Directed by: James Kent, Jamie Payne, Colin Teague
Staring: Rebecca Ferguson, Amanda Hale, Faye Marsay
I would just like to state the oblivious and say that this is very much a Game of Thrones clone, even from the opening scene. My first thought after finishing the first episode was “well…that was boring”. The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville in their quest to power and the manipulations they do to try and achieve their goal. Like I said, pretty much a Game of Thrones clone, and while I do realize this is based on true events, its just so very blatant.
One thing that made Game of Thrones very much interesting was its points of view and choice of how to tell the story. What I mean by that is we follow men, or generals and watch their plans of attack, betrayals, and victories, but rarely the actual battles. Now I want you to imagine a show where all this is happening, but we only get to see the point of view from the women at home, in the kitchen.
This is very much a slow burn of a show that’s easily made for women, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, but it just wasn’t for me. I was able to ask my sister about the show and she said she loved it, but really couldn’t ever tell me why it was she liked it. Possibly because it was a vicarious living of royalty from a woman’s point of view that looked pleasurable. Again this is all speculation and I don’t mean to sound misogynistic.
On the humorous side of things I did find some historical inaccuracies. As far as I know, I don’t believe that rubber soles had been invented yet and to see them kind of made me laugh. I did find the use of nudity and sex to be a little bit distracting usually for it randomly showing up or being overly gratuitous. Game of Thrones has this same problem but in this show I wondered in my head, why is this here? If we cut this out, what would we miss? I’m not saying all of it should be cut, but at least half of it was just for the fun of it I suppose and didn’t really serve any purpose.
On the plus sides of things I did find some of the dialogue scenes to be very well written but they were too short and ended before anything really interesting happened. Would I recommend this show? I guess to those who personally don’t like Game of Thrones and want a more realistic version with historical accuracy. Otherwise, rent the first two episodes and see what you think after those.
Presented in a 1:78.1 aspect ratio, The White Queen comes to life in a great video presentation that, while never wows, does look quite good. Close ups revel good details, and the black levels are solid aside from one or two shots where I did find them to be crushed. This might have been because there are four episodes per disc. Skin tones look accurate, except some of the tones are a pale white, but I believe this was done intentionally due to the setting. There is no blanding or edge enhancement to be found.
Audio is presented in a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 that really feels like a wasted opportunity. My biggest problem with the mix is that it doesn’t really do anything with the rear speakers except when music kicks in, or a battle scene starts. Other than those two instances, there’s practically nothing coming out of the speakers. At one point I even got up just to check if they were working and if something was wrong. I mean, people in this show are shouting in great halls and there’s no echo or anything that would give the scene an atmosphere. Personally this is a wasted opportunity. Aside from that major gripe, dialogue is clean and clear coming through the center speaker and atmosphere does come through the sides. There’s nothing wrong about this mix other than it should have just been a 3.1 mix and nothing more.
Packaging and Bonus Features
Packaging is presented with an embossed slipcover with the Queen holding a pretty badass sword with blood coming out of her fingers. For a poster design, I really dig it. The set also contains a family history tree so you can keep track of who everyone is in the show.
As for the bonus features, they are all in HD and under 4 minutes long. While very informational, it almost feels like an afterthought, do to their length.
– The Making of The White Queen
– Series Overview
– Book to Series
– The History Behind The White Queen
– The White Queen: Set Tour
– Queen Elizabeth (informational piece about the character)
– King Edward IV (informational piece about the character)
– The Heir Apparent
– Women in a Man’s World
– Conjuring Up The White Queen
– Dressing the Queen
– UltraViolet HD Digital Copy.
Overall(not an average)
I can clearly see that I am not the target demographic for this show, but still I found it to be incredibly boring and a real chore to sit through. Video is quite good, but nothing memorable. Audio while good is a missed opportunity that really needs a re-mixing to incorporate the rear speakers. Bonus features are again good, but too short and too sparse. Id say rent it, or if you find it cheap, pick it up for a loved one.