Lust and Power in ‘Mary & George’: Julianne Moore’s Intriguing Tale of Royal Court Intrigue

‘Mary & George’: Julianne Moore Loans Her Son Out for Sex in Lusty New Series

Take a careful look at the tagline on the poster for Mary & George—the intriguing new limited series about royal courts and courtship, premiering Apr. 5 on Starz—and you’ll notice a clever detail. “Lust. For Power,” the tagline reads. At first glance, the period after “lust” might seem like a typo or a playful hint, but it’s a subtle punctuation choice that reveals the show’s clever thematic double entendre.

Mary & George explores not only the pursuit of power but also the use of lust to achieve it. This ingenious tagline perfectly encapsulates the show’s attention to detail, setting the stage for a refined and wickedly enjoyable experience.

Even if you’re not well-versed in royal history, fear not: I, with less knowledge of monarchy history than of basic math and sciences, found myself engrossed in Mary & George within minutes of its premiere. A significant part of that allure is owed to the exceptional performance of Julianne Moore, who embodies the role of Countess of Buckingham Mary Villiers with ferocious intensity. Mary is determined to improve her status and win the favor of King James VI of Scotland and I of England (Tony Curran).

To gain entry into the king’s inner circle, Mary enlists the help of her second eldest son, George (Nicholas Galitzine), not for military purposes, but for personal pleasure. King James has a preference for young, attractive men in his chambers, and George’s youthful charm is a tool Mary exploits to secure her family’s position and financial security.

Mary & George'
Mary & George (Credits: The Daily Beast)

However, this task proves challenging amidst competition from other suitors vying for the king’s attention. Undeterred and ruthless, Mary orchestrates her schemes with Moore’s masterful portrayal, creating a narrative filled with intrigue and ambition.

Mary’s circumstances are far from favorable, particularly for a woman with lofty aspirations. Despite being a mother of four children, only George holds potential for securing the family’s prestige. With her other children lacking significant prospects, Mary focuses her attention on George, who possesses both determination and allure.

As George reluctantly navigates his role in his mother’s ambitious plans, the series delves into themes of power, ambition, and the lengths individuals will go to achieve their desires. With a consistent and engaging pace, Mary & George unfolds with unexpected twists and turns, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

Julianne Moore’s commanding performance adds depth to Mary’s character, portraying her as a formidable yet complex figure driven by her ambitions. Her dynamic with Galitzine’s George is a highlight of the series, showcasing the evolution of their relationship amidst the backdrop of political intrigue and personal desires.

Despite its portrayal of decadence and sensuality, Mary & George offers more than just titillation. Through its intricate storytelling and sharp dialogue, the series explores timeless themes of ambition, power dynamics, and the human condition. It’s a provocative examination of the lengths people will go to fulfill their desires, and the consequences that follow.

Mary & George is a gripping and provocative series that engages audiences with its compelling characters, intricate plot, and thematic depth. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling and the enduring allure of tales set amidst the intrigue of royal courts and personal ambition.

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