Oh man, I was so disappointed by the time this series finished. It started out so well and then it just went off the deep end and now I have no idea where they're going. And not in a good way. I don't expect perfect fidelity from historical television, believe or not, but I do expect some nod towards the facts. Calling Henry's younger sister "Margaret" because having two Marys would be "too confusing" is just pathetic. And why on earth have her marry Charles Brandon, then be unhappy? What was the point of that story? I'd rather have her not included at all than be warped like that. And Charles ignorant that she was dying? I don't think so! Let's put aside the fact that she actually died of cancer and look at her death in the series: she has tuberculosis, or consumption as it was commonly called. The later stages of consumption involve shortness of breath, a hectic flush and visible, dramatic weight loss. Given that, according to the same series, they were still sharing a bed, how did she manage to hide all this from him? Answer: she couldn't. So we're left with a super-dramatic and tragic death which seems pointless. And then we come to Mary Boleyn (I notice that the writers didn't change her name, even though she's another Mary): if you're going to include her, get it right! She was there and then she disappeared: she was still at court, you morons! Yeah, she got pregnant, then she came back to court. Also, why is Thomas Tallis in there? Tell me, why? Is it just so you can say you've done your homework? That would be more impressive if you hadn't treated the two Marys so cavalierly. (Don't even get me started on Jonathan Rhys Meyer's statement that an American audience wouldn't get a "fat, red-headed king as a hero". So red hair makes you ugly, Jonathan? No hero can ever have red hair? Well, I guess that explains why Ron Weasley gets such short change in the HP films.) One thing I did like was the portrayal of Catherine of Aragon: she's very noble, dignified, and intelligent. I also quite like the way they've portrayed Anne Boleyn, although the idea of Henry saying that he'd wait until they were married to have sex with her... please. That did not happen. Neither did they immediately have sex when Wolsey died (I liked him, too). She only did that when she was completely sure he'd marry her. Another problem is that you can really tell when they're quoting from historical texts as opposed to just making up what the characters might have said... or at least, I can, but my mother's a Tudor nut. Probably, other people don't have this problem.
This book is a childhood favourite of mine, so I was worried about someone adapting it (and casting Emma Watson as Pauline!). But I needn't have worried, it was lovingly adapted and I thought everyone was great in it. Emma was actually very good as Pauline, much more natural than she is as Hermione (don't know why this is). There was only one false moment, when she had to drop to her knees and burst out crying, and I had to grit my teeth because it sounded so unreal. There was also a problem in that she had to portray Pauline from around ten until she was eighteen, and since Emma's in her late teens now, it was hard to believe she was a flat-chested twelve-year-old. But that's not her fault, that time constraints and the BBC being tight with their money about hiring three different actresses to portray the same character. Posy was even more unlikeable in the adaptation than the book, because they didn't make so much of her humour, but the girl who played her was very good. I'd definitely watch it again.
Some people may remember this, some may not. It was a great series back in the early 1990s that I can best describe as a kind of pre-pubescent X-Files. Boy moves with his family to a town that seems "perfectly normal" on the surface, but discovers that underneath the surface lies a lot of weirdness and darkness. Aside from the nostalgia, this series is genuinely funny and also has some poignant moments. Plus, for a ten/eleven-year-old (as I was when I first watched it), it's quite scary!
Oh yeah... I also bought an apartment. ^^
Happy Birthday to timedoesflyohmy!