Written by: Stacia Hentz
Date: April 29, 2017
PBS is back in the “House,” and this time we’re being transported to the Victorian era on the Victorian Slum House series. It all begins this Tuesday, May 2 at 8pm on WOSU TV.
If you’re a longtime viewer you may remember when PBS premiered Frontier House in 2002. The concept was to take modern day families and send them back to the American frontier of 1883. During the Frontier House series, viewers followed the families through the triumphs and hardships of living in 1883 Montana, without the assistance of modern technology. The series was a fascinating look into an often romanticized period in American history.
On Tuesday we’ll enter the British slums of the 1800s in the Victorian Slum House. Once again a group of modern day families and individuals go back, to live life in London’s East End, without the assistance of modern day technology. I think this task becomes a bit more daunting considering the advancements we’ve seen with modern conveniences in the years since Frontier House.
Our intrepid Victorian Londoners are faced with the difficult task of earning enough money to pay the rent and put food on the table. The five-part series spans several decades. Each week our families move into a new decade and have to deal with the new challenges of their changing environment.
On Tuesday’s first episode, we’ll start in the 1860s. The families move into a tenement with a shared water pump and outdoor privies. Talk about going in with both feet first. They begin by trying to make a living doing the work of their ancestors. Much like Frontier House, this is a fascinating, and at times hard look of a transformative time in history. I hope you’ll tune in, you won’t be disappointed.
Victorian Slum House concludes, in the 1900s, on Tuesday, May 30. Encore presentations of each episode can be seen on WOSU Plus (34.3) Wednesdays at 8pm beginning May 3.