Monarchy with David Starkey, Set 2 – DVD Review

DVD available at Amazon.com

Executive Producer:
Alexander Gardiner

Cast:
Dr. David Starkey

Acorn Media presents Monarchy Set 2. Screenplay by Dr. David Starkey. Running time: 239 minutes. Unrated. Originally broadcasted from Nov. 13 to Dec. 11, 2006. DVD released Oct. 30, 2007.

The Show

Do you cringe whenever English Royalty is a category on Jeopardy? Do you believe King Ralph was based on a true story? Did you avoid those upper level history classes so you could focus on your pursuit of the Heisman Trophy? Do you wish you knew the royal bloodline score when watching The Tudors on Showtime? It’s time to complete your education by watching Monarchy with David Starkey. It’s perfect for those with a craving, but don’t have time for that book learning. You’ll discover that William and Mary were more than the cupcake W on your football schedule.

Monarchy is an upperclass lecture series from historian Dr. David Starkey. Unlike the dry chaste history that gets preached at college, Starkey juices the audience by taking us into the palace bedrooms. We learn about the kinky naughtiness from centuries ago. It’s just like an episode of The Tudors. Did you know how many kings enjoyed being queens? When Prince Charles told Camilla Parker Bowles that he wanted to be her tampon, he was tame compared to the previous sex freaks on the throne. You’ll be paying attention to Starkey’s description of ancient pervs.

We’re not treated to many historical recreations to illustrate events. Most of the visuals are period paintings and historic locations. Unfortunately this means we don’t get to see the orgy scenes. This allows you to focus on Starkey’s kinky tales without being overwhelmed by the action in the royal chambers.

Monarchy Set 2 begins with “Return of the King.” Charles II arrives back in England to claim the title years after his father had his head chopped off by the locals. H’s presented as pretty damn horny guy who racked up at least 17 illegitimate kids. He could have been an NBA superstar.

“The Glorious Revolution”? illustrates how King James II screwed up royally. He promotes tolerance of Catholics amongst his Protestant subjects. This plan doesn’t go over well since he’s the head of the Church of England. The flock fears him turning to the Pope for guidance and another forced conversion. The English citizens invite the Dutch duo of William and Mary to conquer the country. “Rule Britannia”? explains how William and Mary and Queen Anne transformed the island nation into Great Britain. Starkey presents private letters that confirm Queen Anne was a lesbian.

“Empire” explains how England became controlled by Germans in the form of the three King Georges. The American Revolution occurs during this episode including praise for George Washington. “Survival” brings us to reign of Queen Victoria. We learn that Prince Albert was originally a househusband. She called the shots. But he took control of the crown thanks to Victoria’s postpartum depression bouts after each of her nine kids. If only Tom Cruise was there to snap her out of the doldrums, she would have keep her prince in his place.

After a few hours with Starkey, you will not fear Alex Trebek. You’ll know the House of Stuart from the House of Hanover. Monarchy Set 2 is better than a normal college lecture since you don’t have to worry about pop quizzes and term papers. You don’t even have to plead for extra credit projects. Unlike History 332, you won’t drift asleep when Starkey breaks Queen on Girl action stories. This is how history should be taught.

The DVD

VIDEO:
The picture is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The detail captured in the paintings look great on a big screen.

AUDIO:
The soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. The sound levels are good although there’s a slight variation from when Starkey speaks on locations. There’s an audio description channel for the sight impaired to know about the locations and paintings on the screen.

EXTRAS:
None.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for
Monarchy with David Starkey, Set 2
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

8
THE VIDEO

9
THE AUDIO

8
THE EXTRAS

0
REPLAY VALUE

7
OVERALL
8
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

The Inside Pulse
This series was better than any of the history classes I endured in college.