10 Best TV Shows Like Netflix's The Empress – Screen Rant

Fans of The Empress can satisfy their need for more historical dramas with TV shows like Bridgerton and Call the Midwife.
Viewers cannot get enough of historical dramas if the recent release of The Empress is any indication. The German series has managed to crack the Netflix top 10 in both the U.S. and U.K. since being released at the end of September. Viewers can feel the tension from the slow burn of Elisabeth falling in love with her sister's intended fiancé, Emperor Franz Joseph, alongside elaborate costumes and beautiful scenery that transports viewers into another time.
Though a season 2 of the series has yet to be announced, fans can fill the void with similar historical dramas. From social class conflicts to battling brothels, these historical shows bring the drama and romance to another level.
Historical drama The Spanish Princess follows Catherine of Aragon, the Spanish princess who became the first wife of King Henry VIII. The limited series mixes historical facts with fiction and dramatization. The series covers a large chunk of time until the end of Catherine’s marriage to Henry VIII.
Related: 5 Historical Accuracies (& 5 Historical Inaccuracies) On The Spanish Princess
The Spanish Princess is a story some viewers may be unfamiliar with until Anne Boleyn enters the picture. With drama and celebrating the strength of Catherine of Aragon as she earns the King’s love and respect, the series captures morality and royal legacy. The series perfectly captures the time period as Catherine fights for her daughter to inherit the throne.
Four women accept positions as switchboard operators in 1920s Madrid in Cable Girls. Each woman tries to gain her independence for various reasons in the male-dominated society, highlighting the restrictions placed on women.
The characters are captivating, showing raw emotion whether watched in Spanish or dubbed in English. The individual stories of the women are beautifully written whether about supporting family, escaping high society, or starting a new life. Cable Girls is a fantastic period drama focusing less on romance and more on women’s rights.
As one of Netflix’s most popular series, the characters of Bridgerton captivate audiences with intense chemistry and Gossip Girl-style storylines. Following the Bridgerton family during the marriage season, the series follows a different main character with each season.
Fans fell in love with Daphne and the Duke’s passionate love story in season 1, and Anthony and Kate’s intense attraction in season 2. The series leans heavily into regency romance, watching the women struggle to find prominent suitors and the men grappling with losing the bachelor lifestyle. Bridgerton is a perfect binge for fans of romantic period dramas.
Netflix delivers the historical drama with The Crown, following the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding to Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, to the 21st century. Considering the subject is more recent, the series does an amazing job capturing the period with elaborate sets and well-written characters to mirror the real-life people.
Related: 10 Best Films And Series About Queen Elizabeth II, According To IMDb
Though the series isn’t always historically accurate, minor details have been added for exceptional storytelling. It’s dramatic and viewers will be sucked into the storylines. The Crown offers a glimpse into the historical significance of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, complete with events such as Winston Churchill resigning and the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
Set in the early 20th century, the lives of the Crawley family and their domestic servants are on full display in Downton Abbey. Historical events, like the sinking of the Titanic and the Spanish flu, lend significance to the storylines as the British social hierarchy begins to change.
As one of the best sitcoms turned into a movie, Downton Abbey is a witty historical drama. The all-star cast, including Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville, are entertaining and heartwarming as viewers are able to get to know each individual in the household. It’s an addicting soap opera wrapped in beautiful costumes, a lush setting, and perfect pacing.
Call the Midwife follows a group of nurse midwives in the slums of London in the 1950s and '60s. The series tackles serious social subjects of the time period, including the baby boom, poverty, immigration, and serious birth defects and disorders. The inclusion of such subjects is intertwined to see the impact on newborns and their mothers.
Related: 10 British Period Dramas Starring Actors Of Color
The show is both heartwarming and heartbreaking as the midwives show compassion in the nursing field, highlighting how far society and medicine have come since the mid-1900s. The script is well-written for lighthearted moments to break through the serious drama. Viewers will be hooked on Call the Midwife from the very beginning.
The tale of old money versus new money is told in The Gilded Age. Set in 1880s New York, the series is a unique historical drama set in America rather than the genre-typical Europe. The storylines highlight the differences in social classes, providing satisfying drama surrounding money instead of just romance.
Fans have questions after The Gilded Age’s premiere season, but viewers have been sucked into the conflicts and superb acting from Carrie Coon, Morgan Spector, and Christine Baranski. The characters are driven by social classes and moving up the social ladder. The sets and costumes are visually stunning and fans of The Empress will not be disappointed.
The French historical drama Versailles chronicles the construction of the Palace of Versailles as nobility disobeys the monarchy of King Louis XIV. The series has everything viewers would expect: plotting, opulence, and violence. The King struggles to build his empire while French nobles scheme against him.
Though there are a handful of sex scenes, the focus of the story isn’t entirely romantic. It’s about building a successful empire and feeding both material and sensual desires. The casting is brilliant with George Blagden's portrayal of the King standing out. Versailles is truly a feast for eyes for fans of historical dramas.
Historical comedy-drama The Great is loosely based on the rise of Catherine the Great from her youth to her marriage to Emperor Peter III of Russia. The series is not to be taken seriously. Though The Great has some historically accurate details, it is satire and funny.
With plenty of backstabbing and hypocrisy, the dialogue is witty and Elle Fanning’s portrayal of Catherine the Great is playful and quirky. The series pokes fun at historical dramas, never taking itself seriously. The Great is a lighthearted, fun whirlwind that will have viewers addicted and waiting for more.
Hulu's Harlots is a fresh take on period dramas, focusing on a London brothel in the 1700s. With strong rivalries with other brothels and evangelism on the rise threatening sex work, Madam Margaret Wells strives to give her family a better life through the business or through marriage.
The focus of the series is not just sex, but the lives of the women living in the brothel and under Margaret’s care. Backstabbing, politics, and romance lie at the heart of Harlots, mixed with corruption, racism, and religion. The men are mere side characters in the women-driven series.
Next: Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan's Best Movie & TV Roles, Ranked By IMDb
Chelsea Escamilla is a reader, writer, and editor based in Las Vegas, Nevada. A graduate from Liberty University’s English & Writing program, she enjoys watching movies with her husband and playing with her golden retriever.


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