(Admit it. You would have been heartbroken if I didn’t put in my two pence worth, wouldn’t you?)
“Wolf Hall,” the latest TV take on the Tudor dynasty, ended last night. Of course it concluded with Anne Boleyn’s execution. That, unless it’s a work of speculative fiction, is inevitable.
Hilary Mantel deserves props and kudos for the book of the same name and “Bring Up the Bodies,” its sequel. The producers seamlessly merged the two novels into the six week series. Points for historical accuracy over my beloved “Tudors” are conceded. And the music was great.
What I didn’t like were the portrayals of Henry VIII and Anne. Granted that an almost cuddly Thomas Cromwell is the protagonist in this slice of the Tudor-verse, but they came across as one dimensional sociopaths. Damian Lewis was a flaming a**hole of a Henry with no conscience or soul whatsoever, unlike Jonathan Rhys Meyer’s Henry who tortured himself over his impulse driven mistakes. Natalie Dormer’s Anne had depth, complexity, and the drive to be more than a pawn in her father’s power games. I was ready for Claire Foy’s Anne to be executed ten minutes into the first episode.
I have a feeling that Ms. Mantel really doesn’t like Anne very much. I read “Wolf Hall” a couple of years ago. The only way she could have made her feelings about her more clear would have been to have the book designers insert I HATE ANNE BOLEYN into the footers alongside the page numbers.
Will I watch it again? Maybe. It was still a good drama. But it wasn’t the slice of the Tudor-verse that I know and love.