Terry Jones' Medieval Lives makes me feel really bad that he's always been my least favorite Monty Python member. I think he weirds me out in drag (and my heart belongs mostly to the erratic Graham Chapman). Here, he's still in drag a bit – but more importantly he's created an absorbing show that portrays the real lives of various classes and occupations of the middle ages.
I find many history shows err either on the side of being way to dry or way too dumbed down, but this entertaining program is the perfect balance.?The focus is on the daily lives of the people of the time, the part of history I always find most intriguing, and to debunk the myths and misconceptions about the era. The “damsel in distress” for example is largely a fabrication of the Victorian Era, a time which wanted to put women in their place far more than the middle ages did.
Visually, the program is also fun with plenty of Monty Python-esque?animation and goofy humor. It originally aired in 2004 and was nominated for an Emmy. Later he made Terry Jones' Barbarians, The Story of 1 (a history of the number 1), The Secret History of Sex and Love, The Hidden History of Rome, The Hidden History of Egypt, Ancient Inventions, and The Crusades, which I look forward to watching soon – looks like my netflix queue will be full of the work of no longer my least favorite Monty Python member.