September 13, 2022

Random Rant: Becoming Elizabeth vs. The Serpent Queen

L to R: Becoming Elizabeth and The Serpent Queen
I hate to admit that I'm a fan of Starz's period dramas...but let's be real. Is it really a surprise* to anyone?

Still, it's hard to admit out loud. The White Queen was interesting enough to pull me into franchise. The White Princess was not. The Spanish Princess was a series of missed opportunities, even though it was granted a rare second season. Becoming Elizabeth was a minor redemption of sorts, maybe even a course correction, but the newest addition, The Serpent Queen, is poised to outshine them all.

Only one episode is out, and I already read a review saying it has a similar vibe to Becoming Elizabeth, to which all I can say is, ""

Apples and blood oranges, boo.

I watched Becoming Elizabeth as it aired (Starz really should've released it all at once), and found it to be an artistic, slow-burn type of show. Despite the stellar casting and pretty solid writing, there were too many moments where it dragged, only to be rescued by the simple fact that it centered on the Tudors.

Any writer familiar with Tudor history knows that family is the gift that keeps on giving.

When the series ended rather anticlimactically, my main takeaway was that Becoming Elizabeth was for soft, dainty fae girls into cottagecore. The Serpent Queen, however, is for goths.

Based on the story of Catherine de' Medici (another historical gift who keeps on giving), the pacing is faster, the narrative structure more dynamic (including repeatedly breaking the fourth wall), and while Becoming Elizabeth strived to be a "proper" historical production, The Serpent Queen has rock music. Seriously.

Not since Megan Follows's portrayal of the infamous queen on Reign have I been so intrigued.

Goth girls really ought to check it out because in addition to the edgy soundtrack, Queen Catherine only wears fabulous black dresses like above (which she did in real life to mourn her late husband). And for Samantha Morton of recent Harlots and The Walking Dead fame, for whom this role was meant.

If this show goes where and how I think it's going, I'm gonna need more than one season. Catherine lived to the age of 69 and was Queen Regent for three of her sons. Despite her infamy, it is acknowledged that none of her sons would have remained in power without her.

Black girl goths may also want to tune in for Sennia Nanua, who plays Rahima, Catherine's new confidante (or perhaps protégé?). I cannot stress how much I'm dying to get to know this character better.

If you're already watching it, let me know your thoughts below!

*I plan to get back to this, I swear. The story's been finished in my head for months.

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