The American Dream is a potent idea. We can be whatever we want to be. Unlike other nations, there are no specific class divisions that keep us from climbing the proverbial ladder as high as we want or are able to? But what happens when that drive crosses a legal and moral boundary?
American Greed has been part of the CNBC schedule since 2007. Hosted by Stacy Keach, the series follows real life cases of people who would do anything (and I mean anything) for financial gain. Pushing everything and everyone else aside, they lie, cheat, steal, or even kill for the almighty dollar.
Narrative wise, these stories are compelling. You hope that the perpetrators will be caught, but there is a sense of thrill as each episode reaches its crescendo. I can’t help but feel angry when I sit down to watch this show. There are millions of Americans (not to mentions millions more outside of this nation), who are barely making ends meet. And yet some are so concerned with their own bank accounts, that they cannot see beyond their own needs.
In the fairy tales we were told as children, the stories always ended in a happily ever after. The prince and princess walked into the sunset with nothing but a bright and easy future ahead of them. The reality of that life is far more complicated than childhood tale could create.
The series starts when the teenage princess travels to England to marry. Arthur Tudor, the Prince of Wales (August Imrie). Their marriage was suppose to cement the relationship between England and Spain and create a figurative wall against the power of the French. But Arthur died young, leaving Catherine not only a widow, but childless. Without the heir to the English throne growing inside of her, her fate is unknown.
The solution to the problem is for Catherine to marry Henry. But the question of her virginity looms over their relationship. It is a concern that hovers over the rest of their years together, even after the birth of their daughter (and only surviving child), the future Mary I of England.
The program introduces the audience first to the young girl who has been trained from birth to be a future queen. She then becomes the woman who leads the country when her husband goes off to war and finally, a Queen who realizes that both the man and the crown she loves and will soon be slipping from her fingers.
I have never read the books, so I cannot comment on what changes may have been made between the page and the screen. Either way, the program is fantastic. This world is brought to life with all of the colors and complexities that only a well done BPD (British Period Drama) can bring to audiences. Supported by a fantastic cast, this show is one that is worthy of our television viewing time.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
The Spanish Princess is available for streaming on Hulu.