BFS Video // 2010 // 180 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 21st, 2012
Catnip for my wife.
No need to beat around the bush. At Home with the Georgians is a jackpot of awesomeness for fans of British history, homemaking, and even Jane Austen. Hosted by author Amanda Vickery -- a big-shot professor who knows a thing or two about English goings-on from way back when -- the series examines the lifestyles and inclinations of homeowners in the 18th century Georgian era. More specifically, these are the spectacular mansions you'll see in Pride and Prejudice and other similar films; sprawling, gorgeous estates set on picturesque acreage, containing all manner of stories. And these stores are what Vickery and the producers are after.
This three-disc release features three 57-minute episodes, each focusing on a specific talking point of the homes, but leaping off to discuss at length the characteristics of the era. "A Man's Place" looks at how men of the time looked at their houses and how it reflected their personalities. "A Woman's Touch" dives into the connection between the manor and the ladies of the manor. "Safe as Houses" is an examination of the various fortifications and security measures homeowners put into place to protect their lands and maybe snag a poacher in a terrifying steel trap.
The episodes are interestingly laid out. Professor Vickery takes the viewers on room-by-room tours of these various estates. As she traverses the mansions, she is constantly raining down trivia, historical notes, and insights into the architecture, décor, and cultural significance. When she gets her hands on some of the diaries and journals that have been preserved over the years and digs into the stories of the homes' occupants, that's when things get interesting.
These stories are told through a combination of Vickery reading excerpts from the journals, dramatic reenactments with period costuming, and actors doing monologues to camera, as if they're sitting in a Georgian version of The Real World confessional booth. I know it sounds odd, but it fits in nicely with the quirkiness of the series.
Each episode is satisfying in its own way and offers enough of a unique take so nothing feels stale. I'm convinced that by the time you're finished with this set, you won't feel deprived of anything Georgian-related. One complaint, though. This is some chunky plastic packaging and one hourlong program per disc doesn't strike me as premium compression technology.
The DVD: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 2.0 stereo, and no extras.
Not Guilty. Awesome mansions and history out the wazoo. What more can you ask
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BFS Video
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 180 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated