I have to thank Lisa J. Yarde for telling me of this show. It's on a website called Drama Fever. (You can watch for free if you don't mind ads or you can pay ten dollars to avoid ads) It's Spanish, from Spain, with English subtitles. It's about Queen Isabel--the queen responsible for the Inquisition and Columbus's adventures.
The Inquisition...makes this not a favored queen of mine, but I'm a sucker for a period drama...
Season one starts with Isabel becoming queen and suddenly takes us back many years to when she was a girl being raised in a castle with her mother and younger brother Alfonso. An older half brother, Enrique, is on the throne of Castile and he's incompetent as well as impotent...
The entire series is back and forth, back and forth. Due to people wanting to make Alfonso king over him, Enrique basically imprisons Isabel and her brother, keeping them from their ailing mama. This is his first mistake. Then he removes them from the line of succession, wanting to put a daughter that may not be his on the throne. Second mistake.
Let's just say, Isabel vows revenge on Enrique and his promiscuous and bitchy Portuguese wife. How she'll obtain that? Take his throne...one of these days.
There's war, negotiations, Enrique betraying her, more war, Pachecho (THE boss around court) switches sides, more war, negotiations, Enrique betraying her, Pachecho switching sides...and it grows increasingly obvious that the kings and queens are merely puppets. Pachecho and his uncle Carrillo are the ones in control.
I loved the costumes, though I grew tired of Isabel wearing nothing but white in the beginning. The acting was excellent. This is the kind of TV show that after you turn it off, you look around your home and go, "Where did my court go???"
The sex and nudity was a bit OTT and unnecessary, especially in the beginning in the king's court. I grew sick and tired of Fernando's whore too. There was only like two scenes in which that chick didn't have a boob showing fully. I'm not sure what her purpose is, why she was in the show...for the nudity?
There's a forbidden romance between Isabel and her right hand/body guard. It's sweet and pure and never consummated in any way, which makes it all the sweeter.
I didn't care for the brutish Gonzalo at first...but he grew on me. What he did for Alfonso at the scene of a battle was just amazing and I began to respect him after that. The fact he couldn't have happiness with the woman he loved saddened me.
Long review short: This season chronicles Isabel's fighting with Enrique, Princess Juana's questionable parentage, Pachecho's ridiculous power, Rome's greed, tons of disputes and wars, Isabel's tricky and controversial betrothal to Fernando, her fear of being a wife, the wedding, jealousy issues, separation anxiety, sickness...and though I had some quibbles--Pachecho and the whore were just annoying, (I was tempted not to finish the season, tbh, but the rest of the stuff going on kept me coming back) I'll be watching the second season. And OH, I LOVE Fernando!!!!! I wouldn't have had any problem on the wedding night. LOL
It's a strong heroine in a tumultuous world. Watching this, it's hard to believe this queen, so against people dying, ended up the reason for the murders of millions.