Watch it for...
The dark humor and cleverness of Margaret and her rival brothel owner, and the strong familial bonds that see her and her daughters through good times and bad!
In 18th-century London, there are few opportunities for women to improve their standing in life…it’s either marriage or sex work as a means to economic advancement. Determined to make her own way and better the lives of her daughters, Margaret Wells moves her brothel into a posh neighborhood with high-class clientele. Harlots dives deep into Margaret’s life as she navigates territory disputes with a rival brothel owner, class inequity, and raising strong-willed daughters, all against the backdrop of 1760s London.
Though I’m not usually one for period pieces, Harlots drew me in during the very first episode as I immediately felt that intense kinship that exists within a group of hardened, unlucky women. The friendships, the fights and the fake smiles for the passing men are all elements that remain familiar hundreds of years later. Just like with my own sister or best friend, I found myself rooting for the Wells women despite their many mishaps and misadventures.
Harlots definitely doesn’t shy away from the setting—there is nudity involved and mature themes that rival HBO at its best! But that was part of why I liked it. It was a refreshing change to see a period piece that showed a different side of life at the time, rather than the stricter, Downton Abbey kind of life. I really enjoyed this one.