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Charles II: The Power & the Passion

Charles II: The Power & the Passion

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The charistmatic and conflicted King Charles II is, unsurprisingly, the focus of the British boob tube miniseries Charles II: The Power and the Passion (2003). This lush historical drama portrays Charles (Rufus Sewell) as a man full of greed, ambition and lust- for power, and for beautiful women. Virile Charles sires many children with a series of floozies, but has no official heir, prompting him to take the pious Catherine of Braganza (Shirley Henderson) as his wife. But being King also means adventures in the sack with a succession of mistresses, from snooty aristocrat Barbara Villiers (Helen McCrory) to comely commoner Nell Gwynne. Emma Pierson is a standout as the King’s favorite, redheaded Protestant and contemporary sex symbol Nell Gwynne. History is fun when seductive redhead Emma strikes a boobalicious pose with only a piece of silk to cover her crown jewels. Now that’s what Mr. Skin calls art!