Give me your Colin Firths, your Richard Armitages...
September 29, 2017 1:14 PM   Subscribe

I've just finished watching North and South (the Gaskell adaptation) and I'm after more brooding men and intelligent, fiesty women for my viewing pleasure.

I've got Netflix UK, all the UK catchup channels, but am happy to hear all your suggestions. No particular time period required.
posted by threetwentytwo to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Horatio Hornblower? More brooding men than fiesty intelligent women.

Poldark (brooding men AND fiesty intelligent women).
posted by emkelley at 1:35 PM on September 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

For moar Gaskell, may I recommend Wives & Daughters? It's got the seemingly ageless Keely Hawes.
posted by orrnyereg at 1:37 PM on September 29, 2017

Surely you've already seen BBC's Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth - here's the Lake Scene to jog your memory.
posted by metaseeker at 1:42 PM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Taboo is very dark (murder, rape, torture, exploitation; nobody in it is a good person) but definitely has brooding men and intelligent women. Also lots of semi-nude Tom Hardy.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell also has moody guys and smart, feisty women. Nowhere near as dark as Taboo.
posted by Lexica at 1:58 PM on September 29, 2017

Umm I don't know your feelings about mostly-ahistorical historical dramas with low production values, but Richard Armitage also stars in BBC Robin Hood as a very brooding Sir Guy. Marian is great too (and...wears cargo pants, for no reason that is ever explained). It is not fancy, but it's super entertaining.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 1:59 PM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Poldark is unmitigated soap. Entertaining soap (that junior Warleggan is so thirsty for Poldark), but definitely soap, so not quite the same type of TV as a Gaskell adaptation, if you're looking for that relative high-mindedness (but if you're not...).

The Persuasion film (1995) has a very broody Ciaran Hinds.
posted by praemunire at 1:59 PM on September 29, 2017 [8 favorites]

Far From the Madding Crowd
posted by invisible ink at 2:08 PM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yessss seconding Persuasion. CH is everything as Captain Wentworth!
posted by orrnyereg at 2:13 PM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

There's also the 2007 Persuasion - Rupert Penry-Jones is a different flavor of brooding than Ciaran Hinds, but still delightful.
posted by darchildre at 2:28 PM on September 29, 2017

I like Persuasion as probably my favorite Austen, but I think I prefer the Sally Hawkins/Rupert Penry-Jones TV version. Likewise, where there's the cinematic Sense and Sensibility with a flippant Hugh Grant and a doubleplusbrooding Alan Rickman, there's also the TV version with Hattie Morahan as Elinor Dashwood, the island of reason in the Dashwood family, and Dominic Cooper, like Rickman a man built to brood, as Willoughby, along with David Morrissey and a then-nobody named Dan Stevens as Col. Brandon and Edward Ferrars, respectively. (And a brilliant Mark Gatiss as John Dashwood, a man who is never burdened with thinking for himself.)

posted by Sunburnt at 2:29 PM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Black Sails, a four-season pirate-themed show that aired on Starz, fits the bill. Caveat: Lots of nudity and violence.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:32 PM on September 29, 2017

Pretty much any version of Jane Eyre will fit this bill, but I particularly like the 2011 version with Mia Wasikowska, because I feel like she plays up Jane's fiestier aspects.

Definitely nthing Poldark, pretty classic dark brooding hero, and a very fiesty red-haired lady to go with him.

If you can handle horror you might like Penny Dreadful, which has multiple male brooders and a main female character who's sharp, brooding, fiesty, and dangerous.

If you're looking for modern day versions of these archetypes, almost any of the comic based tv shows will give you what you want. Arrow, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Gotham, etc.
posted by katyggls at 3:11 PM on September 29, 2017

Vikings (brooding Vikings and shield maidens/warriors)!!! Outlander (brooding Scottish Highlanders and Claire Fraser who is definitely feisty and a feminist)! Also seconding Poldark (and Desperate Romantics that Aidan Turner always played the lead in). And Far From the Madding Crowd.

Not so much for brooding but definitely Julie Delpy for feisty intelligent women! Her male counterparts are usually kind of goofy and clueless but in a generally likeable way (Ethan Hawke for example).
posted by Willow251 at 3:27 PM on September 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Have you seen The Constant Gardener? I think you would really dig it.
posted by janey47 at 3:43 PM on September 29, 2017

Outlander has many brooding men and feisty women!
posted by ball00000ns at 6:49 PM on September 29, 2017

If you're okay with procedurals:

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries! Phryne is super feisty and while Jack is not quite as broody as Mr. Johnn Thornton he's got that stoic police detective, returned a different man from the war thing going for him. Yes, he does.

Person of Interest. A broody ex-special forces guy and a computer genius save people with the help of an AI. Feisty women throughout.


Luther is a brooder and Alice Morgan is a feisty sociopath obsessed with him, though she isn't in a lot of the later episodes. Can be dark/gory at times, YMMV.

Richard Armitage was also in Berlin Station as a broody CIA agent. Includes feisty coworkers who don't take the men's BS. He was also broody in a few of the Spooks/MI-5 series, but I can't really recommend his last one, maybe just the 1st and 2nd.


The Man from U.N.C.L.E, the movie. Main characters include a broody KGB agent and a feisty German who escaped over the wall and isn't looking to go back. Flashy fun movie.

Gosford Park - the inspiration for Downton Abbey with a quietly feisty heroine and a brooding valet.
posted by jyorraku at 10:46 PM on September 29, 2017

A bit further afield, since my main recommendations have already been listed above, but you might give these a try, would be Centurion (includes fighting of course), Kate and Leopold, and maybe the over the top sf film Outlander (not to be confused in any way, shape, or form, with the series of the same name set in Scotland!) Finally, not to everyone's taste, but Henry Cavill is exceedingly broody in Man of Steel, and Amy Adams and Diane Lane are both intelligent and feisty in it.
posted by gudrun at 8:07 AM on September 30, 2017

What about the 1995 film version of Sense and Sensibility? Kate Winslet as Marianne and Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon seem to meet your criteria, I would say. It also starts the excellent Emma Thompson, and all around is a great movie.
posted by litera scripta manet at 1:26 PM on September 30, 2017

I'm currently somewhat obsessed with detective shows, which are rather different in time (nowish) and place than your examples, but brooding and feistiness abound, though the costumes are less grand. Wallander and Hinterland feature brooding Swedish and Welsh (?) detectives, respectively, with lady colleagues that certainly qualify as competent and feisty. Doctor Blake is a brooding Australian police surgeon with similar colleagues.
posted by esoterrica at 10:20 AM on October 2, 2017

Seconding Outlander - though it is not available for free streaming anywhere. You can add Starz to an Amazon Prime subscription for $9 per month and it comes with 7 free days.
posted by soelo at 11:56 AM on October 2, 2017

Oh, if you are in the UK, it might be on Netflix. Season One was available on Netflix in Portugal this summer.
posted by soelo at 11:57 AM on October 2, 2017

« Older What is your favorite dish from your country?   |   Help stop our going-out addiction! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.