The first reviews for Nicholas Galitzine’s horny historical romp, Mary & George, are in: ‘A dramatic treat’

Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine in the trailer for Mary & George.

Nicholas Galitzine and Julianne Moore are getting gay, bloody and hysterical in Sky’s horny new period drama Mary & George. And, if the reviews are right, it’s well worth a watch.

Based on a true story and Benjamin Woolley’s 2017 book The King’s Assassin, the new seven-part series sees Red, White & Royal Blue star Galitzine take on another queer role, this time as bisexual nobleman George Villiers.

After his cunning, deceptive and occasionally murderous mother Mary, the Countess of Buckingham, (May December’s Moore) is told that her position in society is soon to become “untenable”, following the death of her husband, she concocts a plan to have her son seduce England’s King James I – James the VI in Scotland – (Mayflies star Tony Curran).

In the first two trailers, fans see the plan come to fruition, as George and the king go from strangers to explicit lovers in no time at all.

Plus, in the second trailer, even Mary goes gay, as it appears she’ll stop at nothing to become one of the 17th-century monarch’s most-trusted allies.

Ahead of the series premiere on Tuesday (5 March), the first reviews are in, and critics are (mostly) raving over the “sex-filled historical romp”.

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Writing in The Guardian, Joel Golby praised the drama for its “enjoyable historical queerness”, noting that while Mary & George “pulsates with ‘romp’ energy,” it’s the performances and “wicked little characters” that sell it.

“What a little dramatic treat,” he said.

In a four-star review for the Evening Standard, Elizabeth Gregory also seemed to have enjoyed the “sexy, sweary period drama”, and agreed that “romp” is certainly the most fitting word to describe it.

“There are orgies, a penis swinging in the shadows and an intimate look at how George, er, prepares himself for the king,” Gregory revealed, adding that the constant shagging brings about a “lively, thrillerish quality”.

The acting, from both Moore and Galitzine, is “superb”, too, according to the Radio Times’ Morgan Cormack. The pair are the “electric energy” that bring the “salacious, witty” drama to life, with the “chillingly cold” Moore stealing the show, she said.

Nicholas Galitzine sets out to seduce a king in Mary & George. (Sky TV/ AMC)

Digital Spy writer Rebecca Cook also gave the series four stars, commending it for offering “the blackest of humour”, “queer and earned” sex scenes, and Galitzine “in a state of desirous undress”.

In slightly less favourable reviews, The Independent and The Telegraph – both of which awarded three stars out of a possible five – dubbed it “a rather familiar set-up” to Yorgos Lanthimos’ Oscar-winning The Favourite.

“It’s not just the narrative that feels lifted from that Olivia Colman-led love triangle. The tone, too, is similarly irreverent and anachronistic,” wrote The Independent’s chief TV critic Nick Hilton.

Mary & George begins at 9pm on Sky Atlantic and Sky Showcase on Tuesday (5 March) in the UK and on Starz on 5 April in the US.

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