When you get tired of the modern world, period television shows are a great option for some entertainment. Whether it is the 14th century or the 6190s, period television shows give us a glimpse into the past and what life was like. They might not always be the most historically accurate shows, but they are still great entertainment. If you love great costumes, great drama, and sometimes-great accents, these period television shows are great to check out.

1. Reign

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I recently started watching Reign and I think it is one of the best period television shows out there. It is a combination of Gossip Girl and a history lesson. It follows Mary Queen of Scots as she enters the French court to marry Prince Francis. There are secrets, and threats, and love triangles within the castle walls. Not to mention the costumes are fabulous. It might not be the most historically accurate period show, but it certainly is entertaining.

2. The Tudors

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There has always been intrigue around King Henry VIII, but The Tudors has turned it into television gold. The story of King Henry is filled with seduction, passion, and conflict. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is absolutely incredible as King Henry.

3. Downton Abbey

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I just love following the lives of the wealthy Crawley family and the drama with their servants in early 20th Century Britain. While I love the gorgeous costumes, this show makes me feel pretty fortunate I don't live in a time with such strict social rules. Not to mention I am obsessed with the love story between Matthew and Lady Mary.

4. Boardwalk Empire

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If you are a fan of Martin Scorsese, then you will love Boardwalk Empire. It chronicles a political figure who controls the many speakeasies and bootleggers in Atlantic City during the Prohibition Era. This show has everything an HBO show usually has. Sex, crime, passion, and betrayal. Steve Buscemi also plays in his most notable role as the main character Nucky.

5. The Borgias

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If you thought modern day mafia families were interesting, try taking a glimpse into the family that ran Italy and the Catholic Church in 15th century. Like any good period drama, there is tons of betrayal and drama, as any powerful family has tons of rivals. Although the show got somewhat mixed reviews, I love the show not only for the incredible storyline, but for Jeremy Irons' incredible performance as the head of the Borgia family.

6. Carnivale

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Carnivale has somewhat of a complex plot line, but that doesn't mean it isn't one of the great period television shows. It follows two plot lines during the Great Depression. One is about a young boy who has healing powers and joins the traveling circus. The other is about a preacher who also finds out he has mysterious powers. I don't want to reveal too much and ruin the story, but this show is definitely one you want to check out if you are a fan of period shows.

7. Mad Men

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So what if it doesn't take place that long ago, it is still a fantastic show. Mad Men is all about the drama surrounding an ad agency in the 60s. And Jon Ham as Don Draper is absolutely captivating. It is so great to watch these men try to manage their complex clients all while dealing with their even more complex personal lives. Trust me and the thousands of other people who love this show; you need to check it out.

If you are a television addict like me, you have probably seen at least a few of these. But all of these period dramas have their own unique aspect that makes them great. If you have some time to spare, try to give yourself a (very) loosely based history lesson and pop in one of these shows. What did you think of these period television shows? What are some other fantastic period televisions shows? Do you love period shows or prefer shows that take place in the modern age?