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Blood, Sex, and Royalty (2022) is a new (as of December, when we wrote this — sorry, Snark Week takes months of work!) Netflix docu-drama purporting to be a Fresh New Take on Anne Boleyn. It’s a special, special piece of cinema. It chapped Trystan and Kendra’s asses so much we had to write a combined review!
Susannah Lipscomb, WTF?
Susannah Lipscomb (professor emerita of the University of Roehampton and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Higher Education Academy and the Society of Antiquities) has become one of my favorite historians, and I know Trystan’s too, for her excellently accessible yet thought-out and nuanced podcast, “Not Just the Tudors.” She’s done a number of TV documentaries as well, so she’s clearly committed to being a public historian. But this show is SO BAD, and I’m deeply disappointed in Lipscomb (and Tracy Borman, Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces) for participating in this shlock. — Kendra
The Language in Blood, Sex, & Royalty
I’ll note that I usually don’t mind some modernized language — SOME. An “OK” slipping in pre-20th century doesn’t harsh my vibe mortally. But recasting an entire episode of history into incredibly modern language is irritating like walking through a medieval scene wearing a zip-up jumpsuit. This fucking production is even worse than Netflix’s 2002 Persuasion and leans hard into the super modern slang that I guarantee will sound dated in about six months. I threw things at the screen hearing the “updated” versions of Henry‘s love letters to Anne. JUST STOP. It was so fucking stupid and pointless and aggravating. No amount of booze could get me through that nonsense. — Trystan
“Lady W.” “High five.” “BESTIE.” — Kendra
The Sex in Blood, Sex, & Royalty
So what’s supposed to be different about THIS show is that it’s going to show you all the sex! Per Netflix, “A modern take on the British royal drama, this steamy series offers a window into the lives of history’s deadliest, sexiest, and most iconic monarchs.” Except it doesn’t? Seriously, The Tudors has more sex scenes than this, and more revealing ones at that, and possibly most other films and TV series.
So, what was the point of this fucking series then, if NOT to show all the sexy-sex we’ve supposedly been missing out on? — Kendra
The Deeply Hideous Costumes in Blood, Sex, & Royalty
Guys, this is where stretch velvet (and AliExpress) went to die. To wit:
What offended you most about Blood, Sex, and Royalty? What questions do you have?