There are some things I like about the show, like its acknowledging black people did, in fact, exist in Tudor England. And some things I dislike such as the wardrobe being perhaps the least enticing and cohesive of any Renaissance period production I’ve seen. But I’m finding myself most needled by the fact that the age gap between Henry and Catherine is nonexistent at exactly the time when it would’ve been most pronounced.
Upon Prince Arthur’s death, Henry was about 12, and Catherine was 17. Historically, it would have been an uncomfortably compelling Margaery and Tommen type situation, but the Spanish Princess instead casts them as sexy peer-aged sparring partners. They have Henry writing alluringly sophisticated love letters, hanging out in taverns, and contributing to political discussion in a way that clearly illustrates a young man at a time when he would have been a pubescent boy. They turned an unusual and complicated dynamic into something we’ve seen countless times before, likely for the sake of sex appeal and expediency.
I know it’s folly to hope for historical accuracy from not only a cable series but a cable series based on a Phillipa Gregory novel, but I think this chafes because while we’ve seen so many onscreen interpretations of Anne Boleyn, Catherine has been mostly regarded as exposition in every dramatization of H8's reign, so it’s disappointing that so many important facts would be fudged when she finally gets a story of her own.