Blood Sex & Royalty (2022) TV Series Piratebay

Blood Sex & Royalty Pirate Bay

Before dismissing the docu-drama Blood Sex & Royalty, perhaps intimidated by a new work centered on Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, we explain why it is worth giving a chance to the show which, with humor and intelligence, tells us about one of the most famous in English history.

Since November 23, 2022, a show that has been unjustly silenced has been available on Netflix – definitively manipulated by the grandiose ratings of the Bartonian Wednesday. We are talking about the docu-series Blood, Sex & Royalty – directed by James Bryce -, which in three episodes deals with one of the most talked-about relationships in English history: that between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

Let's discover together the strengths and weaknesses of the series that gives a nod to The Tudors.

Blood Sex and Royalty Pirate Bay

Blood Sex & Royalty: what the Netflix docu-drama is about

Anna Bolena is one of the most loved historical figures in cinema and television. On the screen she has been played by very famous Hollywood actresses, to name a few: Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, Natalie Dormer, Natalie Portman, and Claire Foy. But then, what does Blood, Sex & Royalty offer new compared to its many predecessors.

Well, to begin with, the show in question is a docu-drama, therefore it alternates typical moments of television dramas with interesting interventions by the experts.

We are in 1536. Anne Boleyn (Amy James-Kelly), imprisoned in the Tower of London for treason, opens up to the viewer by reliving, through flashbacks, all the stages of her life: the beginnings of her exciting love affair with Henry VIII (Max Parker), the annulment of the first marriage of the Tudor king to Catherine of Aragon, the break with the Church, the coronation of Anne as the new queen and her subsequent fall from grace - due to the inability to give to the king a male heir -, which will culminate in the execution of the capital punishment.

Anne is told to us as a modern feminist heroine. The vivacity, wit and intellect of the protagonist oppose the antiquated dogmas of the English court, including that of considering anyone who possessed a Bible that was not in Latin a heretic. Anne was a cultured young woman, and her reformist ideas were influenced by a text that was scandalous - and therefore absolutely forbidden - for the time: The Obedience of a Christian Man, by the religious reformer William Tyndale (the first to have translated the Bible in English, and executed in 1936 for heresy).

Anne, given her revolutionary ideas, does not take long to make enemies at court, including Cardinal Wolsey (Callum Coates) and Thomas Cromwell (Stephen Fewell).

Among the experts who comment on the show and reveal curious historical facts – including an absurd game of cards between Anne, Henry and Caterina – we find the authors Suzannah Lipscomb and Tracy Borman (The Private Lives of the Tudors), Lauren Mackay (Among the Wolves of Court), historian Owen Emmerson, and Oxford University Literature lecturer Nandini Das.

An interesting show that does not live up to its premises

The strong point of Blood Sex & Royalty is, undoubtedly, to guide the viewer in the story following the point of view of one of the - six - wives of King Henry VIII: Anne Boleyn.

From the union between the two – which began in 1533 and ended in 1536 – Elizabeth I was born, one of the greatest English monarchs, whose reign is defined in history books as The Golden Age.

The show guides us, over the course of three episodes, on Anne's round trip within the English court. Thanks to the testimonies of the experts we also discover that the woman influenced her husband in the implementation of some important reforms, including the birth of the Act of Supremacy, through which the king was proclaimed head of the Church of England, without having to obey papal power.

Although the historical aspects and the gossip of the court are really able to capture the viewer, it is right to ask how much there is of Blood and Sex within the show. The title of the Netflix docu-drama is, in fact, misleading, as in reality, there are not many bloodsheds or thorny sex scenes on the screen. 

The drama is also not very incisive about the brutality of Henry as a ruler and - more generally - there is not a great insight into the psychology of the characters. Among the interpretations, the only truly noteworthy one is that of Amy James-Kelly, the incarnation of a witty, sarcastic, intelligent and charming Anne.

In conclusion, the structure of Blood Sex & Royalty is more similar to that of the classic documentary than to shocking TV series such as The Tudors or Game of Thrones, but the desire to create something new is appreciable. The use of elements that contrast with the past – in the wake of Bridgerton – such as carnival costumes and deafening pop music, overall it works.

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