Aristocrats

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  • TV-14
  • 1999
  • 1 Season
  • 7.3  (1,730)

"Aristocrats" is a captivating television mini-series that aired in 1999, and is now available on Amazon Addon. Based on Stella Tillyard's engaging biography "Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox 1740-1832," this BBC drama of high romance and grand passions delicately uncovers the intricacies of life in 18th century British high society, deftly portrayed through the trials and triumphs of the Lennox family.

The story revolves around the Lennox sisters – Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah – who are the daughters of the 2nd Duke of Richmond, and aristocrats by birth. Each episode henceforth explores a different facet of their lives, delving into the history of these young women from different walks of life, being born and bred in the aristocracy, and their quest for love, identification, and personal fulfillment.

The series beautifully encapsulates the complexities of women who were not merely symbols of splendor and elegance in the upper echelons of society, but also lively, intelligent, and strong-minded individuals navigating through shame, scandal, heartbreak, and the impending turmoil in the aristocracy, as the winds of the French and American revolutions approach. It brings to forefront their identity beyond the portraits in grand houses, almost charmingly exploring their raw human nature, discovering their identity beyond the gilded frames.

The grandeur of the British aristocracy of the times is expressed in a magnificently detailed manner, from intricately designed costumes, splendid country estates, lavishly set tables, or horse-driven coaches gliding through the cobblestone roads. It gives a vivid depiction of social rituals, the etiquette, pretentious leisure, grand balls, and ostentatious displays of wealth, forming an opulent background for their dramatic lives.

At the heart of "Aristocrats" is the profound portrayal of the sisters who resist the narrow roles defined for women of their time. Despite their privileged background, their desires for love and independence makes them face the societal constraints and political upheavals head-on. It explores themes related to relationship dynamics, the role of women, social structures, and the high cost of maintaining status and appearance. Their distinct personalities, with Caroline as the ever-dutiful daughter, Emily, the rebellious and ambitious one, Louisa, the deeply religious one, and Sarah, the stubborn youngest who rejects her noble birthright, lay the groundwork for gripping personal and political conflicts that drive the narrative of the series.

Beyond their social significance, the series also dares to explore the women’s personal lives with depth and sensitivity. From birth and death to marriage, separation, betrayal, and reconciliation, it intensely examines the universal aspects of human experience shared by these women and the viewers alike. Along the way, it displays a spectrum of historically accurate and varied male characters who leave noteworthy impacts on these women's lives, either as oppressors or allies in their fight for emancity.

"Aristocrats" is underlined with excellent performances by a plethora of seasoned actors, offering gripping spins to the characters vividly described in Tillyard’s acclaimed biography. The authenticity of its representation, the dramatic prowess of its script, and the depth in its characterization all weave together a series that resists becoming mere period piece pageantry.

Furthermore, the historically accurate depiction of the changes in society and politics is also remarkably exhibited. It captures the gradual transition from Georgian to Victorian values, and how the societal shifts impacted the aristocrats' lives, vibrantly coloring the backdrop of the narrative.

Adding an extra layer of appeal to history buffs and fans of period dramas, "Aristocrats" is an indulgence in class, womanhood, family, and societal norms contextualized within historical events from the later part of the Georgian era. It humanizes the women it portrays, giving viewers a unique, intimate glimpse into some of the most privileged lives from the past. The lives of four sisters, a family bound by love, ambition, and adversity, become a mirror to a bygone era, sparkling with opulence, yet brimming with universal human experiences. Despite being deeply rooted in its time, "Aristocrats" makes for a compelling watch that transcends the boundaries of the period it represents.

Aristocrats is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (6 episodes). The series first aired on June 19, 1999.

Aristocrats
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Seasons
Episode 6
6. Episode 6
July 25, 1999
Edward returns from revolutionary France and plots a violent rebellion in Ireland.
Episode 5
5. Episode 5
July 18, 1999
A shamed Sarah returns to the family with her illegitimate child.
Episode 4
4. Episode 4
July 11, 1999
Sarah returns to London from Paris, where she developed an unwanted reputation.
Episode 3
3. Episode 3
July 4, 1999
Caroline insists that Sarah comes to London to be launched into society.
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
June 19, 1999
The Duke of Richmond has banished Caroline from his house, but has consented to the marriage of his daughter, Emily, to the wealthy James Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare. Emily and Kildare have gone to live in Ireland. Meanwhile in London, Caroline's husband, Henry Fox's political star is ascending but, his absorption in his work brings tensions at home.
Episode 1
1. Episode 1
June 19, 1999
It's 1742. Caroline and Emily Lennox are daughters of the 2nd Duke of Richmond. As the eldest daughter, Caroline is expected to marry well, so her determination to reject all suitors is beginning to cause embarrassment. Her mother the Duchess of Richmond has to endure the embarrassment of a stubborn daughter who might soon be considered 'on the shelf'.
Description
Where to Watch Aristocrats
Aristocrats is available for streaming on the Amazon Addon website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Aristocrats on demand at Apple TV Channels, Amazon Prime, Hoopla and Tubi TV.
  • Premiere Date
    June 19, 1999
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (1,730)