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Hairpin Costume Drama Club: Bramwell

"I'm a qualified physician. I know about venereal disease!" READ MORE

Hairpin Costume Drama Club: Wives and Daughters

Welcome back to Costume Drama Club! Here's what we've learned so far: READ MORE

Hairpin Costume Drama Club: Sleeping With Kings and Kind of Liking It

The Hairpin Costume Drama Club welcomes you to our very first talk-about. We started off with the classic Duchess of Duke Street, one of the best Masterpiece Theatre products ever (first rule of Costume Drama Club: Be as bold as Louisa Trotter’s king-seducing quail pie), and now here we are, all cried out and informed about 1900 to 1925, how devastating World War I was, and how insane the Brits were about where you come from and who your parents are. READ MORE

Hairpin Costume Drama Club: The Duchess of Duke Street

Loving costume dramas must be how some people love sci-fi, or renaissance fairs: You get to explore power structures, but in a fun way. You get to calm your lower brain with the fantasy of what it was like to live back then (the snacks, the bedside decanters, the cloaks!), while your upper brain gets to chew on things like patriarchy and class structure. Thus, hoop skirts are great! Cordials all around! READ MORE

Poldark: A Cornish Maxiseries If You're Craving Pasties and Freckled Bosoms

So maybe you have been a sucker for long-form melodramas of questionable production value. Maybe you watched all 54 episodes of the Korean medieval soap opera Dae Jang Geum (which asserted itself so boldy on your Netflix queue that you and your cohabitant exchanged serious words). Maybe you wept like a baby through every episode of the second season of The Duchess of Duke Street because it insists on unhappiness. Maybe you think Downton Abbey, with all of its gloss and cinematic foppery, is actually costume melodrama weak sauce, because they have it so easy with real set pieces, and film and budgets and modern times that don't make the production look like a taped play your English teacher is spending a whole week showing you. READ MORE

Masturbation Clubs of the 1700s

I found something to add to the costume drama of our minds, and it's really salty. All I can say is that I ended up in a dark alley with Wikipedia, and you know I started out just chatting in a well-lit living room where there was a Wikipedia family portrait on the wall. Anyway, it was in this dark alley that Wikipedia started telling me about masturbation clubs of the 1700s. And then I read one of the clubs' records, as you can too. (There is also a book about it.) READ MORE

Things Overheard as Colin Firth Gets His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

We might see the top of his head. Damn press. We're his real fans. We should be up front. I thought Charles Bronson was dead. He is dead. The music that's playing, is that Firth singing? He sings? I bet he sings beautifully. What are we standing in line for? Colin Firth. Colin Firth. OK. That guy that was in King's Speech. Bridget Jones. Trying to think of a guy's movie he's in. He's famous? You know he got stuck in that elevator with Helena Bohnam Carter and a camera man. Do you know that he lived in St. Louis? He's not from Egypt or Japan. Some guy named Colin Firth. READ MORE