline with her in the fourth/fifth seasons, but before then, she's just kind of there. 

Anna. *squishes her in a giant hug* I LOVE HER. She inspires me a lot and is such an admirable character. If ever you need a loyal friend, look no further than Anna. She's freaking fantastic.

Rose. She doesn't actually enter the show until the third season, but I thought adding her was a wise decision for the show. She possesses a lot of youthfulness & zest for life, which is often lacking in reserved English society. Though not a favorite of mine, I still think she's a fun character!

Mr. Bates. He's a good one, friends. ;) Does he have anger issues? Yes. But it's only because he loves the people in his life so much. (Now, if only BBC would stop creating drama around him. *shakes head*)

Mrs. Hughes. She's another favorite. I love the relationship between her and Carson. She's such a caring soul and is like the "mother hen" of the downtstairs. And she's a pretty boss woman herself. 

That's not even all of them, but for the sake of time, WE'RE MOVING ON.

- Mary and Matthew are the most precious couple to ever exist.

Finally! Yea! (I just finished watching Season 2 on DVD last night)

I've fallen more in love wirh you everyday

I rest my case.


- The historical detail! Everything just comes alive because of the attention the directors and writers and costume designers put into accurately portraying the time period.

- Have I mentioned the costumes??

- So many good quotes! Don't worry, I'll spare you the barrage for now. :P

What I Don't Like:

- There's a lot of scandals that occur, a gay character, some scattered instances of language, sex outside of marriage, etc. It bothers me but it's honestly not as bad as I thought. Feel free to ask if you have more content concerns!

- I'm Emotionally Wrecked by season 3. I shall never recover. I won't spoil it for anyone else (believe me, someone spoiled it for me aND IT WAS THE WORST), but it's painful. It's really, really painful. *cries softly in a corner*

Call the Midwife
Call the Midwife is written by Cranford and Upstairs Downstairs writer Heidi Thomas. Photograph: BBC

"All I can say is that I'm not turning away because of you. I'm doing it because of Him." "And if I couldn't accept that, I wouldn't deserve to live."

Call the Midwife, one of my favorite British shows that it seems no one has heard of. So real and touching

red lipstick. bicycles. record players. poverty.
laughter. rolled bandages. tiny hands. picnics. hospitals. 
high heels. knitted blankets. clothes on a line. sunshine.
baby buggies. handwritten letters. "tickety boo." telephones.
sleepless nights. prayer. medical bags. teacups. 

Ahhh. This is indeed a treat.

It's no secret that I'm in love with the '50s, so is anyone really surprised that I would end up watching this show?

I wasn't expecting to like it quite as much as I did, but it ended up being so lovely & touching & interesting. Now it's a new favorite.

What I Like:

- The music is basically just a bunch of '50s songs, and it makes my vintage-loving heart thrill with happiness.

- The characters are all one big family. Nonnatus House is full of the most wonderful, eclectic group of nuns and nurses. I love the friendships that develop between all these characters, from hilarious & cheerful Chummy, to gentle & caring Cynthia, to bossy & abrasive Sister Evangelina, to wise & kind Sister Julienne . . . they are all so unique and yet knit together with the closest of bonds.

- Sister Monica Joan is always looking for cake. Priorities, am I right?

Sister Monica Joan 


- Also, there are some Top Quality Ships in this show, which I shan't divulge because #spoilers. Nonetheless (or should I say nuntheless . . . I'm sorry), they are lovely. 

Contains spoilers up to series 3 of BBC's Call the Midwife and sizzling hot .gifs of Stephen McGann.

- The setting is so realistic and wonderful! I love how unassuming this show is; it's just so beautiful because of its simplicity. They did such a good job of accurately portraying the historical time period and the medical practices of the time, and they didn't "pretty" things up. It's gritty, sometimes uncomfortable, but always beautiful.

- I just freaking love the characters. (Sister Bernadette, Chummy, and Cynthia are my favorites thus far . . . but I'm only through the first two seasons. Frankly, they're all absolutely wonderful.)

- Fred and Sister Evangelina riding the motorbike together xD

Call the Midwife - Fred receives scooter lessons from Sister Evangeline.  Better hold on Fred! 
- It makes me feel all the things. :')

What I Don't Like:

- Some weird/depressing episodes that I wasn't a fan of. (The siblings who were married to each other, the mother who aborted her baby, the twins who were both married to the same man, etc.) Some of the episodes were just downright depressing and others obviously involved problematic relationships which were excused because "love." :P

- Not much else, honestly! There's a little language and other content (for example, the birth scenes are quite intense), but for the most part, it's a clean and excellent show.
I would never wish this unimaginable torture on any of you lovely people, but should you fail to heed my advice, these four shows are all perfect places to wither away in misery spend an afernoon. 

Ahem. Yes. That is all for today, my friends! I know I mostly talk about books on this blog, so do let me know if you would enjoy more posts about stories found on the screen. There is definitely a Lot More I have to say about all of these shows, but I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. (Seriously though, if you hated this post, don't worry . . . I'll probably do another post like it anyway. :P)

Have you watched any of these shows before? (If so, we must talk.) Have you made the painful leap into the world of BBC? What other forms of torture . . . er, I mean, shows would you recommend?

You May Also Like


  1. Excellent post. :) TV shows are so good, but the BBC can be extremely cruel.

    I feel like I would love Merlin. XD I was worried about content, but it doesn't sound like it would bother me, so I'm good now.

    ROBIN HOOD!! AH, it is my favorite!!! I've watched the whole thing four times, so I might be a little bit obsessed. The first time I watched season 3, I HATED IT, but, now that I have watched it several times, I do like it!! I think that you would like it. :) Allan is my favorite, too! He is the best.

    I have trouble liking Downton Abby because of all of the content, but when I look past that I enjoy it. SEASON 3 THOUGH. Ack, I mean, I knew it was coming because both my mom and sister watched it before me, but I still had gotten myself all attached to certain characters so it hurt, a lot. I have only a few episodes before I'm done!!

    I watched two episodes of Call the Midwife once, and sort of liked it, but sort of didn't. Maybe I just need a chance to get into it further.

  2. Ooooooooh I have such a love/hate relationship with BBC!!! It's so amazing and absolutely terrible at the same time!!!

    DOWNTON ABBEY. GAAAAAAAHHHHHH. THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR HOW MUCH I LIVE AND DESPISE THAT SHOW. Its so gorgeous and visually stunning and all the heart eyes for the costumes and characters.

    I LOVE MATTHEW AND MARY SO MUCH. SO STINKIN CUTE. AND SYBIL AND VIOLET ARE BOTH SO AMAZING!! Gah, season three will forever have me emotionally scarred :( It's still suuuuuch an amazing show though. I think it's worth the pain to watch it ;)

    Also, if you're looking for more emotionally scarring and amazing BBC shows, may I suggest Sherlock? ;) It's suuuuuch a good one!!

    I've just started reading your blog, (and I love it btw) but I would love to see more movie related posts!! ;D

  3. OH GRACIOUS ME. BBC. *collapses* I have never been more emotionally damaged in my life than through BBC shows. But they're also my favorite so...I guess I enjoy pain???

    BUT MERLINNNNN. MY MOST FAVORITE SHOW. You're tooootally welcome for ruining your life...I mean, AHEM, recommending that one to you. ;D AREN'T THE CHARACTERS THE MOST SQUISHABLE CINNAMON BUNS???? I'm sorry, Mary, but Merlin is MINE. :P But seriously, we need more protagonists like Merlin. He's just so GOOD. And adorkable. And ALKJSLDFJ:LKJDSf. His and Arthur's bromance is my most favorite bromance to ever grace the fictional world. I just can't with those boys. AND THE ALMOST HUG. Hahahaha! It made the whole 2 hours of the troll episodes worth it...mostly. (Because yes, I most definitely remember those episodes. They will be ingrained in my brain forever. o.o)

    By the way, the quality DOES get a bit better. It's always a little cheesy, but I feel like by season 3 the plot is more engaging and the cheesiness isn't quiiite as bad.

    Oh man, Robin Hood too! I agree, the cheese and some of the costumes are nearly unbearable, BUT, like Merlin, it's 100000% worth it for the characters. GUY THOUGH. This show was actually my first introduction to Richard Armitage, so naturally I've been an obsessive Armitage fan ever since. BECAUSE GUUUUY. I WOULD LOVE A WHOLE POST ON HIM YES PLEASE. HE IS EVERYTHING. <3333

    (But yes, the ending of season 2 was unthinkable and I shall never forgive them. Also I kinda hated season 3... :-/)

    I'm one of the few people on this earth who has never actually seen Downtown Abbey. It's definitely one I've always wanted to watch though. I just...wasn't sure about the content. That's comforting it's not toooo bad though! If I ever get the gumption to watch it, I may toss you a message and ask how bad the content is. *nods*

    Call the Midwife is also one I've never seen, but it absolutely sounds engaging!

    My other two scarring but most favorite shows are Doctor Who and Sherlock which are both, of course, BBC. I'm nooot sure if Doctor Who would be too up your alley? I don't know. Sherlock may be more so though. It can get kinda intense but UGH. Sherlock and John are another fabulous bromance, and the plot is BRILLIANT. There is nothing cheesy about that one!

    BASICALLY BBC HAS RUINED MY LIFE. ...And I love it. Ahem.

    OKAY BUT I LOVED THIS POST! I could squeal about TV shows juuuust as much as books so YES. Gimme all the TV show posts! :D

  4. *waves* hey hey, new follower checking in. :) BBC. is. awesome. I have to say I prefer the BBC-made movies more (watching through The Way We Live Now currently & it's sheer genius), with the exception of Sherlock, which is of course brilliant. Now I want to see Robin Hood, though. =D

  5. Can you believe that I've never seen ANY of these? But I've heard so many good things about Merlin, and I really really want to watch it!

    I've never been sure about Downton Abbey - it just doesn't seem like my thing. I'm more interested in it now, though! Who knows, maybe someday . . .

    Great post, Mary! I loved reading about all these, and now I've got to try them! <3

  6. Oh this CRACKED.ME.UP. to no end 😂 I've watched all of them except for Call the Midwife and had pretty much the same reactions to them that you did haha Doctor Who's another stellar one from the BBC up until this last Doctor who I'm not really a fan of....granted, I haven't seen any of her episodes buuuuuut I have a sneaky suspicion I'd be miserable watching them.... Jeeves & Wooster is SMASHING, though I'm not sure if it's BBC.....Poldark is stellar too, though gritty but I enjoyed it because all the dark stuff just makes the moments when they're all happy together so much more precious for me :) Yayyy for the detrimental goodness that is the BBC!!! Loved this, Mary, and yes, for sureeee do more about movies/TV shows!!! Your insights are spot on and incredibly helpful for anyone who may be interested in checking them out.

  7. Annnnnd SHERLOCK!!! Myyyyyy LANTA, how could I forget that gem?!

  8. So, I've seen like 6 eps of Robin Hood, and it's definitely a Gisborne-fest for me, but I liked it enough that I bought the whole series on DVD when I found it at Walmart for a ridiculously, laughably, unrefuseably low price. So I'll see the whole thing eventually.

    Mmmm, Richard Armitage.

    But that twangy thing that happens with the arrow every single episode when the title comes around and stuff? Always freaks me out and makes me jump. Dunno why.

    My mom loves Downton, so I've seen a few eps. I love Bates and Anna. And Maggie Smith is always a good time. The rest I'm kind of ho-hum about.

  9. I've seen Merlin and Robin Hood and love them both with my whole heart. I'm glad you've enjoyed them. And yes, the BBC is certainly cruel.

  10. This is a very fun post indeed, my friend. ;)

    Ooh, we're watching Call the Midwife at the same time! I'd seen the first through the third seasons and then stopped a few years ago, but lately I've gotten back into it and am almost done with the fifth season. I plan to post about it when I finish the whole thing, assuming that I still love it as much as I do now. *nods*

    It can be so heavy and dramatic but, like you said, it's very unpretentious. It's simple. I like that. :)

    I would probably adore Merlin, but am still deciding where I stand on the magic for that one. *sigh* (I mean, no judgement AT ALL for those who have watched it and liked it; it's just something in that particular instance that *I personally* am not sure about.) Plus, I kind of know how the show ends and I just don't know if I want to put myself through the #Emotions after seeing what a wreck Robin Hood made out of me.

    Speaking of which . . . Robin Hood!!! Aaaaahh!! :D

    Seriously, I'm glad you've watched it and like it for the most part. You kinda just gotta take the good with the cheese, don't you?? xD xD

    Ack, yes, the second season finale/the third season. Difficulties, for sure. *hands you tissues* (For the record, I thought the third season was better than everybody online said it was. *shrugs* But that's just a personal opinion and you might have a different one. But I can tell you that there's some not-to-be-missed Guy development. ;))

    As (I'm sure) you know, I shall have to Firmly & Strongly Disagree with your assessment of Marian and interpretation of her/Guy's dynamic, but that's fine. ;D

    I have very mixed feelings on Downton Abbey. *sigh* P'raps I'll watch the whole thing someday.

    I love the little aesthetics you created for each show after the initial pictures, by the way! That makes my heart happy. :D <3

    Great post, m'dear!

  11. You’ve found the world of BBC! I’ve seen all of these shows and love them! Merlin is probably my favorite because Merlin is my spirit animal. I relate to him so much. XD

  12. Loved reading your thoughts on these shows, I love a lot of the BBC shows too. I need to watch Downtown Abbey. It was cool to meet you at Realm Makers. <3


    but Merlin's on Hulu and Call the Midwife's on Netflix :///

    How has your summer been going?
    Hanne ||

  14. YES I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY AND CALL THE MIDWIFE!!! I binge-watched them with my family and we love them. xD Sadly the cheese of Merlin made me leave a couple episodes in, but I'm glad you enjoy it!


Hey, look at you. You found the comments section. *applauds* So proud.

Now, if you're nice and keep your comment clean, I miiiiight just give you a cookie. *grins*