Jump to content
SilverStormm

Versailles

Recommended Posts

I don't think the show tries to be very accurate.   The international cast is fun to watch,  George Blagden is very good as Louis XIV, but the actor that plays his brother is even better.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I'm looking forward. I watched "The Tudors" back in the day and I will watch "Victoria" when it comes to the USA. If the acting and writing is good I won't mind them fiddling with the accuracy. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I just finished reading Antonia Fraser's book on Louis XIV and the women in his life (the full title evades me now) and it was fascinating. I'm looking forward to this show even tho I expect many liberties to be taken.

Edited by Mumbles
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Love and Louis XIV, by Antonia Fraser?

Review

NYTimes review

I probably read it a while ago and didn't remember the title either. 

In this series, they made Henriette-Anne, Duchesse D'Orleans blonde, because she's English, and Marie Therese, the Queen, dark haired, because she's Spanish, but really the Spanish Hapsburg was blonde, and the English Stuart had darker hair.   Henriette probably died of a ruptured appendix, but she thought she was poisoned by her husband, causing an international incident and an autopsy by the methods of the day.  From Wikipedia:

Quote

Seventeen French and two English physicians, the British ambassador and roughly 100 other onlookers observed the autopsy, and though the official report stated "death from cholera morbus (gastroenteritis) caused by heated bile," many observers disagreed.[

I never finished watching this series, because I had nowhere to talk about it, so I don't know if they go that far.  Oddly, her daughter also died of something similar, and the same thing was suspected.  She was the Queen of Spain.  Her other daughter married the Duc de Savoie.  They later became king and queen of Sardinia, and their descendants kings of Italy. 

Henriette and her husband Philippe were first cousins.  After she died, Philippe married a first cousin once removed of Henriette, who raised their children. 

Edited by atomationage
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

28 year-old Louis XIV travels to Versailles after the Fronde revolt, in order to build the world's most opulent palace.

Quote

Louis XIV begins construction of Versailles as he attempts to keep the nobles in line and away from Paris.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Louis is troubled by his brother Philippe's rumoured expertise on the battlefield; Louise de Valliere is outshined in the Court by Madame Montespan.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm trying to keep in mind that it wasn't until the third episode of The Bastard Executioner that I decided it would stay on my watch list, and ended up enjoying it, but these first two hours dragged. Even the sets and costuming didn't keep my attention. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hey, I've just watched the whole season over two days. It takes a bit of time to remember who's who during the first two episodes, maybe, because there are quite a lot of characters. But it gets better/easier. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

My initial impression was that the cast wasn't very engaging, and I didn't think I'd be interested enough to stick with it. The cliff hanger at the end of the first episode was enough to make me watch the second. Eventually the cast does grow on you. I like it well enough for a Saturday night series.

The hair is distracting, though. Most (if not all) of these people would have been wearing wigs, not sporting their own long, lustrous hair. I guess they thought the wigs would look too silly but so does the real hair.

Edited by iMonrey
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Agree about the hair - wigs were promoted under Louis XIII. I think TPTB want to keep that as one of the changes that occurred under Louis XIV, because it would be a great visual to go from natural hair to powdered wigs. What strikes me in how clean all that hair is - we know these people didn't wash them daily :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Appears to be a very economical production. A few richly furnished rooms, a minimum of costumes and wigs, and the lead walking in and out of various rooms, gazing into the distance, and delivering his lines. How could such a sumptuous period appear so barren on screen?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Just watched this. I love it. Pretty men with long, pretty hair. Historical drama, pretty sets and costumes, political intrigue. I'm in! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Philippe returns victorious from the front; attacks continue outside Versailles; the king invites the biggest noble families to Versailles to celebrate the peace treaty.

Share this post


Link to post

Soldiers working at Versailles revolt; the Duke of Cassel heads to the palace after a decree from the king that nobles who move to the area will be relieved of their debts.

Share this post


Link to post

So am I to take it that Prince Annaba was the father of the Queen's baby? I had assumed it was the dwarf. Feels like a bait and switch, story-wise. 

After re-watching the first two episodes I'm slowly starting to get a grasp on who is who. The problem is that some of the characters are based on real people and some are fictional. We see a lot of this Fabian Marchal character but I'll be damned if I can figure out who he's supposed to be. Near as I can tell, he is head of the police force, or head of Louis' security detail. Something like that.

Then there's this mother and daughter team, I'm not sure what's up with them either. I get that the mother wants her daughter to become Louis' mistress, but he's already got at least two of those and neither seem to be especially profiting from it.

Share this post


Link to post

I thought it was the dwarf also, but I think he was killed because he knew about the queen and the Prince.

I enjoy not always being in the know.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

We just finished this series in Australia. We got double episodes the whole time so done in 5 weeks. I confess I'm a sucker for Royal Drama series, so I was eager for this. Plus I get a kick out of watching stuff that has been filmed in places I've visited.

Glad I'm not the only one who struggled to know who was who, especially their relationship with one another. I swear no one used names when addressing people. I found the men were easier to distinguish between. It took me about 8 episodes to finally work out all the females. The only female I was confident in was Henriette (or Hermoine as I called her).

I did find the first two episodes interesting enough to stick with the series. Even if the way Louis XIV spoke annoyed me. I get his regal voice when in public, but I was annoyed that he spoke like that in private especially to this brother. And I'm still scarred from learning that one of the roles of Louis' valet is to clean up the King's nocturnal emissions.

I encourage everyone to stick with it, I admit it drags in some spots but I found as it got closer to the end of the season, the intrigue picked up and this series did compel me to purchase Antonia Fraser's work on the Louis XIV. Even with its faults, it is leaps ahead of Reign with the historical facts and events.

Edited by Bill1978
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The fictional characters were the ones I struggled to remember who they were and what their deal was. Cause I couldn't use Wikipedia to place them within the historical context I had to rely on what was being shown on screen, and quite often what I was being shown was not informative enough.

And I think that is the main issue I've had with the series, is that they plonked us in the 'middle' of a story where everyone involved assumed the viewer knew the start middle and ending, so didn't think they needed to spend time introducing the characters and how they fitted into the plot. I am sure on a re-watch these early episodes will be less confusing for me. Hopefully my memory will not have forgotten them by the time the DVD comes out.

Initially I thought the dwarf was the father of the baby but it was (for me) very clear it was the Prince. And I guess the dwarf was killed as a warning to the Queen's apartment. I love that the illegitimate child plot has some basis in history.

Share this post


Link to post

Bontemps is worried about the king's high fever and summons a doctor; an emergency council meets to discuss a course of action if the king's condition worsens.

Share this post


Link to post
Quote

Louise de Valliere is outshined in the Court by Madame Montespan.

Who? Again, I have no real grasp on who a lot of these character are. Mind you . . . I've seen the episode. I've seen all of the first four, and I'm still struggling to keep track of them. 

So, I'm assuming Louise is the daughter of that woman who seems to be Chevalier's cousin, the one her mother keeps trying to get the king to notice enough to make his mistress. But I have no idea who Madame Montespan is. Where the heck did she come from?

Having bothered to looks all this information up, it appears both women were historically the mistresses of Louis XIV. I just don't think the show did a very good job of explaining who the new character was. (My information seems to indicate Montespan had actually been his mistress long before he ever moved to Versailles.)

Share this post


Link to post
12 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Who? Again, I have no real grasp on who a lot of these character are.

Louise is the mopey pregnant one who wants the king to let her go live in a convent to atone for her sins (including that of being his mistress), and Montespan is the delightfully snarky one who will become his chief mistress before the end of the series. I think.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm pretty sure that Louise is the blonde who is married to the king's brother, but also the king's mistress.  I'm not sure who the religious redhead (also the king's mistress) is.

The moral of the story is don't keep the only copy of your papers at home.

Share this post


Link to post

The religious redhead mistress is Louise, the blonde mistress married to Philippe is Henriette. The brunette is Athenais, who isn't yet his mistress but will be. Louis was a busy guy - it's a wonder he had time to build anything!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I like this show. It crept up on me.  I always watch it within 24 hours of airing.  It helps that I am not as well versed in the history as I am on King Henry VIII.  The Tudors was entertaining but very loose with the facts.

I like this King. Relatively sane given that he is a King.  And I really like his brother.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I like Louis, too. I just finished Antonia Fraser's book on the women in Louis XIV's life, and she makes the comparison of Louis's fairly kind treatment of women versus Henry VIII. At least Louis's loves were not executed or made to be utterly miserable. 

I was unsure if I would enjoy this show, but I am loving it. It is utterly beautiful and the characters are really interesting. I think Monsieur is outshining Louis because he's such a fascinating character - arrogant and vain, but insecure and broken; jealous and bitter toward his brother but loving and loyal, too. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I just started watching the series--I love George Blagden (sic? Louie) and have done since he was on Vikings. I am watching it on Ovation (which is offered on one of the basic, not premium, cable plans) and I am astonished at how much they kept of the nudity and sexual activities (including homosexual.) I find it enjoyably over the top.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Just finished watching season one on Netflix. Was dismayed to find out that season two hasn't started airing yet. Not even sure what channel it will be airing on.

Share this post


Link to post

Normal people do not repeat each other's names likes in the shows. :) It usually drives me crazy, when they do that.
And about the hair... the wigs thing is right, a lot easier than wigs.
It's funny, most french people I know, love it and enjoy it but I am somewhat surprised to see this is not the case with... non-french people.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't expect the characters to say each other's names all the time, But just every now and then would be nice. Especially in the first episode of a series, so I have some idea who I am dealing with. I found myself quite often checking the real history on Wikipedia trying to work out who was who based upon their behaviour.

I don't know how it was marketed in other countries, but here in Australia it was marketed as filling the void left by Game of Thrones ending for the year. I remember a lot of articles saying it was like Game of Thrones with a dwarf. Once I realised they were lying, I was able to readjust my expectations and embrace the show for what it really was. I am glad it is coming back for another season

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Oh, the show is quite inconsistent. It never showed she had kids but actually, she did.
Not only that, she didn't die in Versailles. ;)

Actually, what I have observed is that overdramatise things which are in itself a bit boring and quite frankly, gloss over things that should have been front and center. :)

Also... the hair... I am halfway between laughing, expecting Lestat to jump from behind a mirror any second now and cringing.
I am still confusing some of the actors because of the hair.

Share this post


Link to post

While in prison, Chevalier is visited by the head of the plot to insure that he does not name his fellow conspirators; Louis proves himself to be a master strategist.

Share this post


Link to post

Henriette takes the lead in negotiations with her brother King Charles III; Montespan gains power in the court as he wins over Louis' heart. Fabien plans revenge for Beatrice's treasonous acts.

Share this post


Link to post

Henriette's health rapidly declines; Claudine works feverishly to save her patient as the palace is put on lock-down; Louis is determined to save his son from the oppressive atmosphere of the court.

Share this post


Link to post

New season (which I am watching on iplayer this year) I can't believe how violent this show can be, at least one scene I had to fast forward through. I love the costuming, and if that is a wig on George Blagden--it is a pretty good one, LOL. Plenty of female full frontal nudity of course (and Montespan looks believably pregnant) we see Louie from the waist up only (not that I am asking for a peen shot, but I just find it interesting that we see the women completely naked.) 

Share this post


Link to post

I watched this show on Ovation in the US.  When I was randomly searching on Amazon, I came upon the DVD/Blu-ray of it and started reading the comments.  Someone commented that what we see in the US has been edited down from the original airing.  Does anyone know if any of the streaming sites (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) have the full, original airing?  I don't particularly want to purchase the DVD which is where the commenter said had most, but not all, of the original airing. 

Share this post


Link to post

I found out about this show about 2 months ago.  I was mainly interested because I loved George Blagden as Athelstan on Vikings.  Another reason was the MonChevy clips I caught on Youtube.  I also was curious about the French historical aspects.  I'm caught up now - finished season two.

Being a longtime slasher, my main focus of the show is the MonChevy scenes.  I think the actor who plays Philippe does a great job; I find his character much more compelling than Louis.  The downside is the tedious way that his relationship with Chevalier plays out.  For the last two seasons, it ping-pongs from them loving/hating each other.  One day they're in love, next thing, they're at each others throat.  Chevalier is a giant downer now - drunk and depressed and suicidal; I don't want to hate him but his character is annoying.

Been there and done that with these two - ENOUGH!    I hope that next season finds them heading toward a more stable association.   The one person I like is Philippe's German wife.  She's aces.

Edited by patty1h
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/5/2017 at 9:01 AM, patty1h said:

I found out about this show about 2 months ago.  I was mainly interested because I loved George Blagden as Athelstan on Vikings.  Another reason was the MonChevy clips I caught on Youtube.  I also was curious about the French historical aspects.  I'm caught up now - finished season two.

Being a longtime slasher, my main focus of the show is the MonChevy scenes.  I think the actor who plays Philippe does a great job; I find his character much more compelling than Louis.  The downside is the tedious way that his relationship with Chevalier plays out.  For the last two seasons, it ping-pongs from them loving/hating each other.  One day they're in love, next thing, they're at each others throat.  Chevalier is a giant downer now - drunk and depressed and suicidal; I don't want to hate him but his character is annoying.

Been there and done that with these two - ENOUGH!    I hope that next season finds them heading toward a more stable association.   The one person I like is Philippe's German wife.  She's aces.

so you can buy the completed season 2 already? I am watching it episode by episode so I can't read the rest of your comment since I don't want to be spoiled, but damn I love how CAMPY the show is--just saw the episode 3or 4 where greta scacchi stabs Louis' security guy. I so admire British actresses, fuck getting old and fat, the work goes on! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Just seen E4 and loved, loved, loved the scrap between Monsieur and the Chevalier, complete with the preamble:

 

"How much?"

"400,000 francs"

Tight little smile from Monsieur;  cut to Lorraine being hurled through the door.  And he thought he'd won - until he heard the sword being drawn.  "I've seen turkeys with more sense".  Brilliant.  Come on Philippe, give Madame a go, she's fabulous.

Fabien doesn't half get well soon;  how many attempts on his life do we think he'll survive.

Dear Mme de Montespan - sod off.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I'm still waiting for it to arrive in Australia. Loved the first season, even if I had no idea the name of any character (except a few) until the last couple of episodes.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×