Have you noticed? Yeah. We were promised loads of hot historical costume sex in the Versailles series — the British press screamed about it all during the show’s summer 2016 run. But NOOOOOOOOOOO. American basic cable has cut away from a whole lot of skin. Sure, we get kissing — including Phillipe and Chevalier’s gay kisses, thanks for not being that prudish — but barely a side-boob from the ladies, much the less any full-frontal from the fellas. The Daily Mail cried “nudity galore,” a conservative MP complained the show had the “most graphic sex scenes in British TV history,” and I feel cheated!
Folks, what we have here is a case of censorship, or more precisely bowdlerizing. Named for the 19th-century prude Thomas Bowlder who rewrote Shakespeare to make it family-friendly, bowdlerizing seems to have fallen by the wayside across the pond, but it’s sadly still in fashion here in the old U.S. of A. I’d hope basic cable would be a little more immune, and really how could Ovation have not known what they were getting in Versailles?!?
Sex and Nudity in Versailles That Americans Are Missing
OK, true confessions, we here at Frock Flicks have access to the UK version, so we’re actually watching both. That’s why we know about the cuts, and we feel your pain! We suspect that when the series eventually makes it to Netflix, Versailles might not be censored, but there’s no guarantee. In the meantime, we’re going to rundown some of what Ovation has left on the cutting room floor in the show’s trip from Europe to America.
Episode 1: Dream Sequence Henriette Making Orange Juice With the King
What, two minutes in? Sure, Americans saw Louie’s dream montage with him and Henriette dancing around in the Hall of Mirrors and there was a little bit in bed. But boobs, bonking, and squeezing an orange over the royal naked chest? Nope for the U.S.
Henriette’s Wet Chemise and Sex Scene With the King
As previously discussed, we didn’t see the nipples, much the less actual sex. A kiss and they were done, according to Ovation!
The Whole Tax Collector Whorehouse Sex and Violence
First, there’s walk-by of a bunch of scummy, lower-class, half-naked prostitutes, and then the guy screwing one of the ladies gets his hand chopped off. Hardly any of this made it to Ovation, but it’d be just another day in Westros on Game of Thrones on HBO.
Episode 2: The King and Henriette vs. Phillipe’s Cross-Dressing Fight
There’s only one big graphic part of this episode, and U.S. audiences really get ripped off. We saw Henriette unlace her corset, the scene cuts to Phillipe shopping for a dress, there’s a brief cut back to the King and Henriette making out, then we just get Phillipe in drag, nearly killing a guy. Yet the original version is high drama with cuts back and forth between the King and Henriette fucking and Phillipe kicking ass. It’s pretty awesome.
Don’t worry, we’ll address the corsets worn by both Henriette and Phillipe at some point. Oh yes, we will!
Episode 3: The King and Henriette’s Sex on a Sofa
Now, here’s where Ovation backtracks. The scene looks basically the same, with all the naked long-shots during their little conversation as they screw around. Why was this sex OK, but Americans couldn’t see any of their pool house nookie in episode 1? Wuh?
The King’s Flashback to His First Sex Tutor
Ovation gives a side/back view only when Madame de Beauvais drops her robe and reveals all to a very young (12- 14-year-old?) Louis in this little memory. Thanks, Mom!
As the series goes on, there are fewer full sex scenes. That makes sense because Versailles has basically established who’s fucking who (y’know, until that changes). But there’s still pre- and post-coital scenes, and I bet there will be more nudity in the European version than the American one, plus ye olde wet-chemise swimming and the like. Ovation is now promoting an “extended version” viewable on Ovation on-demand, so if you have access via your cable system, maybe that’ll show the goods.
Are you annoyed with Ovation’s censorship of the sex in Versailles?
The orange lady with the big hair is not Henriette, we still don’t know who she is:) She’s probably one of his future mistresses or simply a dream lady
I always like to think of her as Marianne, the personification of France. “All these women are just mistresses, I am married to my country!”
I don’t know xD
Is the Pope from Argentina? Bleep yes. Btw can we in US get the unedited DVD European version?
Historical note. After Charles I (Chuck I from now on) was beheaded Queen Henrietta Marie took Henriette to France where they lived. She, the Duchesse d’Orleans, may be forgiven for French accent.
I really like how the series takes the presumed affair bet Henriette & Louis XIV and runs with it. Also that the creators haven’t pussycat footed around Philippe’s bisexuality.
I watched The Borgias this summer (late, I know) and thought it was a lot more sex in that one than Versailles. And I watched the uncut version. :)
I got in my head that the woman in the dream was a personification of Versailles, but I have absolutely no proofs for it.
Oooh, that’s a really neat idea! I really like your interpretation of the dream lady^.^
I saw some boobage in the sex on the couch scene, but that was all. Also sick of network heads treating us like children.
The alleged affaire between Louis and Minette was news to me, I have never run across it in all my reading of the period. I tend to doubt it. On the other hand, she wasn’t exactly in a position to say ‘no’ if Louis was interested.
As an aside, in some respects, I think the 3-part documentary on Versailles was slightly better done than the series. At the very least, the men had their hats on.
Actually, it’s well-known that they had a love affair. Whether or not that affair became sexual is another story, but they definitely had a love affair. They even went to lengths to cover it up, and that’s how Louis de la Valliere became Louis’ mistress. She was initially supposed to ‘pretend’ to be his love interest, to distract attention away from the affair with Henriette. Of course, Louis actually ended up falling in love with her, eventually leaving poor Minette for Louise.
I’ve been watching on demand and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the cut version based on what you’ve said here. I don’t know why the on demand version would be different than what airs on Ovation, but at least there’s that option.
Bummer- where do I find the uncensored version? Jeeze….
I’m more annoyed by the lack of accuracy than the lack of TNA. The real story is just as juicy – why make stuff up? Why not emphasize the 3 women vying for a place in the King’s bed – The Dew (la Valliere), The Torrent (Montespan), and The Calm (Maintenon) – nicknames from Mme. Sevigne’s letters.
Yes. I’m annoyed. You guys should email ovation to voice your opinion. That’s the only way things can change.
I’m not trying to start a flame war or trying to get banned and I swear I’m a pretty easy going person.
But could we maybe not use the word “whore”? I get historical significance and I’m not trying to censor anyone. It’s just that it’s a loaded word and damn near every woman you meet has a story about at least one misogynist asshole that attempted to degrade her by calling her that.
If you’re not down with “sex-worker”, “prostitute” would work fine.
No worries, that’s a reasonable request!
No more “loaded” than slut, tramp, drab, hooker, putain, streetwalker, etc. A word only has power if you give it power.
Did we ever find out if the Netflix version is cut or uncut?
There has been a persistent rumour that Monsieur poisoned Minette out of jealousy; not because he had incestuous feelings toward his brother, but because of the attention she got. Poor Henriette Marie was by and large treated as “poor relation” of the family, which, in fact, she was, but she didn’t deserve the treatment she got.