OK, following in my recent trend of semi-recommending multi-episode binges, here’s a series that I have been watching this summer with great relish and also great conflict.
Versailles. It’s on Netflix.
Maybe it’s best to think of this show as a sort of home renovation series—think Flip This House, only the house is a giant hunting lodge outside Paris, inhabited by the ultimate house flipper, King Louis XIV. When you add in the endless intrigue of Louis’s relationship with his brother, Philippe, Duc d’Orleans, you’re looking at Property Brothers writ large. Extremely large.
So much campy hilarity in here—the soap opera at Versailles was legendary in real life. When you make a TV series featuring extremely clean and tidy young people misbehaving, there’s plenty of room for la scandale. Plenty of full-on sex scenes.
Lots of gruesome violence. Everybody is amazingly good at killing people using 17th-century technology, mostly made of rusted iron. Heads will roll. Etc.
The costumes are incredible, so great. Everybody looks like they’re lugging thirty pounds of garb. And the hair, on the women and especially on the men, is spectacular. I like that the villains all have stringy hair. The king and his brother clearly shop Sephora.
Honestly, as I’m gearing up for the finale of this 10-part first season (don’t worry, there are two more seasons beyond this one), I am dying to see what happens. George Blagden, the actor playing Louis XIV, is actually kind of great—Machiavellian, insecure, troubled.
And constantly worrying about how his house renovation project is going.