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In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

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Romance P.S. is an entertainment blog about two of my very favorite things — movies and books.

The title actually stands for Romance with the page and screen so it's not just about romance alone but all kinds of movies and books. Though I will confess that my favorites always seem to be romances in some way ;)

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May 1, 2015

Miniseries Review: Wolf Hall

Starring: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy

Directed by: Peter Kosminsky

BLURB: Follow the meteoric rise of a man who becomes King Henry VIII's closest advisor. Tony® Award-winning actor Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night) and Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winner Damian Lewis (Homeland) star in the miniseries adapted from Hilary Mantel's best-selling Booker Prize-winning novels: Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. Mark Rylance is Thomas Cromwell, a brutal blacksmith’s son who rises from the ashes of personal disaster, and deftly picks his way through a court where 'man is wolf to man.' Damian Lewis is King Henry VIII, obsessed with protecting the Tudor dynasty by securing his succession with a male heir to the throne. Told from Cromwell's perspective, Wolf Hall follows the complex machinations and back room dealings of this pragmatic and accomplished power broker who must serve king and country while dealing with deadly political intrigue, Henry VIII's tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy, Little Dorrit), and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.

REVIEW: Wolf Hall is the six part miniseries from the BBC and Masterpiece Theater that is based on the novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. It retells the already very famous story of Henry VIII and his disastrous string of wives and the politics of his court, as well as the story of Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is actually the main character which the rest of the story is seen through as he weaves he’s way into an ever growing position of power within Henry’s court. 

Now there have been dozens of movies and series based on the story lines that are seen in Wolf Hall and quite frankly I have seen a LOT of them personally. I must say that as excited as I was for this series it fell woefully short of my expectations. In fact I will go so far as to say I hated it. It should have been fabulous! It had a stellar cast that did do a pretty good job... but the problem was that they had nothing to work with. This is without a doubt the most painfully boring rendition of the tempestuous Tudor reign that I have ever seen. I honestly couldn't finish it. I tried to like it... I truly did but it just was so boring that I could not sit through it any longer by the first half of the fifth part. By that time I thought if it was going to get any better it had, had more than enough time to do so and it didn't. Might I haste to say that this almost never happens with me I usually will finish even the stinkers that I have seen in the past but I just could not sit through anymore of this one.

The plotlines drag along tediously and the key points that they could have used to make the series more exciting (because they should have been!) even fell flat on their face with this snoozer. This is one time Masterpiece Theater and the BBC came up on the extreme short end of the stick. To top it off I heard that it got rave reviews from most critics which still has me baffled after making myself (and I do mean making myself  yes it was hard to do) watch the first four episodes and the first half of the fifth before I finally said I just can’t do it anymore!

In my humble opinion there are many, many better versions of the tale of Henry and his wives and court than this miniseries was. And they won’t threaten to put you to sleep while you watch them! I say skip this one it was truly boring in the extreme and if you want your Tudor fix try The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Tudors, Anne of the Thousand Days or shoot even the Other Boleyn Girl beat this one to pieces. Skip Wolf Hall there are a lot better movies and series to see than to waste your time on this sleeping pill of a miniseries. 

If there were any romance or sex scenes they weren't in the 4 and a half parts of the series I actually made it through. So no steam rating for this one either. 


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