And to be honest, nobody is very likable at this point. Henry VII forces his way into Princess Catherine's room so he can finally lay eyes on her. He's rude, and Catherine is immediately unimpressed. When she meets the kings' mother, Margaret Beaufort (ugh), we're reminded what an unlikable character that woman is, but Catherine's here to show her that NO ONE is going to boss her around. Catherine's a princess, dammit, and England needs her. She WILL bathe daily and take a siesta whenever she wants - so there.
When she finally meets Prince Arthur - her poetic, romantic, surely handsome betrothed - we're ALL a bit underwhelmed, aren't we? First of all, what is up with that hair? (Yes, I think it's historically accurate, but NO ONE else in this show has that hair, so what?). Anyway, it doesn't take her long to realize that her fiance is awkward, stodgy, and (gasp!) he doesn't know anything about these letters they've been exchanging for months, which had made Catherine excited to meet him. Turns out, they don't have the lovey-dovey relationship she's been expecting, and she's mortified. She confides in her ladies in waiting (who are great, by the way) that she's humiliated, and has no idea who wrote the letters. She starts to wonder if this was all a trick.
I've already touched on the biggest points of the episode, but to summarize, this is all about introducing us to England in the way Catherine sees it. It's not impressive. It's unfriendly. It's cold and wet. She misses home, and she feels out of place and unwelcome. She's no longer excited about her fiance, and she's irritatingly fascinated by his younger brother. The only thing she's got going for her at this point is that she's got some great friends in her loyal ladies in waiting - whose names I don't know yet.
"Daughter of Spain; Wife to Prince Arthur; Queen of England."
A final close-up of her stoic, 'I'm here to do my job' facial expression, and then the credits roll. We're left feeling like we, too, would want to retreat away from the church if we were in her shoes.
Now that I've walked through this entire episode, I will say this: I have a gripe with the way the show is filmed. Now, I don't know if I can exactly put my finger on it, but it feels a little... low budget? Did anyone here watch Reign on The CW? That show was a costume drama-turned silly teenager-geared show that had extremely little to do with the actual life or history of Mary, Queen of Scots. But more notably for this comparison, it felt CHEAP. While this certainly isn't so obviously cheap, it doesn't feel like the same quality as "The White Queen" or "The White Princess". The filmography is a little bizarre, too - just camera angles and things (I don't know how else to explain it). The music is, so far, disappointing. I was obsessed with "The White Queen"'s soundtrack, but I don't know about this one yet. Maybe it will grow on me.
Ultimately, I liked the episode. The first one is never a good one to judge on overall quality, so I'm going to save some of my real opinions until we get deeper into this. But so far, I think it was a solid introduction, and it's gotten me even more excited for the rest of the series. I just certainly hope it gets lighter-hearted soon! Bring swoon-worthy Prince Harry to the forefront as soon as possible, please! No offense, Arthur.
Did you tune into the premiere last night?
What did you like/dislike; agree/disagree with me on?
Leave your comments below and let's discuss!