Last year, I watched my first Catherine Cookson movie based on one of her novels. I made a comparison of Cookson to Dickens in a blog last Fall. Basically, I just did not enjoy the characters or the story, but I waited to make a final judgement call until I'd watched some more. I do know people who love these and have encouraged me that if I watch period dramas I should give them a try. Well, I watched four more Cookson movies in the last two weeks. Has my opinion changed? Not really. They really aren't my cup of tea and even though I can watch a whole lot more of them on Netflix I am probably going to pass on them.
For me, I think these stories are just too violent, they don't contain many characters that I am attracted to and the plots are driven by all the most horrible and low parts of the human experience. It's not that I just need a fluffy Jane Austen plot to enjoy a period drama. For instance, I loved George Eliot's Daniel Deronda as well as Anthony Trollope's How We Live Now. But the Cookson plots go a step too far so that by the time you get to the end you wonder how this can conclude with a satisfying ending. Most often I am left wanting by the finish. Others may like Cookson but as for me I think I'll go back to Dickens and Austen.