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July 2019
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Aerden [userpic]
Young Blades

Okay, it borrows heavily in technique from Covington Cross, but I still like it. Even if the dialogue is full of anachronisms, it's still funny dialogue! And this time, instead of just having Cardinal Mazarin be evil simply to cause the Musketeers trouble, we know why he's evil--or at least, why he is so overboard in the first scene. It's a good reason, too--Sociopathy is a good reasn, right? Not at all historically accurate, but still, at least it's a plot reason.

I like the fact that the woman pretending to be a man at least makes a convincing-looking man. Yes, to modern eyes, we can tell right away that she's female, but you can see how, to 18th century eyes, she could pass for male.

Bruce Boxleitner is great as the captain of the Musketeers, and they've done his hair in such a way that he doesn't look anything like Sheridan from Babylon 5.

Michael Ironsides looks properly pale and evil as Mazarin. I do think it's a pity, though, that this role doesn't allow him to nuance his character, at all. Frankly, from the little I saw in this episode, they could have gotten a lot more average actor than Ironsides to play the role. He is far more capable than the limits allowed by this particular role.

The kid playing Louis XIV is terrible--acts very spoiled and not at all like the capable monarch that Louis XIV actually was. Mark wonders if they might be setting up a Man in the Iron Mask sort of plot for him. From what I saw of the brat, that would be a welcome change.

The rest of the Musketeers--d'Artagnan Jr. and his friends--all seem like good characters, fun to watch. Right now, they're mainly Guys Being Guys, and I enjoy that. One's an inventor, one's a poet, and the other apparently likes his food, thogh being a Musketeer keeps him fit and trim.

I suspect I'll continue watching this show just because it's fun. It's not trying to aspire to the standards of the History Channel, which is a pity, but I can keep my disbelief suspenders on and enjoy it for what it is.

Best line of the evening: "Bags of air could save lives." though you have to see the scene to understand why I keep giggling as I type that.

Current Mood: amusedamused

Well ... Louis XIV may have been capable, but he was still pretty horribly spoiled....

I don't suppose you know the story of Vaux-le-Vicomte and how Versailles came to be?

Let's see...I know Vaux-le-Vicomte was bought and then renovated by Nocholas Fouquet, Attorney General and finance minister of France, who I think was hired by Mazarin. Shortly after Fouquet opened Vaux, he was arrested, and Louis XIV hired the two architects who designed the palace and grounds of Vaux to build Versailles.

But if there's a story attached, I don't know it.


That's essentially it. The interesting bits are in the details, though: when the gardens were complete, Fouquet threw a grand party and invited Louis XIV. Louis XIV came in, took one look, said nothing, and then went home and ordered Fouquet's arrest.

Fouquet was arrested on the suspicion that he had misappropriated government funds for the purpose of designing the gardens, though I think it is also generally accepted that the real, main cause for his arrest was the fact that his gardens were prettier than anything the king himself owned. I've read an argument that Fouquet was an extremely capable man who had no need to embezzle anything, and certainly not stupid enough to present the king with the fruits of said embezzlement....

Take it as you will, but the removal of a perfectly capable minister for the sake of one's ego sounds like spoiled-brattiness to me.

Architecturally speaking, Versailles is an oversized, overblown version of Vaux-le-Vicomte. The book in which I read this whole story explained that in Vaux-le-Vicomte, the "French Formal Garden" reached perfection, and that Versailles overstepped the boundaries and lost sight of what made a French Formal Garden a French Formal Garden -- there's all sorts of stuff there about geometry and metaphysics and optical illusions that I shan't get into right now simply because I don't remember most of it; and not having actually seen either garden myself, I'm not willing to commit wholeheartedly to the argument without a better understanding of the theory.

Suffice to say that, while Louis XIV may have been an excellent political leader, I have no trouble believing that he was, at the same time, an utterly spoiled brat.

Chris--Heh...Reminds me of Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey and Hampton House. Wolsey, however, was canny enough to give his king Hampton House before he got thrown into the Tower (I think). I'm a bit rusty on my history, there.
Suffice it to say that Wolsey realized that Henry was jealous of his opulent home.

Now you've got me very curious about French formal gardens, and I must read up on them...and stifle myself from wanting to use the idea for part of the Arbour at Gravesend.

*stuffs cast of characters firmly back in their box and sits on the lid*