Saturday, April 13, 2013
I recently finished watching Isabel, a superb and addictive new drama of the life of Spain's great Queen Isabella (1451-1504) (Michelle Jenner), the first season of which covers her life from adolescence until her accession as Queen of Castile in 1474, focusing on her struggles with her essentially well-meaning but indecisive and uninspiring half-brother Enrique IV (1425-1474) (brilliantly portrayed by Pablo Derqui). The entire cast deliver outstanding performances that completely transport the viewer into the 15th century, and no monarchist will fail to be moved either by Isabel's steely determination and passion for justice or by the stalwart devotion of those who are loyal to her. While I thought it was unfortunate to lose the fact that Ferdinand (Rodolfo Sanchez, eleven years older than Jenner) was actually younger than his wife, and some crowd scenes are not entirely convincing, these are minor quibbles, and I can't wait for Season 2! The series (official site) is available for free with English subtitles in North America on Drama Fever.