Critical Condition: The White Princess

The White Princess | Prime, 8.30 Tuesday

➢ “A scheming queen, a suspicious court, and an uncertain young king — it’s all been done before. But The White Princess, Starz’s follow-up to the 2013 miniseries The White Queen chronicling the War of the Roses and its aftermath, manages to make even 15th-century politics feel contemporary … The White Princessbiggest fault is one that also plagued The White Queen. With years of history to burn through in a smattering of episodes, the story condenses conflict into clunky dialogue, rushes through battles with messy montages, and worst of all, crudely groups its central players into black-and-white, good-or-evil categories.” — Entertainment Weekly.

➢ “If you don’t know your Lancasters from your Yorks — your Plantagenets and your Tudors — The White Princess is a steep learning curve. If you do — or if you’re willing to learn — the drama is an enjoyable, ridiculous romp through the early days of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, and his marriage to Elizabeth of York, the titular white princess … As a female-centric history of this era, The White Princess is fascinating. In a patriarchy, every woman married to a man can identify with a princess in the thrall of a potentially merciless king.” — Variety.

➢ “In addition to taking the chattel’s point of view in a world lopsidedly male, The White Princess is a tapestry of soap and backstage politics, with some really marvelous performances.” — Wall Street Journal.

➢ “All the inventions in a series Starz is optimistically promoting as a ‘feminist Game of Thrones‘ seem to exist solely to hide the fact that otherwise, nothing much would be happening. There’s a frantic effort here to create drama where very little exists, which includes using rapes and throat cuttings to distract us from the emptiness of the storytelling. Nor does it help that the dialogue ranges from pseudo-Shakespearean to flat-out Real Housewife-ian.” — USA Today.

➢ “The White Princess is about sex, murder, death, jealousy and intrigue, and it covers all of those topics with enough flair to make the series entertaining. The sets and costumes look a tad more realistic than what Disney might whip up, but only a tad. The performances are decent, although often bordering on melodramatic excess, which is to be expected, really.” — San Francisco Chronicle.

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