Friday, August 30, 2019

DVD Review: The Spanish Princess (Season One)

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Now available to own on DVD from STARZ and Lionsgate Home Entertainment is The Spanish Princess, featuring all 8 episodes from the limited series. It's also available to own Blu-ray and Digital. There are no special features or bonus extras on the 3-disc DVD set.

The Spanish Princess is a sequel to 2013's The White Queen and 2017's The White Princess, all of which are based on the historical novels by bestselling author Philippa Gregory. No, there isn't an actual novel titled The Spanish Princess. The limited series is adapted from two titles -  The Constant Princess and The King's Curse.

The series spans the year 1501 to 1509 and centers around Catherine of Aargon (played by Charlotte Hope), the young Princess of Spain who has been promised the English throne ever since she was a little girl. She is sent to London to marry the young Prince Arthur (played by Angus Imrie). Just as her dream of becoming queen is about to come true, the unexpected happens - Prince Arthur dies!

Almost everyone at the court wants Catherine to return to Spain as soon as possible, especially King Henry VII's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort (played by Harriet Walter) who has a twisted hatred for her. Despite being unwanted, she is determined to become queen and sets her eyes on marring her brother-in-law, Prince Harry (played by Ruairi O'Connor).

The Spanish Princess is returning for an 8-episode second (and final) season on STARZ in 2020.

Final Thoughts
While I have never read any of the The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, I have watched The White Queen and The White Princess miniseries. I guess you can say I was excited to watch The Spanish Princess when it debuted on STARZ earlier this year but I was mostly disappointed with it.

Why was I disappointed?

My major issue with the series is the horrible casting. Actress Charlotte Hope, who plays Catherine of Aragon, cannot pull off a Spanish accent! Every word that comes out of her mouth is unbelievable (and laughable). The actors who play the princes have absolutely no chemistry with Charlotte, which made it difficult for me to believe the characters could ever fall in love with the princess. Most of the acting from the entire cast is pretty bad, all except for Harriet Walter and Alba Galocha who gave the only decent performances. It seems the showrunners only spent their budget on the sets and costumes instead of hiring a better cast.

Like I've already mentioned, I've never read novels but after watching the series I think the story could have been told in four episodes instead of eight!  Episodes 1 & 2 are pretty good but the series is mostly lifeless until the final few episodes when Catherine's sister, Joanna, arrives and causes a bit of trouble.
The picture and sound qualities for all the episodes are pretty decent for a DVD release. It would have nice if there was some sort of special feature, commentary, deleted scenes, etc.. Unlike the DVD releases for The White Queen and The White Princess, The Spanish Princess doesn't come with a Digital code.

Overall, The Spanish Princess is very dull series with questionable acting and historical inaccuracies. Don't me wrong, it's not completely terrible. Despite my nitpicking, I did actually get invested in the series, which I guess is why I wanted to rewatch the series on DVD. The second viewing isn't quite as bad as the first. If you can get past the thought that The Spanish Princess isn't nearly as good as The White Queen and The White Princess, well, you might actually enjoy it to some degree.

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