I think it sounds interesting, especially as the goal seems not to be a straight-laced BBC costume drama. It seems somewhat analogous to HBO's Rome, though I could be just generalizing two historical dramas with nothing in common. And, I'm never going to object to more Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.
While I, too, have no objections to seeing more Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Aprelia
, what I do object to is how they are trying to market it as "not a straight-laced BBC costume drama," as though they are doing something new & ground-breaking. Sorry, but no. The 1970 BBC mini-series starring Keith Michell has already been there & done that. Ok, so there wasn't the nudity & crudity of modern cable tv, but it was a damned good series which did not need nudity! It was hardly staid or straight-laced, either. They showed the evolution of Henry from hot young stud to revolting fat pig -- which is pretty amazing since I just looked KM up on imdb & discovered he was already in his 40s when they filmed it. He did a very good job of playing the young Henry, as I recall.
And frankly, the fact that the main writer on this also wrote Elizabeth
, is not
a recommendation! The article quotes him as saying that he's writing entertainment, not documentary. Fine, I do know the difference. But entertainment does not have to be historically inaccurate, as Elizabeth
was. Again, the BBC has already been there & done that far better before: Elizabeth R
, starring Glenda Jackson.
This makes me sound like a cranky old snob. And ok, I do resemble one much of the time. But it pisses me off that they keep re-making things, over & over & over, all the time trumpeting the remakes as much better than the "old stuffy versions." I loved Rome
, it was great fun. But it doesn't hold a candle to I, Claudius
In the interests of full disclosure: yes, I am a history professor. I chose this fun (but very low-paying) profession because
I loved those BBC costume dramas. The Six Wives of Henry VIII
, Elizabeth R
, I, Claudius
, and the original 1968 Lion in Winter
made me who/what I am today. I try to force my students to see the latter, at the very least.