What to Watch on Sick Days and Why I Always Choose Austen

Whenever I get sick and am happily forced to stay at home with the sniffles, I always get the urge to watch Austen and her contemporaries. If, for some reason, I’m not in the mood for a period piece, even still I get my touch of Jane Austen through the modern re-imaginations of her characters and stories.

Curling up under the doona, snuggling on the couch with thousands of tissues at the ready, sipping at honey and cinnamon tea and turning up the volume to match the loudening patter of rain: this is my domain. I’ve been sick-watching Austen for ten years now, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Every single one of these movies/series below I have seen when bed or couch ridden with a cold.

It should hardly come as a surprise that I like to revel in my days off from school/work/anything when I can.

Why do I always choose Austen? Maybe because it’s so god damn good. Also, whenever I watch any of the adaptations (for a list of all the best period pieces on Netflix, click here), they’re so well constructed, so witty, the characters so wonderful and overall it’s such a feel good experience. Am I right, or what?


The mini-series route:

The good thing about a good mini-series, is that you can knock it off in a day. Got two days off? Watch two mini-series. Who dare thinks of splitting up episodes like a moderate human being? I certainly don’t.

Pride and Prejudice (1995)

It’s a classic. Colin Firth in tightly-clad breeches and Elizabeth at her best.


Emma (2009)


Sense and Sensibility (2008)


Death Comes to Pemberley* (2013

Based off the spin-off of Pride and Prejudice by P.D. James.


Lost in Austen* (2008)


The movie project:

When the new Grand Sophy film eventually comes out, I’m hoping it’ll be good enough to get a space on my Austen-dominated movie list.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)


Sense and Sensibility (1995)


Mansfield Park (2007


Mansfield Park (1999)


Persuasion (2007)


Northanger Abbey (2007)


Becoming Jane (2007)

I know it’s more of a bio pic, but still worth a place on the list I think (maybe if you’ve run through all the others and you’re a bit desperate).


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies* (2016)

I think it comes out on DVD/online in May 2016.


The modern adaptation way:

Clueless (1995)

A 90s adaptation of Austen’s classic Emma, set in a high-school world.


Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Loosely based on Pride and Pred. Colin Firth’s comeback as Darcy is A+.


Bride and Prejudice (2004)

A modern, Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice. Did I mention there’s singing? #nolifewithoutwife



The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (vlog)


Emma Approved (vlog)


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies*

Lost in Austen*

Death Comes to Pemberley*


Similar(ish) to Austen:

Cranford (2007)

Mini-series starring Dame Judi Dench and a stellar cast, based off the book by Elizabeth Gaskell.


North and South (2004)

Another Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation, this BBC mini-series stars the gorgeous Richard Armitage, a.k.a McSteamy.


Wives and Daughters (1999)

This one, I got to say I don’t like as much (and yet I’ve still seen it all through 3 times). You might like it though.


Poldark (2015)

Hot damn circa 1700s, Cornwall (see example below). Let’s leave it at that.


Daniel Deronda (2002)

Set in Victorian London, it stars two of the best Hughs: Dancy and Bonneville.

*Note crossover in multiple sub-genres. Best of both worlds.


What do you want to watch on sick days? Am I forgetting your fave – let me know!

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