Written By GingersnapComments Off on Masterpiece (PBS/BBC) Favorites of a More Recent Vintage – Jan 8, 2021
Two for Damian: Wolf Hall and The Forsyte Saga
by Matthew Gilbert | Boston Globe | January 7, 2021
Here are some of my favorite Masterpiece shows, in no particular order. I have restricted the list to those that have aired in the past 25 years, which is why you won’t see the well-known classics, including I, Claudius, The Jewel in the Crown, House of Cards, Elizabeth R, or Prime Suspect.
Wolf Hall (2015)
Based on Hilary Mantel’s Henry VIII novels, the mesmerizing six-parter takes place from the point of view of the King’s most trusted advisor, Thomas Cromwell, played by a quietly sardonic Mark Rylance. This isn’t the bodice-ripping, horse-hopping likes of Showtime’s The Tudors; it’s elegant, downbeat, authentically lit, intensely acted, and clever and relevant when it comes to 16th-century politics. Damian Lewis is Henry, Jonathan Pryce is Cardinal Wolsey, and Claire Foy is Anne Boleyn.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Wolf Hall Streaming This November – Nov 7, 2019
Set Your Calendar for November 10
by Stephanie Prange | Media Play News | November 7, 2019
In November PBS Distribution is debuting seven new programs on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel, including the entire series (all four seasons) of Mr. Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven and Wolf Hall with Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance.
The six-part miniseries adapted from Hilary Mantel’s best-selling novels Wolf Hall begins streaming November 10!
A historical drama for a modern audience, this unromanticized re-telling lifts the veil on the internal struggles England faced on the brink of Reformation.
From humble beginnings and with an enigmatic past, Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) is the brilliant consigliere to King Henry VIII (Damian Lewis).
Told from Cromwell’s perspective, Wolf Hall follows the complex machinations and back room dealings of this pragmatic and accomplished power broker who must serve king and country while dealing with deadly political intrigue, Henry VIII’s tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy, The Crown) and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.
PBS Masterpiece is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. Check out Amazon.com here.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Royals on TV: A Ranking of the Best On-Screen Kings and Queens – March 23, 2019
Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
by Katie Rosseinsky | The Evening Standard |
Whatever your thoughts on the royals, there’s no denying that Britain’s most famous family make good TV.
From Wolf Hall to Victoria to Netflix’s The Crown, many of the most talked-about (and most critically acclaimed) series of recent years have all taken inspiration from royal history, be it centuries old or within living memory.
With the third seasons of Victoria and The Crown coming soon (and amid feverish speculation over future casting decisions for the latter show), the industry’s fascination with what goes on behind palace doors shows no sign of waning.
As the Jenna Coleman-led Victoria returns to the small screen this weekend, we’ve ranked some recent royal performances, in ascending order from the middling to the truly unforgettable.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on In the Realm of TV Entertainment, Royal Dramas Reign – Feb 28, 2019
Fans of Royal TV
by Matthew Gilbert | Boston Globe | February 28, 2019
I’m a sucker for the royal dramas. They marry history to warped family dynamics, and they’re generally quite pretty and transporting. They’re like “Succession,” HBO’s Murdoch family send-up, except with a majestic makeover, more servants, and at least one crown. There’s treachery, there are big castles, and at the center of it all there is the distorted psychology of a person who has inherited, not necessarily earned, a position closer to God than we mere mortals.
These shows are just what the Anglophile TV doctor ordered, a spot of tea as the cure for the uncountably many grim crime-solving dramas and superhero spectacles elsewhere on the schedule. For some viewers, royal dramas, like period novel adaptations, are too staid, too mired in the subtleties of their indirect exchanges to be entertaining. But for me, it’s fascinating to watch lives constrained by rigid social and dynastic rules, as messy human needs struggle against ancient policies. Things can get ugly around the palace, for sure, but most of the time the messes are hidden behind an elegant veneer of dignity.