'Anne Boleyn' Episode 1 Review: Jodie Turner-Smith stuns in slow-paced period drama

'Anne Boleyn' Episode 1 Review: Jodie Turner-Smith stuns in slow-paced period drama
Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn in 'Anne Boleyn' (Sony/AMC)

Period dramas are not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. They are slow and take you on a journey that you may or may not like. We have seen a lot of period drama getting slammed by critics as well as audiences for not keeping them hooked to the material.

However, there have been several shows like ‘The Crown’, ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘Downtown Abbey’ that have managed to keep audiences hooked because of their engaging content. Like we said earlier, it’s not easy to keep you glued to your screeners during a period drama, and looks like, the newest period drama, ‘Anne Boleyn’, from AMC+ will also find a bit hard to keep everyone hooked.


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Inspired by a true story, ‘Anne Boleyn’ chronicles the journey of the Queen of England who ruled the nation from 1533 to 1536. The three-part series shows the struggles she went through during her final days and fought hard for women to have equal rights as men. The makers have done a good job in telling that part of the story which matters the most and actually made Anne Boleyn a legendary figure in Britain’s history. However, it should be noted that the show’s pacing might be a big problem for viewers.

The show starts by telling viewers that King Henry VIII (Mark Stanley) is expecting a boy from Anne (Jodie Turner-Smith), who will sit on the throne and lead the nation.

Jodie Turner-Smith (Anne Boleyn) and Mark Stanley (King Henry VIII) in 'Anne Boleyn' (AMC)


The couple already shares a daughter with each other and is now trying to have another baby. But it’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is. Anne has already suffered miscarriage twice and the couple is in their third attempt to have a son. It is a clear story of how a woman, even if she’s a queen, was just considered to be someone who is there to give the family a future ruler and nothing else. But Anne wanted to change that after she saw King Henry VIII leaving her.

The scenario changed Boleyn as a person and now she only wanted to live for her daughter and secure a better future for her.

The first episode covers some of the most crucial moments of Boleyn’s life. The Queen had two stillborn children after Elizabeth's birth and before the male child she miscarried in 1536. Honestly, the show has been shot magnificently, but there are some issues that the makers might need to solve in the final two episodes.

Jodie Turner-Smith is a force to be reckoned with as Anne and keeps you engaged with her impeccable acting skills. She is the only reason why viewers won’t stop watching the show. Smith has once again shown what kind of range she has and why she should be seen in a wide range of projects. Mark Stanley as King Henry VII is good as well. On the other hand, Lolla Petticrew as Jane Seymour has also done a good job in showing different shades in her character.

Jodie Turner-Smith as Anne Boleyn in 'Anne Boleyn' (Channel 5/AMC)


The first episode of the three-part series is slow and might force viewers to drop out of it. However, Smith’s extraordinary performance should be seen by everyone. Let’s see how the series progresses with the final two episodes.

‘Anne Boleyn’ returns to AMC+ with a new episode every Thursday.

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