the Last Kingdom

Last watched Jan 2016

Summary:

It’s 9C AD and England is separated into 7 kingdoms, much of which is ruled by the Danes. Uhtred is left an orphan by them but instead of being murdered or left to die, he is taken in and raised as one.

Uhtred’s loyalties are constantly tested as he traverses both cultures, feeling the love for those who raised him but still having ties to the people he came from.

Opinion:

the Last Kingdom is a bit of a mess, to be honest. Reading up for this review I only just discovered that it was a book first, which feels totally accurate. The screenwriters have taken aspects of the book and plot points in the book that make the series meandering and a little all over the shop.

The characterisation is what you would expect of something overly Hollywood. The men are macho and all emotions are expressed by roaring. Sadness? Roaring. Anger? Roaring. Happiness? Maybe a smile but also probably the foot note says “Uhtred is so happy he roars” and it was just ignored.

None the less, I love a historical fiction and it is a good blah watch for anyone who has a penchant for terrible tv every now and again.

Pros: Not overly demanding, somewhat historically accurate (from what I can tell?)
Cons: Everything you would expect from bad Hollywood writing. Women aren’t autonomous characters but are there to drive and complicate the plots of men, men are all beefy mcbuffbods who like to fight and stuff. There is also a very fatphobic characterisation (the reasoning for bias against a character is literally “this is famine time, you can’t trust him because he is fat”).
Genre: H(ish)torical drama

Light/heavy rating: 5
Approach carefully if: you have difficulty with orphan plotlines, miscarriage plotlines, death of children

Can be found: Netflix

If you liked, I recommend: Vikings, Outlander

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