REVIEW: THE WHITE PRINCESS

Jodie Comer in The White Princess (2017)

Main Cast

Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Rebecca Benson (Macbeth)
Jacob Collins-Levy (Bloom)
Kenneth Cranham (Hellraiser II)
Essie Davis (The Babadook)
Richard Dillane (Argo)
Anthony Flanagan (The Crown)
Patrick Gibson (Tolkien)
Caroline Goodall (The Princess Diaries)
Amy Manson (Atlantis)
Adrian Rawlins (Hrry Potter)
Vincent Regan (Troy)
Suki Waterhouse (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
Joanne Whalley (Daredevil)
Andrew Whipp (Outlander)
Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones)

Jodie Comer in The White Princess (2017)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Nicholas Audsley (Victoria)
Philip Arditti (Red 2)
Rossy de Palma (Kika)
Emmanuelle Bouaziz (Agathe Clery)
Nia Roberts (Keeping Faith)
Nicholas Gecks (The Lazarus Child)
Alex Sawyer (House of Anubis)

Jodie Comer and Jacob Collins-Levy in The White Princess (2017)I haven’t read the book nor do I actually care a great deal about the Tudors or the english monarchy in its more personal details. I would go so far as to say that I tend to dislike many shows in this genre because I feel like they romanticize the monarchy or use it as a decorative backdrop for some saucy love story. Anyway, that being said, I did enjoy this, although it’s far from perfect with regards to story telling. It is clearly not historically accurate, but I never once thought it would be. There are some jumps in character development that could have been smoothed over, especially with Lizzie – I definitely had to adjust a little when she suddenly turned from loyal York who planned against her husband to a loving mother and therefore devoted wife. It’s not implausible, though. I had more trouble to understand why Margaret Beaufort would be so afraid of her son finding out that she ordered the murder of the two princes in the tower. The way Henry Tudor is portrayed, having beaten to death the previous king to take the crown, it seems like he might support that decision – until the plot need it to become a huge moral dilemma in the last episode.

Essie Davis, Jodie Comer, Suki Waterhouse, and Rebecca Benson in The White Princess (2017)What I did like, however, and why I am rating it so highly, is that it is absolutely not the kind of story we are used to. I read a couple of reviews where people complained that the characters were not sympathetic. This is exactly what I love about it. This show is about a bunch of people will do anything to stay in or obtain power, and the lies they tell each other and themselves to justifiy their actions. Margaret Pole is maybe shown to be the most sympathetic, but even she neglects her own child in the end to try and save her brother. Lizzie especially is a great example that there are no good choices in a world where power is passed on along bloodlines, meaning that the only way to stay in power is to kill anyone who might have a better claim than you.Jodie Comer in The White Princess (2017)When I started watching, I was very worried that this was going to be a show about two star crossed lovers and their meddling mothers trying to play them against each other, but in the end true love prevails and they come together for the good of the country. I was glad to be wrong. Yes, Lizzie and Henry do find love, but it is hard earned and bought by time, their love for their children and the crimes they comitted together. I can totally see someone like Henry VIII coming from these parents and circumstances.Jodie Comer and Woody Norman in The White Princess (2017)This is not for people who care about historical accuracy or want to see good people overcome obstacles and grow together, or a good vs. evil type story. If you like Game of Thrones, this may be your cup of tea. It’s a pretty ugly story at times about some despicable people, but if you are a bit forgiving of it’s rough around the edges story-telling, it’s actually quite fascinating.

REVIEW: ATLANTIS – SEASON 1

MAIN CAST

Jack Donnelly (House of Anubis)
Mark Addy (Game of Thrones)
Robert Emms (Mirror, Mirror)
Aiysha Hart (New Blood)
Sarah Parish (The Holiday)
Juliet Stevenson (Being Julia)
Jemima Rooper (Hex)
Amy Manson (T2: Trainspotting)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Ken Bones (Troy)
Alexander Siddig (Gotham)
Hannah Arterton (The Five)
Lucy Cohu (Ripper Street)
Joe Dixon  (The Cold Light of Day)
Oliver Walker (Lake Placid vs Anaconda)
Ciarán Griffiths (The Mill)
Nora-Jane Noone (The Descent: Part II)
Richard Dillane (Argo)
Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones)
Julian Glover (For Your Eyes Only)
Robert Lindsay  (Wimbledon)
John Hannah (Spartacus)
Ron Donachie (Game of Thrones)
Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones)

Hunger_PangsWhen Jason set out to find his father, he could never have anticipated where his journey would lead… Far from home and desperate for answers, Jason washes up on the shores of an ancient land. A mysterious place; a world of bull leaping, of snake haired goddesses and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants–this is the lost city of Atlantis. But beneath the surface of this enticing place is a dark and simmering past, a complicated web of treachery and deceit, in which Jason himself now seems inexplicably bound. He soon finds himself embroiled in a perilous game of politics and power from which there is no escape. Aided by the studious young Pythagoras and the overweight, overbearing Hercules, Jason embarks on a voyage of discovery, which sees him brush shoulders with Medusa, come face to face with the Minotaur and even do battle with the dead. uktv-atlantis-s01-e05-5I bought the Blu-Ray set it really is a great show, so don’t bother too much about the negative reports. Of course there’s no accounting for taste, but in my opinion most of the negative reviewers were probably triggered by the title and storyline of this new show (mythology, classical history) and were expecting something like a combination of Rome, Spartacus and Game of Thrones, with faultless historical accuracy and graphic violence and sex. They forget however, that this is supposed to be a family-oriented show, yes, indeed (as many for some strange reason seem to find offensive too), just like Merlin was. p01klt27Taken that into account, I cannot for the life of me understand why people wouldn’t be charmed with this series. The storyline is entertaining and evolves with every new episode in more and more exciting and unpredictable twists; the settings are sumptuous and extremely convincing (partly very authentic, shot in Marocco!); the heroes are partly dashing and wildly attractive (Jason and Ariadne), partly endearing (Hercules and Pythagoras) and partly very sinister (the queen); and for those who know their mythology there is this constant opportunity of recognition, with the script playfully tip-toeing along many famous names and persons (Medusa, Daedalus; the minotaurus; etc.). Sure, they don’t follow the “official” paths, but come-on, it’s mythology, as in make-belief! Is there some law that forbids to give these old stories a little twist? Popular movies like Thor and series like Hercules are made of it!! Then there’s this wonderful tongue-in-cheek quality of the script, that along with all the serious goings-on (treason and poisoning and executions!) grants you several broad smiles in every episode.v1.bjsxMDYwNDYzO2o7MTc3ODc7MTIwMDszODQwOzIxNjAIn a show with so many characters and extras you cannot expect everyone to be a superb actor. But I really think that the main characters are doing a great job and are very well suited for their parts. Of course Mark Addy is the salt and pepper of our trio of friends, he is really great in his comical ad-libs. And Jack Donnelly as Jason is an absolute find, he’s very attractive in a puppy-like way, has a great athletic body (and is allowed to show it!) and is equally convincing in the adventurous, the comical and the dramatic sides of his role. Aiysha Hart as Ariadne is a classical beauty in the appropriate exotic sense and succeeds very convincingly in evolving her character from aloof and passive royal princess to a hot-blooded young woman that stands up for herself and for her people and her friends. Star of the show as to the acting is, next to Addy, no doubt Sarah Parish as the vicious queen Pasiphae. She pairs mature beauty with a regal demeanor and a very sinister and machiavellistic character and I loved every scene that she’s in. Robert Emms as young Pythagoras has the misfortune to somehow fade away against the others, his part is not very rewarding, which is a pity because you can see that he is a gifted actor. I hope his character gets more depth in the second series.atlantis-series-1-cast-1Are there no flaws? Well, just a few. Sometimes logic seems to be defied. In various episodes our friends either distinguish themselves as heroes (they manage to kill the minotaur!) or as scoundrels who in the nick of time can get away without being caught, but every new episode they seem to be able to lead the same totally unobtrusive life as beforehand. Then there’s the priestess: are we really to understand that her life only exists of waving her hands aimlessly through a bowl of smoky something, 24/7 around, sitting with her back to the front door?? In spite of the impressive (CGI??) temple that surrounds her and her serious lines, her part almost turns into a caricature thanks to this silly pompous loitering. Surely actress Juliet Stevenson deserves a more challenging part than this. Biggest flaw to me however is the basic premise: Jason is a 21th century guy who within the first 10 minutes of the first episode magically is transported to historical Atlantis, but absolutely nothing is done with this in the rest of all the episodes, nothing ever refers to it. Even Jasons himself never seems to think about it anymore, and he doesn’t even bother to enlighten his very close friends about his coming from the future (while they don’t seem to be astonished about any other of all the weird or magical goings-on!) and he never ever uses any of his modern intelligence. So what’s the use of Jason being from the 20th century anyway? Maybe they’ll come up with the answer in season 2, but as far as I’m concerned they might as well drop the whole thing, nobody will miss it.