17 May 2024

Review: STARZ series, Mary & George, starring Julianne Moore, Nicholas Galitzine, and Tony Curran

 So, watched the last episode of Mary & George on Starz. Considering that James Stuart (James the VI of Scotland, the I of England, the man who fucked up the Bible) was one of my least favorite English kings, my only reasons to watch this were Nicholas Galitzine and Julianne Moore.

What little I know of the history of the Villiers family leads me to believe this was pretty damn historically accurate. Were James and George lovers? Kinda depends on whom you ask. There was just enough gossip and innuendo to suggest they were but just as many say they had a close but not physical relationship as says they were doing the nasty. But George was definitely James' favorite for the last years of his life and James lavished him with titles and lands and favors. Did George actually murder James? Again, rumor. George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, might have been favored by James I and his son Charles I, but George was truly hated by the populace. The show portrays it as fact, but again, rumor only.

George outlived James by three years and was assassinated in 1628. Mary outlived him by 5 more years and her favor at court was pretty much erased when George died.

Brilliant casting. Julianne Moore serves as one of the producers and her Mary Villiers is one of a strong woman who could be devious when required but was simply a woman in a male dominated world who was trying to take care of her family and herself. Someone like that will also make enemies along the way.

Nicholas Galitzine is a star on the rise for all the work he's done. And he doesn't disappoint here either. He and Juliane have a great chemistry as mother and son. His character has a definite arc as George ages in the series. He goes from whiny spoiled/ignored brat to a confident man who has his own streak of deviousness.

The story is intricate, filled with the machinations of life with the royals. So much drama, so much angst. The plot is tight and a different kind of action than most of us are used to. Yeah, there's a lot of sex. And then, there's Tony Curran as James. Wow.

If you have STARZ, it's definitely binge worthy. Period piece/Costume drama for sure but the actors make it worth your while and I'm quite sure you'll find something that will mirror a modern society in how things play out. Seven episodes/Seven hours. A good day's binge.

Five out of five stars.

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