Want more wholesome, family-friendly shows to watch but DON’T want to pay for another subscription? GazeboTV is a pay-as-you-go streaming platform for period drama from Sullivan Entertainment. This post is sponsored by Sullivan Entertainment, and all opinions are quite my own. I received free content to help me prepare this review of GazeboTV.
Listen up, because I know that many of you Tea and Ink Society readers will be interested to learn this! Sullivan Entertainment, the production company behind the beloved 1985 Anne of Green Gables (staring Megan Follows), has its own streaming platform—GazeboTV! And yes, Sullivan Entertainment has made many more films besides their Avonlea content!
With the glut of content to sift through on Netflix, Hulu, Apple, and all the rest, it’s a headache to figure out what’s actually worth watching. I was delighted to find that there’s a streaming service that’s just dedicated to quality, old-fashioned period dramas. GazeboTV is my new go-to source for a cozy night in when I feel like watching a good story.
Now, you might be thinking that sounds great, but you don’t want to pay for yet another streaming subscription. You don’t have to! One of the things that makes GazeboTV unique is that there’s no monthly or yearly subscription fee (and there’s no ads or commercials). Simply browse the library of miniseries and movies and decide what you want to rent or buy.
I love the clean user interface of GazeboTV. I added the channel to my Roku so I can watch on the TV, but I also log in to watch on my laptop (and of course you can find the app via your phone’s app store, if you just love watching things on tiny screens). I’m a subtitle user, and it was a piece of cake to turn them on and off. I’m not sure if all of the shows offer subtitles yet, but at least the ones I’ve seen so far do!
What kind of content is available on GazeboTV?
GazeboTV is dedicated to period dramas and documentaries, most of which are very family-friendly. Many of the shows and movies are based on books, although they are sometimes titled differently from their book counterparts. You can get a taste of what GazeboTV has to offer by creating a free account. This will get you access to a variety of free content including sample episodes, behind-the-scenes footage, and cast interviews. (And there’s plans to add more free content later this year and into 2022.)
Here’s what’s available to rent or buy:
For fans of L. M. Montgomery, you can stream the entire Anne of Green Gables collection on GazeboTV. You can also watch the lovely Road to Avonlea TV series (which is based on Montgomery’s novels The Story Girl and The Golden Road, as well as her Avonlea short story collections), Lantern Hill, and documentaries about L. M. Montgomery and about the making of the Anne and Road to Avonlea series.
If you want to immerse yourself in a multi-season period drama, watch Wind At My Back, a 1930s era family saga that spans five seasons, as well as a Christmas special.
For a family movie night, there’s various movies and miniseries to choose from including By Way of the Stars, Looking for Miracles, and Promise the Moon.
There are also a few darker dramas such as Sleeping Dogs Lie, Under the Piano, and Butterbox Babies. These have compelling storylines and talented actors, but you might want to save them for your grown-up movie night since they cover more intense themes.
Watch this trailer for an introduction to the world of GazeboTV:
GazeboTV Mini Reviews
Although I haven’t watched everything that’s available to stream on GazeboTV, I have watched a few things that I’d like to specifically highlight!
Jane of Lantern Hill
You already know I love Anne of Green Gables, and I’m delighted that the full versions are housed on GazeboTV! I was also eager to watch Lantern Hill, based on Montgomery’s 1937 novel Jane of Lantern Hill. Ages ago, I almost checked out the VHS from my local Blockbuster Video, but ended up deciding to re-watch Anne instead. I was curious about Lantern Hill ever since, though, and I’m so glad GazeboTV has made it available.
The book is a perfect little gem of a novel, but the movie felt a little disjointed to me. Some important expositionary elements from the novel—such as Jane’s impressions of Prince Edward Island, her father, and Lantern Hill—were glossed over too quickly in the movie. This might’ve been to make way for the added ghost story plotline. In my opinion, the psychic elements would be better suited to an Emily trilogy adaptation. By turning Lantern Hill into a ghost story, there was less screen time available for some of the delightful and moving scenes from the book.
However, I’d still wholeheartedly recommend watching Lantern Hill, especially if you’re longing for another trip to the world of L. M. Montgomery and the Island. I loved Mairon Bennett in her role as Jane. To their credit, the filmmakers didn’t try to cast Jane as a redux of Anne Shirley. She’s just like the Jane Stewart in the book—quiet and kindhearted, with an emerging bravery as the story progresses.
Looking for Miracles
This is an excellent movie, and one that I can foresee becoming a family favourite! At 6, 3, and 1, my kids aren’t quite the right age for it yet, but I’m looking forward to introducing it to them. (And I know my siblings and I would’ve canonized this if we’d watched it growing up!)
Based on a true story, it’s about 16-year-old Ryan Delaney, who lands a job as a head counselor at a boys’ summer camp—despite the fact that he’s never been to camp himself, is too young for the job, and can’t even swim or paddle a canoe! But for Ryan, it’s a golden opportunity…and his only hope. His family is hard-up for cash, and Ryan won’t be able to attend university if he doesn’t come up with something fast.
I love summer camp stories, and this one has all the antics and outdoorsy feels you could wish for! The cast is stellar, too; lead actor Greg Spottiswood won an Emmy for his role in this.
Wind At My Back
Set in Ontario in the 1930s, this TV series follows the Bailey family through ups and downs during the Great Depression. I didn’t read any episode synopses before starting the show, so I was caught off guard by the tragic turn in the pilot episode. However, that event sets the stage for the rest of the story, so once I made the mental shift I was eager to watch on.
Just like in Anne of Green Gables, the acting and period details in Wind At My Back are top notch, and you get easily drawn in to the lives of the characters. There’s lots of character growth across five seasons, making this a good unfolding journey to savor. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled before it was able to make a natural conclusion, but the follow-up movie Wind At My Back Christmas ties up some of the loose ends.
Giveaway!! Win the Anne of Green Gables Trilogy on GazeboTV!
Sullivan Entertainment is generously giving one Tea and Ink Society reader the complete Anne trilogy on GazeboTV! This includes the 1985 miniseries Anne of Green Gables, as well as Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. Use the form below to enter the giveaway (there are options for extra entries, too!) The winner will be announced here and contacted via email.
And a Discount for Everyone!
Sullivan Entertainment has also made a coupon code available to everyone! Use code ELSIE to get $10 off the Anne trilogy!
If you’re looking for a great way to watch period dramas online, GazeboTV should be your first stop!
What shows have you already seen from Sullivan Entertainment? What would you like to watch next?
Other Posts You’ll Love
- Gift Ideas for Fans of Anne of Green Gables
- The Ultimate Guide to Anne of Green Gables Film Adaptations
- Curating Your L. M. Montgomery Collection: The Best & Most Beautiful Editions of Anne, Emily, and more
- How to Be an L. M. Montgomery Heroine in a 21st-Century World
- 20 Good Period Films for Your Next Girls’ Movie Night
- Plus, browse the “Page to Screen” category for more period drama recommendations!