Everything you need to know about ‘The Serpent Queen’

by Hailey Greg
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The medium of film is tremendously effective for conveying drama and for eliciting emotion. Motion picture art is incredibly complex, requiring contributions from almost every other creative form. Such programs offer a wide range of content to their viewers, including new characters, moving historical figures, and well-known literary works based on both genuine and made-up events. In addition to the entertainment factor, viewers enjoy spending a lot of time with characters to learn more about their backstories. Reliving historical, societal, and political occurrences that we also recall from our own life gives us all a warm feeling of nostalgia.

 The entire look, extravagant clothes, and amazing sets take us to a different age and let us get fully immersed in the world we are seeing on film. Dramas like The Serpent Queen allow viewers to experience time travel for a short while. While going down memory lane, let’s have a look at some more details about the remarkably crafted historical drama.

What is it about?

The Serpent Queen, a new historical drama on Starz, is a show for viewers who enjoy moral turpitude and dark comedy combined with lovely period settings and costumes. Based on the book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, it takes great pleasure in constructing an antiheroine who knows better than anyone else that the only way to survive in a world where animals fight each other is to be the meanest one.

The most powerful lady in 16th century Europe, Catherine de Medici, is the main subject of the television series. Despite being orphaned as a child and born into the Medici family, a noble family whose immense wealth could not yet purchase royal blood, Catherine grew up to become the queen of France and one of the nation’s most important political figures during her rule, first as the wife of King Henry II and then as queen regent and advisor to her three sons who held the throne. She was a clever, cunning lady who learned to accumulate and exercise as much authority as she could within the limits of her patriarchal society.

In two timelines, Justin Haythe’s version of Catherine’s story develops. In 1560, as Catherine gets ready to fend off a throne challenge from Mary, Queen of Scots, the widow of her eldest son, she tells Rahima, her new maid, about her life. Rahima, an intelligent outsider, makes Catherine think of herself when she was younger and the queen wants to teach the young woman what she has discovered about power. The majority of the show takes place in flashbacks as Catherine relates her gruesome, brutal, and lengthy story while making asides to the camera to express her opinions from the future.

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Who are the Cast members?

Samantha Morton, an English actress who has won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, plays the notorious Catherine de’Medici. She also contributed to several historical dramas, such as The Libertine, River Queen, Longford, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Actress Amrita Acharia, a Norwegian, English, and Ukrainian, is Aabis. Cosimo Ruggeri, an Italian astrologer and occultist who advises Catherine de’ Medici, is portrayed by English actor Enzo Cilenti. Anne de Montmorency, a French soldier who later rose to the rank of Marshal and then Constable of France, is played by Dutch actor Barry Atsma. King Antoine of Navarre is portrayed by English actor Nicholas Burns. Louis de Bourbon, the priest who appoints Catherine de’ Medici as queen, is portrayed by English actor Danny Kirrane. British actor Sennia Nanua plays Rahima. The noblewoman of the House of Bourbon Antoinette Guise is played by English actress Beth Goddard. Queen Mary of Scotland is played by British actress Antonia Clarke. Francis II, Catherine de’ Medici’s firstborn, who ruled from 1559 to 1560, is George Jaques. Two-time SAGA champion Pope Clement VII, played by English actor Charles Dance, is Catherine’s uncle and the person who arranges her wedding. Diane de Poiters, Catherine’s husband’s mistress, is played by French actress Ludivine Sagnier. 

When is it expected to be released?

The Serpent Queen, which was made by Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment, will exclusively air on Starz channel on September 11. It will also be available on Starz app and on all on-demand and streaming services where a Starz subscription is available. 

How were the initial viewer reactions?

The Serpent Queen does a good job of not asking us to think that its portrayal of Catherine was simply misunderstood. Instead, throughout the five of the eight episodes that were made available to critics, the show gives its monarch the freedom to be the primary planner of her own life without passing judgment on her decisions, no matter how terrible they may appear at the time. The Serpent Queen doesn’t ask Catherine to be particularly wonderful; instead, the program reframes them as an essential aspect of her survival. 

Surprisingly, Morton’s adult Catherine only makes sporadic appearances in the first few episodes of the show, but her performance is captivating from the get-go, and its her presence that propels this drama along. Viewers are left to sort out her hazy motivations on their own because she is an unreliable narrator in every sense of the word, from the ways she chooses to frame her own story to the reasons she has for sharing it in the first place. At least its allowing Catherine de Medici an opportunity to speak for herself, regardless of whether she ends up being the protagonist of her own tale or the antagonist the world has long claimed.

Ratings:

As per Rotten Tomatoes, the show garnered a Critics Rating of 9 with an Average Rating of 7.90. 

Conclusion:

The Serpent Queen deftly illustrates how anyone with enough power, particularly a young woman who has felt invisible for a large portion of her life, can become corrupted and do bad deeds. The show continues Starz’s tradition of sumptuous period dramas portrayed through a more contemporary lens.

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