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‘The White Queen’ Reviews: Is It The Next ‘Game Of Thrones’?

Sun, August 11, 2013 12:44pm EDT by 25 Comments
The White Queen Reviews
Courtesy of Starz

Starz is making waves with its new TV series ‘The White Queen,’ a 10-part show about the battle for a throne. Sound familiar? The new show definitely takes a few cues from the massively popular ‘Game of Thrones,’ but could it actually be better?

Everyone loves medieval dramas, right? That’s the theory that Starz is driving on with their newest show (in conjuction with BBC), The White Queen. Set in 15th century Great Britain, the show adds fierce drama to the already sensational War of the Roses, a 30-year-long feud between rival factions for the British throne. Shows like The Tudors, and to some degree Game of Thrones, found success with this model and form, so is The White Queen the next huge TV hit? See what the critics thought!

‘The White Queen’ Reviews

New York Times

The White Queen cries out to be compared with the HBO series, not to mention the long line of feature films centered on the British monarchy. And in those comparisons it earns a “not as” rating in virtually all subcategories: Its characters are not as interesting; its story is not as layered; its dialogue is not as sharp; its sex is not as adventurous; its actors are, with a few exceptions, not as compelling.


The White Queen is one of the more handsome and polished imports the premium service has offered. It’s just when set alongside the most impressive hours to cross the Pond that this elaborate game of thrones begins to look a little bit like a pretender.

Los Angeles Times

Shoveling three novels and 30 years of very confusing history into even 10 hourlong episodes requires that The White Queen become a series of vignettes rather than a cohesive narrative, a “greatest hits of the Wars of the Roses,” as it were. Years collapse into minutes, intricate policy is condensed into cardboard personalities, and the characters are swiftly categorized as good or evil.

The Boston Globe

You should choose to watch the show, if you are a fan of this kind of lusty royal romp. The White Queen is gauzier than The Tudors, and it contains more overacting; but it scratches the same itch. As a lover of most British period dramas, from the classier-than-thou ones to the cheese, I devoured the nine episodes that Starz sent for review. There were moments when I rolled my eyes — Amanda Hale, as the mother of young Henry Tudor, looks as if she is going to explode with ill intent. Really, her performance could be transposed into a Mel Brooks spoof. And the king’s brother Richard (Anuerin Barnard) is oddly dolled up to look like Edward Scissorhands. But overall, I managed to get a nice medieval royal buzz.

The Washington Post

A suggestion on how to watch The White Queen, an elaborate costume drama on Starz: Don’t think too much. It’s tempting to scour for historical inaccuracies and scribble down notes to keep track of the tangled English lineage. (So he’s talking about Richard, Edward’s brother, not Richard, Elizabeth’s son. Why are there so many Margarets?) Instead, revel in the gorgeous costumes, impressive scenery and the epic story of a feuding family so complicated that it makes your own look blissfully normal by comparison.

So we may not have a transcendent period drama on our hands, but it sounds like we might have one worth watching! Especially if you like back-stabbing and royal drama. What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Will you tune into The White Queen when it premieres on Starz on August 11 at 8 p.m.? Let us know!

WATCH: ‘The White Queen’ Trailer

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— Andrew Gruttadaro

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