Saturday, 3 August 2013

The White Queen- 1/2 series Review



So I have been watching The White Queen this week on catch up and I have mixed feelings about it. The basic concept I like: there are 3 or 4 women struggling with power in the War of the roses: Elizabeth (The White Queen), Margaret Beaufort (Lancastrian Lady Who is obsessive about her son Henry Tudor being King, I'm pretty sure I can guess the outcome!) and the Nevill sisters who are more or less having power forced upon them by marriage. It's a good concept and I haven't read the Phillipa Gregory book it's based on but it sounds like something I'd like. Not sure about the TV show though...

What Happens (SPOILERS don't read unless you have watched up to episode 6!If you plan to watch it that is...):

So Start with Elizabeth is shown to be able to do witchcraft with her mother and see into the future, mainly deaths though apparently. She has 2 sons and is a widow but she met the York King, Edward which was all very sweet and they got married in secret. 


Then you get to see their enemies, or the York enemies as a whole really. There are the Red Lancastrians and the Lord Warwick, a friend and adviser to Edward who becomes an enemy because was not happy with the marriage between Edlisabeth but he captures the Red King for him so that he will let him marry his daughter to Edwards brother George, but he doesn't. Because Elizabeth doesn't like their Family and doesn't want their children on the throne. So Lord Warwick, Edwards brother George betray them. Elisabeth also keeps having daughters (which was so confusing they announced the birth of one but then boom these little 5 year old girls keep showing up and your like umm, where did you come from?) which is not good heir wise! She then finds out Edward is having an affair which he says is totally fine because he's king. Obviously. I mean how is adultery ever not totally fine (he has no apparent logic.) 


I feel really Sorry for the 2 daughters of Lord Warwick though. They ,unlike The White Queen, were not married for love which was pretty normal at the time I which it was set but neither of their husbands care about them at all! The eldest Isabelle is married to George without the King's permission and becomes pregnant with their first child. After they lose the war mentioned previously they end up fleeing to France whilst she is heavily pregnant and despite her knowing something is wrong nobody will stop for her and she lost her baby whilst giving birth on the ship to France. Obviously she was really angry and upset and it was upsetting but you kind of knew it was coming and it meant that Elizabeth's son ( which she finally had called Edward too) would be older and there for the heir to the throne. 


But worse still whilst in France Anne the younger sister is married to the evil horrid and rude French Prince who is the son of a French Queen who Lord Warwick wants to form an alliance with. Luckily for Anne (I think anyway!) He is killed in Battle and his Mum the French Queen is held prisoner. But then so is she in the York Palace when she begs for forgiveness as a Widow back in England after the second (and a lot bloodier) war in the series and is a Prisoner their! It's looking really bad for her up to this point but then Edwards younger brother who she loved and wanted to marry anyway proposed to her and said he loved her and I was so happy! She can finally be happy! Episode 6 also has a lot of greyhounds which appeals to me a lot. 


Then there's Margaret Beaufort who seems to like wars a fair bit. She wants the Yorks off the throne so her son can be in line to it again (she's basically a nutty, pushy Mum) and is extremely religious, convinced that her son is destined to be King by god. Her son Henry Tudor was the son of her first Husband and she was married to another man who he doesn't like probably because he is anti war and fights for the York side as he things they have a better promise of peace for the country with a younger king and a direct heir to the throne. He dies anyway of his injuries which is a shame because he probably talked more sense than most people in their group on the show! Then she married again to get in with the York royal court (her enemies) to try and get her son closer all the same. Her marriages are basically all business and power related. It's like she forms business alliances in a way. 

Speaking of death being set in a war there is a lot of them in this show! Lord Lancaster was cursed by Elizabeth after the first war because he called for the execution of her dad and brother who were captured by them. She started a storm at sea using which craft with her Mum and daughter to try and Kill them but it failed and the storm  probably didn't help Isabelle's baby's chances. The witch craft always works though and Warwick does die in battle (More hardship for the sisters).

Elizabeth has Come to be a character that I don't like as much now because of this. She has become very hateful with power of the 2 girls and I don't hate her but it's a massive flaw especially as Anne has become a favourite character of mine, mainly because I felt sorry for her and I'm so happy that her life is back together again! 
The costumes in the show are amazing too! Elizabeth's coronation dress from episode 2 is my favourite as shown in the top picture I think but there seems to be the occasional metal  zip showing up here and there! We'll let it slide for now though. This is one of my favourites too from episode 1 (I think!)


What I don't like about the show as a whole though is the "Hankey Pankey". It ruins it for me and luckily for me I am watching it on catch up and will continue to so I can fast forward it! For me that is big downside and every once in a while there's an upper body part that comes on the screen and I just think- please stop its not even necessary! It makes for uncomfortable viewing and not in the way of bloody mangled bodies from battle which I can handle. It seems unnecessary to the show to me and I think without it, I would rate the show more highly. I think they're trying to make this series into a British BBC equivalent to Game of Thrones and I don't like that. I don't  watch game of thrones even though its been recommended to be because of all the stuff I've been told that's in it. 


So far though I would give the show 3 stars. It starts off well, took a bit of a dip for me but its picked up a little with Anne's wedding but perhaps that's just me being a hopeless romantic! 
It hasn't exceeded expectations in the way dramas from the BBC like The Paradise did which I understand was shown at eight o'clock not nine as this is but all the same that's how I feel about it. I also often prefer the BBC's family shows like Merlin was and Dr Who we love in our house and Atlantis sounds good too which comes out I October. 
I will probably continue to watch it to the end of the 10 episodes and give my final verdict when it finishes in 3 weeks  time(ish)! 

Have you been watching this show? What have you thought of it? Let me know in the comments too if you can recommend any series that are good at the moment! 

Love Kim xx

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