I had been planning to post something about at least once a week since I updated after months of hiatus. But yeah, that didn't go as planned, did it? I don't do anything I'm supposed to do anymore. I never put off things before, but now I do. And I have become messy, careless, forgetful, scatterbrained.
This time I needed to get my thoughts out. I have recently watched some new TV series. There seems to be an interest in the complete glamorising of the 15th and 16th century's England. I watched and paid attention to the BBC's The White Queen, starring a Swedish actress called Rebecca Ferguson as the Queen herself (wouldn't have been my first choice). I have read the books the series is based on, Philippa Gregory's latest, and the series was a let down. Beautiful, intriguing, but a little boring. Some of the actors were terrible, and James Frain who was one of the few great actors kept reminding me of Thomas Cromwell, his character on The Tudors...not how I imagined the Kingmaker. Margaret Beaufort was amazing, although slightly annoying (not the fault of the actress).
But nothing beats the new CBS series called Reign which tells the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, arriving at French court as a teenager in order to marry her betrothed, Francis. I am surprised to read so many comments and reviews in favour of this crap. Sure, it is high quality, they obviously spent some money on it, and I don't know enough about Mary, but please. The first thing that made me raise my eyebrows was the music. No Renaissance pipes and flutes here, but instead they bother my ears with some awful country and western style pop music. Meh.
And don't get me started on their clothing. I am not the type of person who goes "oh no, there was a Georgian chair in King Henry VIII's chamber" or "those curtains are obviously Edwardian", hey, I love The Tudors. But Mary and her BFFs are wearing sleeveless dresses and shawls that could be picked up from the shelves at H&M. Well, Topshop maybe. It is Mary Queen of Scots goes High school musical. Without the singing, thank god. Like a reviewer on TV.com said; "those dresses would not even have been worn as underwear by prostitutes." (I took the liberty of borrowing some of her pictures here) And their hairstyles...oh those accessories will be on every 16-year-old fan girls Christmas wish list. Just check out the hideous side braids that adorn their heads...
Just when you think it won't get worse, they start kicking their legs and holding hands, dancing to something I heard on the radio the other day. What is this devilry?!
|According to the TV shows I've discussed, not very hard at all.|
I won't mention all the historical inaccuracies that could fill a book, but there is so much eyebrow raising here that I don't know how this got the rating it did on IMDB. 7.5, who voted? Mary's ladies-in-waiting (here: giggling besties) were called the four Maries. Why is that? Perhaps because like so many other women back then, they were called Mary. And the rest were named Elizabeth, Jane, Anne or Katherine. They had no imagination back then, seriously. But these ladies' pretty names are -wait for it-Lola (?), Kenna (??) and Ailee (??!). They look really comfy in those sleeveless and half-see through prom gowns. So comfy that one of them goes off to hide in some corner to try and ehm, please herself, before being interrupted by the king. He is of course, enchanted by her adolescent beauty and her thin, tight Vera Wang gown.
There was a lot of frightening drama in the life of the real Mary Queen of Scots, and she was an impressive woman. But they managed to turn her into a giggling, naive school girl with lots of admirers. And lousy, dumb as fuck ladies in waiting. Oh yeah, there is a ghost on this show too. Who hides her face like Jason Voorhees in the 2nd Friday the 13th film, and seems to be there like a guardian angel or something. Huh?!
I sort of skimmed through five episodes so far (a waste of time) and there hasn't been a Scottish accent in sight so far. Obviously this is made by Americans, for American viewers and teenagers who won't be offended by European history made into a shallow spectacle and an excuse to show off lace flounces and chiffon.
|Ashford Castle in Ireland; one of the film locations.|
Meanwhile, there is another series, if we move away from the Royal Highnesses onto Victorian London and something completely different, also often glorified and sexified: vampires. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (aka Henry VIII!) plays Dracula, posing as an American entrepreneur bringing modern science to their society when all he really wants to do is to get his revenge on people who ruined his life centuries earlier, and to get a little sexy diversion from a blonde, seductive vampire-hunting donna (Played by a woman whose surname is Smurfit. Yes, Smurf-it!). However, he falls in love with Mina, a woman who resembles his dead wife. So far the story is a little confusing and leading nowhere, with too much talking and rooftop fighting, but I am enjoying the Victorian gowns and all the purple and red and men with canes and hats. Which is probably not really what Victorian London really was like. But let's pretend it was.
|Victoria Smurfin' it! (Sorry couldn't help it)|
|"Lucy", don't you think she looks just like Keira Knightley? Creepy.|