THE TUDORS (2007 – 2010)

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Creators: Michael Hirst

Cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

The series tells in a fictional and loosely adapted the story of the life of Henry VIII, his reign and his successive marriages.

Nice one there I do add myself. It is a great series who told the story their way in a fictionalized manner and it might piss off some historian but is it is entertaining as hell. By documenting the early years of his reign, The Tudor is able to catch Henry who at 18 was in power. Everyone knows about the fat, bearded, dangerously misogynistic Henry, but in his youthful years he was not only more physically agile and sexually adventurous so they tell us here  but also a bit more forward thinking. Of course, a lot of events didn’t go his way, and his anger would soon rise to cause woe. The Tudors doesn’t shy away from telling the story. Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, became King Henry VII at age 28 after defeating Richard III and later marrying Elizabeth of York. His rise was complicated and bloody, but his reign led to peace, and he eventually started the transition to his oldest son, Prince Arthur. Nice costume as authentic has it is going to get. The actors stand out in this series as well a job well done. Fun to watch although it does not shy away from the nudity or anything else.

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the tudors

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DANCING ON THE EDGE (2013)

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Creator: Stephen Poliakoff

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Joanna Vanderham

Dancing on the Edge takes place in the 1930s, exploring racial tensions in Europe when a jazz band, led by Louis (Chiwetel Ejiofor), begins to get attention in London, with help from journalist Stanley (Matthew Goode). There is also some problem with the booking of venues and immigration complications for one particular member, but Poliakoff wants to do something more with the story. The forbidding romance plus a dead body surfacing.

Here is a great mini-series from Britain where Jacquelin Bisset has won a golden globe for this one if I am not mistaken. It has 6 episodes of 1 hour and 30 minutes long. It is about this jazz nabs who is trying to make a name for themselves with the help of a journalist acting as the manager, but will encounter the difficulties of a black jazz band to make it big due to racism. There is a forbidding romance that will take in effects here well done by Poliakoff. There will be an incident that will set off a series of events.  Bisset’s performance is outstanding. The decor plus the music are great here it feels that you are really in the 30’s. An other British drama that kicks ass of course it is a period piece again but I love it.

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WHITE QUEEN (2013)

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Creators:Philippa Gregory, Emma Frost, Malcolm Campbell

Cast: Aneurin Barnard, Rebecca Ferguson, Amanda Hale

The White Queen opens in the 15th Century, at the height of The War of the Roses; a battle for power between two houses — York and Lancaster. King Edward (Max Irons) has taken over the throne. While riding through the countryside one day, he meets Elizabeth Rivers (Rebecca Ferguson) and there is love at first sight. They soon married And Elizabeth soon finds herself on the throne as queen. Lord Warwick (James Frain) does not like Elizabeth and plots against her. Elizabeth attempts to deliver a male heir to Edward, but there is a big turmoil  coming in the kingdom. Meanwhile Lady Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale) feels that her son, Henry Tudor, is the rightful heir to the throne and begins to manipulate the power to see it what will happen.

The white queen is a mini series that tells the British history in a detailed look at the turmoil time back then. You are going to pay attention to the story because there is so much going on and so many characters. And yes there is much backstabbing going on here bargaining and moe back stabbing plus who is going to marry who to be in power. Yes there is arranged marriages back in the day that is what went on. There are witches magic just to get power and keep it flowing. It is a top-notch production with some awesome costumes design and beautiful cinematography. Ferguson delivers an outstanding role here as well as the others actors. Great story telling here as original as well. Here is a series worth looking at.

The White Queen

the white queen

 

SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA (2011)

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Creator: Steven S. DeKnight

Cast: John Hannah, Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah 

This was the story of Spartacus a little before he became the god of the arena. Unfortunately the series stopped here because Andy Whitfield tragically found himself battling cancer and died and the producers had to reset the casting process. When Andy was batting cancer the producers decided to do the prequel of the family the Batiatus/Lucretia storyline. Than went on to make Spartacus: Blood and sand with a fairly new Casting. It is bloody with nudity and violent as hell well that the way it was back then. People were slave and taken by a family with a bunch of fighters and force to fight in the arena against an other family’s fighters to the death. The thing that I don’t like is too many slow-motion shot they should be a few than back to normal. Other than that it is fine the writing is great so is the action. Lucy Lawless, Craig Parker, and John Hannah is perfect casting there. Andy Whitfield is brilliant as Spartacus and he stand out with a fine performance. The fighting scene are superb no doubt. The story line is fluid and moves along just fine like you would expect no boring scenes there. See back then there were bisexual men and women as well as heterosexuals sex was done where ever even people were watching that is what it was back then. It was a wild party at best and the wine was flowing with good food. Yeah! I know it was a little bit barbaric then but that is was it was. Over all great series.

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BOARDWALK EMPIRE (2010 – )

 Boardwalk Empire

Creator: Terence Winter

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza 

It is the Prohibition era of the 1920s Boardwalk Empire is the story of Enoch “Nucky” Thompson ( Steve Bucsemi), the treasurer of  Atlantic City, New Jersey. When Prohibition came around Nucky had a foot in everything bootlegging , to a cut in the businesses in the black community and doing business with mobsters. The Fed are investigating him big time.

Here is a series Produce by Martin Scorsese. What I like about Boardwalk Empire is that some characters are slow to reveals their true intentions. Nucky is the type of guy that would prefer to resolve problem by talking business instead of violence, and does not like to get his hands dirty. Jimmy told nucky you can’t go just on foot in the world of gangsters you have to put both feet in. Also it is the start of some gangster’s career like Al Capone and lucky Luciano when they were young. Great choice to put Steve Buscemi  in the series as Nucky he fits the Part perfectly well. The rest of the cast is fantastic my hats up to the casting director in this one. Most of the episodes is directed by Tim Van Patten, he also writes them and he is the producer in this one and what a terrific director he his, he has directed some episodes of the Sopranos also what a terrific director and writer. There is history there since some of the  characters are real character from back then. . Although He did only have a foot in withe the gangster but in order to make the series the went the other way. 1920s Atlantic City was recreated for this series in a set in Brooklyn, New York. Almost an exact replica like it was in the 20’s. This is one of my favorite.

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DEADWOOD (2004 – 2006)

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Creator: David Milch.

Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker.

The town of Deadwood, South Dakota where a man hoping to find a new start for himself men like Wild Bill Hickok, and Seth Bullock, Both men find themselves on opposite sides of the legal and moral fence from Al Swearengen ( Ian McShane), saloon owner, hotel operator, and incipient boss of Deadwood. he lives of these three intertwine with many others, the high-minded and the low-lifes who populate Deadwood in 1876.

I love western series and here is an original one at his best. I think this series has got it right David Milch had to have a bunch of historian doing research on this big time. David Milch has introduced possibly the greatest character to ever come to TV or film…Al Swearengen. (Ian McShane) My favorite character in this series by long shot this deviant mean bastard at his best and cold too. The costume even was authentic and so were the town of Deadwood. The dialog is a little bit as  Shakespearean at times. The profanity was there back then big time based on religion. It is a town with out law and court Swearengen was pretty much the sheriff of sort, the main man. Also women was trapped in a man world they didn’t have rights or anything else they were hookers, madam, or rich women who had rich husband to take care of them. Plus there were a gold mine there also a little bit of a gold rush of sorts. It is a great western series with dark violent characters. If you love Westerns, don’t miss it.

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deadwood