Weekend Roundup: Thoughts on STARZ series ‘The White Queen’ (2013)

It’s been quite a weekend, it’s so sad to hear what happened on Saturday night in Orlando, FL. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected in this horrific act.

The cast of Broadway darling Hamilton, led by Lin-Manuel Miranda paid tribute to the victims in a powerful gesture:

On a positive note, it’s wonderful to see many performers of color win Tonys this year, with Hamilton and The Color Purple with its diverse cast swept the awards.

Wish I had been able to see Hamilton whilst I was in NYC before Miranda left. Ah well, I’d love to see it one day!

As for my weekend, I spent most of my time outside as my good friend is in town. So I didn’t see a single movie but on Sunday night, I did watch three episodes of a 2013 series I’ve been wanting to see for some time.


I’m such a sucker for period dramas as you already know, and British royal families are ripe for an engrossing drama filled with royal lust, love, seduction, deception betrayal and murder. I love that the series is female-centered. Told through the perspective of  three different, yet equally relentless women – Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort and Anne Neville.
Hale, Ferguson & Marsay

Rebecca Ferguson plays the beautiful Lancastrian commoner Elizabeth, and Janet McTeer played her strong-willed mother Jacquetta. Apparently Tom Cruise chose Ferguson to be his co-star in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation after he saw her in this mini-series. She certainly is versatile, as she seems as fitting in 15th Century England as she does in a modern spy thriller. I’m not too fond of Amanda Hale‘s acting style as Margaret, but Faye Marsay as Anne is quite intriguing. So far though, my faves are Ferguson and McTeer. Those two actresses are the main draw for me to see this series and they certainly outshine the boys.

In the first episode, Elizabeth won the heart of the House of York ‘s young King, Edward IV (Max Irons, yep Jeremy’s hunky son). There’s a bit of a Romeo & Juliet factor here the fact that The House of York and The House of Lancaster are bitter enemies. Edward owed his throne to his cousin, master manipulator Lord Warwick (James Frain) who resented Edward’s choice as it spoiled his own plan for power. It’s a wonderfully-tragic tale of England’s earliest civil war.

The quality of this Starz production is top notch. Beautifully-shot and wonderfully-acted, it’s not as violent as the European series BORGIA, but still pretty gritty. Based on British historical novelist Philippa Gregory‘s novel, it’s definitely a must-see for fans of period dramas!

Out of all the men, Frain is the only one who made an impression to me as the scheming ‘Kingmaker.’ He’s a terrific character actor who’s been in so many different films/tv work. Irons is pretty good but he doesn’t quite have the same screen presence as his dad, but perhaps that’s unfair to expect that. David Oakes and Aneurin Barnard played Edward’s brothers George and Richard, respectively, both are easy on the eyes as well, and Barnard resembles my crush Sam Riley so much it’s uncanny!

I’ve only seen three episodes and boy am I hooked! Thankfully there’s only one season so far which I can’t wait to finish it. The sequel, The White Princess, has been green-lit by Starz and is currently in production (per Deadline).

So that’s my weekend recap folks. How about you? Seen anything good?

39 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: Thoughts on STARZ series ‘The White Queen’ (2013)

  1. Horrible news this weekend and nice to see people adjust to show their respect.

    Have not seen The White Queen myself, but as this is a costume show it isn’t for me.

    I watched a couple of things this past weekend, How To Be Single (was ok), Team Foxcatcher (interesting to watch if you’ve seen the movie), the documentary The Mask You Live In (which is about boys not being allowed to show their emotions and the impact this can have on society) and my favorite film of the weekend, From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Story. It was a computer I played a lot of games on when I was young and this brought back so many memories. Really well made and in depth (it’s also two and a half hours).

    1. Hi Nostra! I know people who aren’t into costume dramas might not be interested in The White Queen. But if you can get past that, it’s well worth a watch as it’s filled w/ drama & suspense, plus the acting is terrific.

      I hadn’t heard of The Mask You Live In & From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Story, thanks for letting me know about those, I should look ’em up!

        1. Oh cool, glad to hear! I didn’t even know you can rent stuff on Vimeo now.

          Btw Nostra, not sure if you saw my previous post on the schnitzel western The Dark Valley. I reckon that’s right up your alley!

  2. What happened in Orlando was so horrible. I can’t imagine someone else’s life bothering you so much that you’d want to go out and kill a whole bunch of people… when them living their lives in noway interferes with yours. It’s just depressing.

    I did like The White Queen when it was on the BBC though.

    1. The guy clearly had psychological issues, I mean how else you explained being filled w/ so much hate?? But the gun control law here makes it so easy for ppl like that to carry out their hatred unfortunately 😦

      The White Queen sounds like something BBC produced, but it’s actually a Starz production. I didn’t know BBC would show series made by other companies, unless it’s a collaboration.

      1. In Europe the US gun laws are utterly baffling to us and very scary.

        From what I can see on Wikipedia they initially worked together but the sequel is all Starz.

        1. Yep, I agree w/ you. I mean I don’t know why they can’t agree on stricter background check!! Baffling indeed.

          Ah I see. Well I’m curious to see the sequel but if it’s got the same cast. I LOVE Ferguson and McTeer!

  3. I just have no words on what happened down in FL, the politicians should stop acting like children and do something about gun control.

    As you know I’m not into period dramas so I’ve never heard of The White Queen. I didn’t see anything over the weekend, was thinking of checking out X-Men Apacalypse but it’s no longer playing at the Dolby Atmos theater so I’ll just wait for bluray.

    1. Politicians should stop acting like children, period. If they could move away from their egos and self-interest, things would actually get done for the benefit of the people.

      The White Queen was sort of under the radar unlike other Starz’ shows like Outlander, which is too bad as it’s a great series. Cruise was apparently a fan of Ferguson that’s why he cast her in MI5 AND MI6!

      I’m waiting for Bluray as well for Apocalypse. Not worth seeing on the big screen I think.

  4. I’ve been tempted to watch on Netflix, Borgia, even if it’s too violent, I’ll try it out. The White Queen looks good! I’ll see if I can find it, since you give it two thumbs up. What did I see this weekend? I went with my grandkids to see TMNT. Sigh. At least the popcorn was good. I kept wondering what Laura Linney was doing on the screen?

    1. Hi Cindy! Netflix’ BORGIA is excellent though it’s really graphic in terms of sex and violence. It’s the European version which is much grittier than the more glamorous Showtime version which interestingly enough stars Jeremy Irons.

      His son Max in The White Queen is pretty good, but lack the charisma of his dad. The star is definitely Ferguson here.

      TMNT??! Oh my!

        1. Yes me too! But John Doman as the Pope in BORGIA is excellent, some say he’s even better than Irons and it’s quite a bravura performance as well. You’ll know what I mean when you see it 😉

            1. Ahah, I can be quite persuasive don’t I? Thanks to my former crush Stanley Weber that I saw BORGIA but the real star is Doman’s Pope and Mark Ryder who plays Cesare.

              Btw, you can just read this at your leisure. This is the psycho drama I was telling you about last week, A Bigger Splash: http://wp.me/pxXPC-aPC I knew this is right up your alley as I know you like Ralph Fiennes. He’s absolutely amazing in this.

  5. “None of this would’ve happened if the clubgoers had guns in their hand”-Donald Trump…..

    I don’t think it’s his exact quote or anything but…. this is the man that might become the President of the United States….. what a fucking moron. It’s shit like this that’s made me looking down at humanity. Especially in light of a tragedy that is happened all because of some asshole’s bullshit belief that he is doing something for a bullshit cause.

    The only films I saw this weekend were Irrational Man, Star 80, and Je Tu Il Elle.

    1. I find that it’s increasingly hard to even listen/read about what Drumpf says about ANY given topic. It’s like one big bad dream right now that he’s even a contender :{

      Yep, I read one of those reviews.

  6. Ugh, the world is in quite the sorry state 😦

    Sounds like The White Queen might be worth looking into at some stage.

    I watched The Princess Bride, Perfume: Story of a Murderer and a crap ton of The Vampire Diaries this weekend.

    1. It is indeed Zoë, it’s so disheartening.

      The White Queen is really quite gripping. If you don’t mind costume dramas, it’s definitely well worth your time.

      Oh I’ve been wanting to watch ‘Perfume’ as I heard Ben Wishaw is great in that. I didn’t know you’re into Vampire Diaries, is that your guilty pleasure? 😉

      1. Not too bothered by that, so it might be well worth a look see, I love a good drama.

        Oh man, is he ever fantastic in Perfume! Worth a watch, disturbing film, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

        LOL I didn’t see it happening (I mean really, me and Vapmire Diaries?!), but after I got through the first season of that silly show, I was hook, line, and sinker, and goodness knows there are issues with it, but I love it. 😀 Finished season seven last night, now I am all flat because I have no idea what to move on to now, hanging a bit xD

        1. Oh good! Lots of pretty British boys in the show too, but it’s the women who called the shots in that series which is always great to see.

          Yeah I expect ‘Perfume’ to be rather disturbing.

          He..he.. I quite like a good vampire show, I mean I used to be so obsessed w/ this CBS show Moonlight that was on for only 1 season! I even blogged about it a while back. It’s probably worse than Vampire Diaries but I loved it 😛 I know there’s one guy in VP who’s pretty hot, Ian something, he has lovely eyes!

          1. Oh fantastic, it sounds more and more appealing hehehe.

            Big time o.O

            I am so in agreement with you there! Vampire Diaries definitely gets much better as it progresses. Ian Somerhalder? Goodness, those eyes. WOW. But his character, too, is what kept me around hehe.

            1. Ian certainly is alluring, esp w/ those eyes. I think the fact that he’s playing a bad boy makes him even more appealing. I know he’s popular on tumblr 😉

  7. PrairieGirl

    LOVED The White Queen, watched it from beginning to end, another superb Starz series. I deliberately didn’t look up it’s history, so the ending was a surprise!

    1. Glad to hear you have seen The White Queen! It is superb indeed and fortunately it’s not as violent/gory as Outlander or Black Sails, definitely very tame compared to BORGIA. I can’t wait to finish the entire season!

  8. Ruth, I went to two movies this weekend.
    I saw the second “Alice” which I strongly disagree with critics. I said I liked “Alice through the Looking Glass” better than the first one. My 11 year old grandson told me on our walk home, “Did you notice this wasn’t as dark, Nana? It is because the director changed. Tim Burton is more of a dark director and even the Cheshire Cat was more friendly this time.” We both liked the new one so much! ❤

    I was so deeply saddened by the Orlando night club shootings. I went to see the "Me Before You" movie. I cried for the sweet girl (actress) character who tried to cheer up the movie paraplegic character and ultimately couldn't. I wept for the nice, gentle souls who lost their lives due to hate. Maybe he hated them, turns out he may have hated his own inner demons. ~Robin

    1. Hello Robin! I haven’t seen the first ‘Alice’ film, but then again I was never into Alice in Wonderland growing up, so that’s why it didn’t appeal to me. That’s cool that you and your grandson enjoyed it!

      “Me Before You” sounds like a real tearjerker! But yeah, the Orlando shooter might have more issues than meets the eye. It sounds like it could be a personal vendetta, as sometimes people camouflage their real feelings (shame or what have you) with act of hatred. In any case, it’s such a tragic loss.

  9. I loved British history so I should see this one. Faye Marsay was just on GoT playing a ruthless assassin. She tried but the script for her part was atrocious

    1. Hello Margaret! I’d say if you like British historical stories and I know you like Rebecca Ferguson, I think you’d enjoy this one. It’s only one season too so easy to catch up to. I heard Faye was in GoT, I think she’s pretty good here though not as memorable as Ferguson.

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