23 January 2008

British Series: The Palace

I've been reading up on the Royal Family recently; trying to familiarize myself with their protocols, titles, rankings, who's senior over whom and such. (Watching the movie, Elizabeth: The Golden Age peaked my curiosity, that's why!) So, when I found a way to watch this series, I was glad to find another medium I can enjoy, whilst learning about their system. Admittedly, I'm not attuned to British culture as I am with the more accessible American lifestyle.

But this not to say the series, The Palace, is as close to reality. It's still fiction, with a reference to real life here and there.

The show follows the drama and politics inside the King's courts. The King is a reluctant young man, Richard, who ascends to the throne in the very first episode, when his father suffers a heart attack. Richard is only 24 years old and isn't ready for such a responsibility. His elder sister, Princess Eleanor, is portrayed as the more ambitious one. And it's clear to see where this family/political drama is heading.

The Palace is modelled as British TV's The West Wing. I can't make a comparison between these two, as I've only watched few episodes of the latter. The premise is intriguing and maybe in terms of pacing, it is acceptable and even enough. I'm still grasping its essence, but I've quite enjoyed the first two offerings. I'm looking forward to watching how the drama develops.

What bothers me about this series, though, is only very minor but very important to someone watching it --- the "Royal family" don't exactly look alike, not even remotely resembling each other:
  • Eleanor has strong Italian features.
  • Richard has boy-band good looks.
  • Younger brother George looks older than him and is most likely Mr. Bean's cousin.
  • Youngest sister Isabella has ethnic features, she's not all blue and blond as I would have imagined.
  • And mum Queen is so small, you'd wonder how on earth she gave birth to all four.
In the same breath, they don't also gel together as cast members. So, it's taking longer to convince myself I'm watching a "family" drama.

Learn more about this series here.