ManicMammy's Blog

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Off with her head

Posted on | August 15, 2008 | No Comments

Politics, religion, conflict, attraction, sex: whats not to like about this tv series which is now in its second season?

I watched a repeated BBC series on Henry VIII and his wives a couple of decades or more ago with my Dad and I was hooked. It was a fascinating time in history and yep, despite this series being historical fiction and not totally accurate, despite Jonathan Rhys Meyers not fitting the stereotypical image of a rotund, ginger haired Henry VIII, I am liking his portrayal of the monarch. He does arrogance and sense of entitlement brilliantly and yet you do have sympathy for the king as he appears to be manipulated by church and reformists. But his power is frightening and one time friends can be expended without much thought or regret it seems.

The support acting of Maria Doyle Kennedy as Katherine of Aragon is excellent. Her initial belief that there was no way she could be replaced as queen begins to wane and you feel her pain when her husband tries desperately to get rid of her again and again for his new love Anne Boleyn. Her steadfast commitment to her Catholic faith and the church is portrayed with quiet dignity and her popularity with the common English public of the time is something I was not aware of.

The costumes of the cast are sumptuous. The banqueting scenes are wonderful, the opulence and luxury of the court shown off.

There is something about this series that make the issues of that time seem as relevant today as they were then: corruption of the church, frustration of many with the church’s wealth, political wheeling, dealing and backstabbing for personal gain. It makes for great viewing and I, for one, am looking forward to watching the story unfold.

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