7.7
328 votes
Harlots

Harlots

ITV Encore 2017

Brothel owner, Margaret Wells, struggles to raise her daughters in London during the 18th century.

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The 10 Worst Episodes of Harlots

Harlots - S1E1

#1 - Episode 1

7.31

Season 1 - Episode 1

Margaret Wells’s business comes under attack from a rival madam. As they risk losing everything, how much will Margaret and her daughters have to sacrifice to keep the brothel, and the Wells family afloat?

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Harlots from 887 votes.

Harlots - S2E2

#2 - Episode 2

7.49

Season 2 - Episode 2

While Charlotte struggles with horribly divided loyalties, the community gathers to share its grief. Tempers flare and the women rally against the injustice of the judiciary, with devastating consequences for Nancy.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Harlots from 251 votes.

Harlots - S1E3

#3 - Episode 3

7.51

Season 1 - Episode 3

Lucy is promised to Lord Repton, but is she prepared for the experience that awaits her? Lydia’s retaliation against Margaret might prevent her move to Soho, when the Wells are met with a baying mob outside their new home.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Harlots from 581 votes.

Harlots - S2E1

#4 - Episode 1

7.55

Season 2 - Episode 1

When an unyielding new Justice makes a surprise arrest, Margaret and Nancy must race to find witnesses to give evidence against Lydia Quigley. Could this finally be their chance to get Lydia to pay for her crimes?

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Harlots from 252 votes.

Harlots - S1E4

#5 - Episode 4

7.58

Season 1 - Episode 4

As Lydia’s campaign against her takes a toll on business, Margaret bets everything on a masquerade – it will make them or ruin them. With Lucy’s failures mounting, can Charlotte help her sister become a celebrated courtesan?

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Harlots from 532 votes.

Harlots - S2E3
#6 - Episode 3
7.58
Season 2 - Episode 3

Margaret must focus on business but a visit to the Pleasure Gardens leads to an unexpected confrontation. Charlotte tries to secure a powerful ally and gain Margaret's approval, while Lucy falls under Fallon's spell.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Harlots from 231 votes.

Harlots - S1E5
#7 - Episode 5
7.60
Season 1 - Episode 5

Lord Fallon shows interest in Lucy - can she finally snare herself a keeper? Charlotte’s decision to leave Howard puts her in danger. To escape Lydia, Emily has to risk more than one life - will she take that chance?

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Harlots from 500 votes.

Harlots - S1E2
#8 - Episode 2
7.61
Season 1 - Episode 2

An old friend’s return could be a godsend if Margaret can tempt him to invest in her brothel. But when an opportunity arises which could damage Lydia’s reputation, Margaret’s thirst for revenge puts all her plans at risk.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Harlots from 670 votes.

Harlots - S3E7
#9 - Episode 7
7.65
Season 3 - Episode 7

When Elizabeth's past finally catches up with her, will Lucy end up paying the price? Meanwhile, as Hal's anger with the Well's family grows, can Emily broker peace before the Wells-Pincher feud spirals out of control?

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Harlots from 139 votes.

Harlots - S2E5
#10 - Episode 5
7.66
Season 2 - Episode 5

Lydia draws Charlotte deeper into her web, but should Charlotte compromise herself in the hope of catching Lydia red-handed? Lucy finds herself playing a dangerous game with Fallon which could have disastrous consequences.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Harlots from 229 votes.

Last updated: apr 07, 2021

Comments

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Game of Brothels - Betrayal, Politics, Sex and Revenge in the Struggle to Become Queen of Whores: Surprisingly addicting. Game of Throne-esque betrayal, alliances, bribery, coercion, corruption, politics, sex, and revenge. Harlots inspires empathy for the plights of the heroines - the brothel madam and her youngest daughter. You really root for the madam's struggle to keep her girls from harm and rise up through the ranks of brothels to move up in station and compete with the Queen of Whores. Harlots touches on racial and class issues and even features the occasional gigolo, during a time in which one in five women in old London make their livings as whores. It shows how religious zealots, the law, and the masses can be manipulated as pawns in the political, carnal, racial, and socioeconomic power struggle that is the Game of Brothels...

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its dirty, its naughty, its racy, its everything against decency and its deadass one of the best shows ive ever seen! the acting is very good, the music is addicting and the story -battle of brothels- is one of the most exciting and most original ideas ive ever seen! please for the love of god, and everything that stands against god (i.e. this show), watch it! 10/10

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This isn’t your standard period drama, Harlots is done in a similar vein as Peaky Blinders but with worse writing and some really annoying male leads. I could overlook the modern soundtrack and the overall style if there was an interesting story behind it all but it’s not there. it feels cheap and hollow. Most of the men are just so unbelievably horrible you can’t wait until they’re off the screen. Problem is they are central figures in the show so they’re in a lot of scenes. The ones that seem like they could be interesting, like Margret Well’s partner, are written so thin it’s a wonder they have a last name. Another thing that stood out is the cavalier way Harlots handles serious subjects such as rape, murder, pimping etc. Like mere formalities it has to go through before it can go back to showcasing the characters jaunty antics. There are moments when characters reflect the emotions you’d expect for a given subject but it rarely leads anywhere. There is very little growth overall. I don’t understand the great reviews this show has. I gave it until the third episode in season 2 to improve but if anything it only got worse.

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Overall I'm pretty fond of this show. Especially the first season. It had me sucked in right from the first episode. I do think this show has the rare problem of being a little too fast paced. I don't think this is a that big of a problem, as it is only a little bit, but its probably the reason why some people here say it feel likes they skip over the serious subjects. Because that's just kind of how they treat everything, and it stands out more with the obvious things you'd expect to have a more long-term effect. The show probably would've benefited from making the seasons a bit longer, so they could have taken the time to give everything the attention it deserves. I think the major problem with this show is one many shows have, in which it seems like they have no real long-term plans and just make the story up per season. This always makes for a really rough transition between seasons. The story doesn't flow together well and its hard to get into again each time. 'Harlots' seems to take this particularly hard. At the end of the first season, there are a lot of arcs they just kind of drop. Like they're just got tired of it and said "yeah we're done with this", instead of actually giving it a logical and satisfying conclusion (some examples: [spoiler]Harriet getting her children back, Charlotte's plans to run away with Daniel Marney[/spoiler]). It also has one of the biggest character purges between seasons I've ever seen. Almost all of the supporting cast disappears. Some get a quick, not very well thought out moment which explains their leaving, but most get some one-line mention or are just never seen again without any explanation at all. Which I think is shame, because there we're a lot of interesting characters among them of which I would have liked to have seen more (eg. [spoiler]Daniel Marney, Thomas Haxby, Marie-Louise D'Aubigne, Betsey Fletcher, Rasselas, Benjamin Lennox, Lord and Lady Repton, Caroline Howard, Christopher Rutledge[/spoiler]). And it makes all the new supporting characters that were added to replace them feel a lot more shallow and empty.

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This is simply one of the best, diverse, feminist show on television right now. Written, directed and produced by women, this is a show that despite its subject matter doesn't cater to the male gaze. It is a show less interested in sex that on how power and love (or lack of) impacts on the lives of women as well as the ramifications of generational violence within families.

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