• Network: ,
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 16, 2013
  • Season #: 1
The White Queen Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on Philippa Gregory's The Cousin's War book series, the drama begins in 1464, during the War of the Roses, and follows the women caught up in the battle to be the rightful king of England.
  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Aug 5, 2013
    Queen delivers the basic goods (intrigue, sex) , but the only vivid character is Margaret Beaufort, mom of the future Henry VII. She's played by Amanda Hale with startling neuritic fervor. [12 Aug 2013]
  2. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Aug 8, 2013
    It’s a great tale and beautifully told with beautiful actors.
  3. Reviewed by: Nuzhat Naoreen
    Aug 2, 2013
    Absurd but engrossing War of the Roses-era drama. [9 Aug 2013, p.73]
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Aug 5, 2013
    Addressing these complexities [the women hav[ing] to be more creative in their scheming], however, and incorporating the other tentacles of Gregory’s history eventually begin to dilute the story’s central thrust (and there’s a lot of thrusting) toward the end of the eight episodes previewed out of the 10-part run.
  5. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Aug 9, 2013
    Adapted from three overlapping page-turners by the prolific Philippa Gregory, this enjoyably propulsive high melodrama replays the classic Wars of the Roses family feud (York vs. Lancaster) from the perspective of the women who are both pawns and players in a violent, turbulent game of claiming and keeping the English throne.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Aug 12, 2013
    Each of them [actresses Rebecca Ferguson, Faye Marsay and Amanda Hale] stabs backs and pops bodice buttons with the necessary élan while keeping a straight face at The White Queen’s putative moral, which is that arranged marriages are corrupt and evil, while those born of attempted rape, self-mutilation and suicide are sacred and empowering.
  7. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Aug 5, 2013
    The good news: The White Queen gets off to an entertaining start. The bad news: In subsequent episodes it gets bogged down in then-this-happened, then-that-happened jumps through history.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 22, 2013
    History portrayed in a wonderful way. Just as good as the Tudors and very enjoyable. The acting was great and you couldn't wait for the next episode to reveal its history. Expand
  2. Aug 6, 2013
    Very pleasant history lesson about the cousins war. The series is far better than 'The Tudors' and doesn't rely on pretty faces and excessive sex for its impact. Instead we have complex history made simple for mass consumption. It has everything from battles, witchcraft, romance and intrigue. The production looks great and performances are solid with Janet McTeer standing out. I have read the history of this period and it is good to see people like author Phillipa Gregory challenging the old myths about characters like Richard the third and the princes in the tower. This is solid and captivating high quality entertainment. Expand
  3. Oct 10, 2013
    The White Queen by Emma Frost (apparently no relation to the marvel character) is a new period piece about women in politics in England prior to Henry VIII. If you know everything about British royal history, this show will bore you to death. If you don't, however, you will very much benefit from the historical accuracies of this show while indulging in the pleasures of its liberties. It's true to the times and focuses mostly on the politics and relationships of royalty rather than on the battles and violence. The show, while true to how women were treated at the time and boasting a powerful female cast, actually centering on women in politics, can be construed as quite offensive to women. The White Queen is literally with a different child in each episode, making her pregnant 90% of the show. Every other women in the show, is also treated as exiting merely to make babies and nothing else. If you can get past this, which, I admit, is a pretty steep thing to get past, it really is a good show. Expand
  4. Sep 6, 2013
    The White Queen is probably more engrossing for the British viewer with a firmer historical perspective on the era. That being said, it is well paced and engaging. Expand
  5. Nov 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This overly and unnecessarily melodramatic treatment of the compelling history of the War of the Roses is watchable, but choppy. It forces acceleration through critical historical events with little or no consideration of their worth simply to drive the characters through the plot, and it frequently suggests facts as true that are in fact based on conjuncture and myth. For example, the ludicrous contention that Elizabeth Woodville's youngest son Richard was NOT in the tower with his brother ("The Princes in the Tower") is pure myth and widely regarded as scandalously bad history. Yet this anachronism is boldly pursued to set up a later claim that the younger Richard is the rightful king during a plot against Henry Tudor. Also, the unseemly forthcoming suggestion that Elizabeth of York is pregnant with Richard III's child (thus suggesting that King Henry VIII is Richard III's heir) is preposterous. So don't rely on this presentation as a substitute for your history class paper.

    It is also terribly over stylized. If you want a less melodramatic, literarily accomplished, equally liberal ahistorical treatment of the War of the Roses, get it from a better source: Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, & 3, and Richard III by William Shakespeare.

See all 6 User Reviews