Written By GingersnapComments Off on The 20 Best TV Shows Based on Books
Wolf Hall: A Marvel of Elegance and Emotion
by Staff | TVLine | March 30, 2023
What do these titles all have in common other than being highly-rated, successful shows? They and many more shows were adapted from bestselling novels within the last decade. Whether you love them or hate them, book-to-TV adaptations are here to stay. The TVLine team felt it was perfect to conjure up a list of the top TV programs based on books. We have rounded up 20 of the best shows from the last decade that were adapted from books:
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Underrated British TV Shows You Need To Watch
by Richard Chachowski | Looper | July 20, 2022
On the surface, one might immediately think that British television is very similar to any American TV program you can find on cable or currently streaming. However, as anyone who’s seen a decent amount of British and American series can tell you, the two couldn’t be further apart.
Known for their strong surrealistic elements, dry wit, and dramatically small number of episodes compared to American TV series, British TV shows are practically a genre unto themselves. Whether they encompass historical dramas, absurdist comedies, or sitcoms set in World War II, you know without question when you’re tuning into a TV show from across the pond, judging from its sense of humor and content alone.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Bulging Codpieces and Multi-Colored Tights
Renaissance Men’s Fashion Today
by Maria H. Loh | Art News | June 29, 2022
Certain men’s fashions have always been controversial. In 2014, Mark Rylance, a star of the BBC’s popular sixteenth-century TV drama Wolf Hall, told reporters that he thought “the codpieces are too small.” The actor, who played chief minister Thomas Cromwell, protagonist of the Hilary Mantel best seller on which the series was based, speculated that the sartorial edit was perhaps a directive from the show’s American producers, who feared that historically accurate codpieces might shock their transatlantic viewers. Indeed, if you look at any number of Renaissance portraits of Henry VIII, you might be immediately taken aback by the elaborate mound of shimmering white silk that bursts forth and rises up conspicuously between the king’s legs. Damian Lewis, who had the monarch’s role in the show, explained to the Los Angeles Times that these unusual attachments were,
“… a symbol of your virility, your derring-do, your sense of adventure. They were encouraged, it was a fashion, and Henry liked them.”
Just reading those words can instantly bring your mind to one of the most famous, scandalous, and formidable families to ever rule a nation. The powerful Tudor dynasty has long mesmerized and enthralled all who have come across their stories during history lessons. From the king who nabbed his crown against the odds to a long-awaited male heir who didn’t live past the age of 15, to the queen who defied all expectations and ruled for 45 years, their collective reign over England from 1485 to 1603 was chock full of warfare, religious reform, and treachery at a time where fealty, obedience, and adhering to the tenets of one’s social station literally meant life or death.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on 25 Best Movies and TV Shows About English Royalty
Certified Royal Drama – Wolf Hall
by Devon Forward | Collider | November 13, 2021
For the days when you just want to watch some certified royal drama. Sometimes real life is even better than fictional drama, which is why so many television shows and movies are based around historical events. Take England, for example. You can’t honestly claim that you’ve never been fascinated by something that’s happened to a king or queen of the country’s past or present, right? Everyone loves to hear about the strong-willed Queen Elizabeth I, King Henry VIII and his six wives, the elegant current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and any number of interesting English royals. Luckily, Hollywood feels the same way, and movies and television shows based on stories about English royalty have been made for decades now, with more coming out each year. But which ones are the best?
An earlier appearance by Claire Foy as an English royal, this time around she goes back a bit farther into the past to play Anne Boleyn opposite Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall. Sure, the story of King Henry VIII’s deadly reign and six wives is well-known, but there’s a reason for that, as his story is one of the most intense and memorable throughout royal history. But what makes this series a bit more unique is that it really focuses on the historical figure of Thomas Cromwell, played by Mark Rylance, a manipulative, charming man who uses his close relationship with King Henry VIII to gain more power for himself. With a target on Anne, attempting to get King Henry VIII away from her influence, Cromwell plays a risky game that might not end in his favor (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t).
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.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Seven Historical TV Shows That Have Tourists Flocking to Britain – Aug 14, 2018
by Emma Mason | BBC History Magazine | August 14, 2018
Here, we look at seven historical TV dramas that are attracting tourists from Britain and beyond.
#5 Wolf Hall
The six-part BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies was a huge hit both on and off-screen. Starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell and Damian Lewis as King Henry VIII, the 2015 drama sent fans flocking to filming locations including Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire, the real-life Wolf Hall; Chastleton House in Oxfordshire, which portrayed scenes from Cromwell’s childhood in Putney; and Montacute House in Somerset, which was used as the setting for Greenwich Palace – Henry VIII’s main London seat and the site of Anne Boleyn’s arrest in Wolf Hall.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Wolf Hall on PBS in Tri-State Area – March 5, 2018
Henry is Back on Masterpiece
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | March 5, 2018
Attention fans who are in the tri-state viewing area, which includes New York metropolitan , New Jersey and Connecticut: Wolf Hall will air on PBS Masterpiece Channel 13 beginning this Sunday, March 11, 2018 so set your DVR and calendar reminders.
Here is Channel 13’s Wolf Hall schedule:
Sunday, March 11
9:00 pm (EST) – Episode One “Three Card Trick”
10:10 pm (EST) – Episode Two “Entirely Beloved”
11:15 pm (EST) – Episode Three “Anna Regina”
Sunday, March 18
9:00 pm (EST) – Episode Four “The Devil’s Spit”
10:05 pm (EST) – Episode Five “Crows”
11:10 pm (EST) – Episode Six “Master of Phantoms”
For more information about your local viewing area, please visit PBS.org.