Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Blog-Along: Wolf Hall, Episode 1 - Three Card Trick

Watching Episode 1 of Wolf Hall, I thought it might be fun to blog along my real-time thoughts to the piece. That being said, I will be editing everything to avoid spoilers, and to make things a bit more concise. For example, if I noticed something such as "shaky camera work" multiple times, instead of writing that 5 separate ways in my review here, I will edit it to mention that there were many instances of this occurring. Alright, here we go!

Wolf Hall, Episode 1 - Three Card Trick


          Play by Play

  • Oh Jonathan Pryce, how I love you. Your dry, matter-of-fact attitude always makes me smile
  • Did they just make an error with the timeline? I thought they had said at the very beginning that Henry had been married 20 years with no heir, but then they flashed back to eight years earlier and have now said he has been married 18 years with no heir...did I miss something? Shouldn't it be 12 years? I'm sure I must have gotten something wrong
  • Thank goodness I understand this period of history, and know this storyline very well, because otherwise I would already have numerous questions! Such as, "why would her sexual history mean she would bear no heirs?" No, I wouldn't want you to dumb this down for people, but you can't leave them all floundering in episode one!
  • Okay, now we are back in "the present", so I know where the timeline is finally
  • Time stamp 27 min: Oh SNAP! Cromwell - 1, More - 0
  • These rooms are stunningly beautiful - well done! Several instances where they really shine, especially York residence
  • I love everyone's underestimation of Anne Boleyn. Can't wait to see their faces when she proves them all wrong
  • "It's the same design Queen Catherine uses for the king's shirts". "If I were her, I'd leave the needle in". BRILLIANT! Hard to top a line like that!
  • Is there anything more adorable in this world than a little girl wearing her "angel wings" made out of peacock feathers? I think not.
  • Well, that was basically the worst attempt at comfort from a man of the church that I have ever seen.
  • WHAT?! That was extremely random...oh, was that a flashback? Oh, I know who this is now. That was really not clear, and felt rather poorly done
  • Catherine's speech - so glad they actually used content from the real event. And Joanne Whalley seems good so far, even if it was only a small moment
  • Costuming is so lovely here, especially. Catherine looks stunning.
  • Time stamp 48:25: Best joke I've heard all week. Crude, but marvelous.
  • Anne, the random French accent just seems odd. The random French when you are irritated? Absolutely fine and logical, but I have no idea why "Master Cremwell" comes out of your mouth in a heavy French accent unless it is meant as a mockery. I would expect "MaĆ®tre Cromwell"
  • Hmm...Damien Lewis as Henry VIII...has potential so far. He definitely can pull off Henry's temper, that's for sure, but not entirely sure how I feel about him yet.


Overall an interesting start to the series. I am concerned that people with less familiarity with the subject matter might find it confusing and rather inaccessible to them, but I am a bit biased where this is concerned. I thought the scenery and costumes looked lovely, and the casting overall seems well done. I would say it's more about political intrigue in the time period than anything else, and doesn't have the glossiness and obvious drama of other series such as The Tudors or The Borgias. That isn't a negative though - it just gets right into the point of the story without all of the glitz and glamour to draw in a new crowd. 
The point is, that for fans of the subject matter already, you'll be interested in this because it is exactly like the visual interpretation of the history book (but not boring, I promise!). If your interest comes exclusively from watching The Tudors, then I might give this one a pass. However, it is still very much early days, and I am interested in seeing how this progresses.

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