Have you seen the new show The White Queen?
Our British friends have seen the whole season on BBC, but in the States it was picked up by Starz and we’re a handful of episodes in on this serialized adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s novels. (You can watch the full first episode for free here.) The show is my latest addiction, because it does some of my favorite things.
For one, it takes a world we know—in this case War of the Roses-era England—and skews it slightly. You have this lush historical drama that fans of The Tudors will enjoy with the twist of magic. It’s not a heavy element, but there’s enough to really add to the show. Plus, the romance is just swoon-worthy.
Additionally, you’re in a time period when women were still considered property, and we see a lot of that being married off because your titled father says so type things. However, we also see lots of women trying to change their fates. I love strong female roles, and despite the setting, we absolutely have these powerhouse women.
Right about now you’re thinking, “Did she just throw nudity in the subject line to get clicks?” Nope. We’re getting to the boobs. It actually goes with one of the things I love about this show. I’ll call it smart nudity.
As I watched the latest episode of The White Queen this last Saturday night, my husband looks to me and says, “You sure do watch a lot of TV with boobs.”
Now, I would like to point out this comes from the man who refers to one of his favorite shows as “Boobwalk Empire.” I thought about it for a moment. I do watch a lot of shows with nudity. These days it kind of goes with watching premium networks like Starz, HBO and Showtime. When recapping True Blood over at Heroes & Heartbreakers I instituted a “Nudity Index” for every episode because it was so pervasive (and I enjoyed getting to say I was paid to document every time Alexander Skarsgard stripped down).
Here’s the thing, though: Unlike True Blood or even Game of Thrones where we see on-screen sex for the sake of sex or naked ladies in the background just to distract people during exposition-heavy scenes, the nudity on The White Queen makes sense to me.
We see Queen Elizabeth’s breasts fairly often. Usually while she’s in bed with her husband. Real couples aren’t going to be abashed and immediately cover up post-coitus. I find those scenes in The White Queen to be more indicative of the intimacy between Queen Elizabeth and her so-in-love-with-her husband King Edward. I’ve always felt the nudity on this show was illustrative of either deep intimacy or the lack thereof (usually to shock the other party in the bed, though last week it was more to give a wartime shock to Lady Margaret).
Have you watched The White Queen? Do you prefer a purpose to on-screen nudity? Did you want to tell my husband to quit complaining about the naked women on TV? Hit the comments and let me know.
I think nudity is fine when it’s in context. I mean, I’m not offended by the nudity in GOT or TB, but you’re right that those are instances of gratuitous nudity. I’d much rather it meshed with the tone/scene/story.
Totally. I don’t have a problem with the nudity on HBO—you follow me on Twitter, you know this—but it’s definitely about context.
I haven’t watched this particular show, but I agree with your general point. Nudity doesn’t both me if it’s integral to the plot or characterization. (FYI, I popped over here from AW’s blog thread.)