The Serpent Queen 2022 / A refreshingly unrestrained look at one of history's greatest monarchs

8.5

Despite being released amid a deluge of period dramas and biopics, Starz’s  The Serpent Queen, which follows Catherine de’ Medici’s rise from Italian servant to Queen of France, is a strong standout in today’s streaming fare. 

By balancing modern storytelling (expect poppy needle drops and fourth-wall breaks a la Fleabag) and historical realism (the costume and production design are as accurate and detailed as any thoughtful production), The Serpent Queen manages to have a genuinely fresh take on the historical drama. It’s also refreshing in its refusal to sugarcoat history’s crude ways, so despite its modern feel, don’t be too surprised to see 13-year-olds bedded and bodies graphically pulled apart by horses.

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