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Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII

My first impression of The Tudors was based on what I heard some critics and regular viewers say about it from its inception.  I heard that The Tudors was critically acclaimed but at the same time, it was riddled with too many lust filled scenes.  ‘Well, it wouldn’t be called a “Showtime” movie without such’, I thought.   I wanted to give it a try since it began when my favorite HBO mini series, Rome, just ended.  I wanted to continue on the historical drama roll but alas, I was not a subscriber of the Showtime channel, nor was I going to pay extra just to see this series.  So I resigned to justifying my lot with the notion that The Tudors was nothing but a sad attempt at walking in the footsteps of Rome.  I continued to lower the standards of The Tudors without even watching it by marking it as unbelievable, especially because of the image I’ve had of King Henry VIII as a fat unattractive man who couldn’t possibly have looked as good as actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers who plays him, even on his best day as a young man.

Anyway, as I watched the opening scene of The Tudors set at Ducal Palace in Italy, I was not surprised by the magnificent scenery and cinematography.  Also, the costuming of the French guard was superbly eye catching and historically accurate. 

I loved that the first order of business, just about 3 minutes into the show, was a murder; and not just any murder, the murder of King Henry VIII’s uncle and Ambassador to Italy by none other than the  French.  This truly gripped my attention and I must say from that point, I was hooked.  Would a war ensue as a result?  I was definitely going to stay tuned.

Then I wasn’t at all surprised to see that in 20 minutes of the show, the King already had two trysts with two other women besides his wife.  One of whom became pregnant.  The King’s frustration about not having a male heir became apparent as he complained to a priest, so I started to wonder if this child would turn out to be the son he’s always wanted or another girl whom he might end up killing.  Only after his wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon urging did he attempt to have sex with her.   But since she was in a chapel praying at that moment, he seemed more than happy to drop that notion and resign to taking one of her maidens to bed instead.  What a man!

Back to the murder – As a result, King Henry makes a swift decision to go to war with France.  When he consulted with his court after his decision, everyone agrees of course, including the Cardinal, Thomas Wolsey, played by actor Sam Neill, who later devises a fiendish plan to win the favor of the French by creating a “Treaty of Universal and Perpetual Peace” which he convinces the King to go along with instead of war.    The Cardinal plays to the need of the King to become a legend or in his words, “Immortal” through some great act and the great act would be a wonderful “humanitarian” effort to unite Europe in peace.  Really and truly, the Cardinal, knowing that the Pope was dying, was setting himself up in a cunning Chess play to win the votes of the French for the Papacy. 

The liaisons continue and the jealousy of the Duke of Buckingham, one of the members of the court, who believes he should have risen as the King of England due to his royal blood, devises a way of assassinating  King Henry.  Then we are briefly introduced to the infamous Anne Boleyn.  What a cliffhanger.  I’ll be holding my bowl of popcorn closely for episode two.

My rating – 3 gold pounds out of five


March 1, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. All’s fair in love and war and the crown, I suppose. But the writers got me hooked by the way the tale was woven. Every character – I loved and hated at the same time.

    Comment by Lisa J | March 3, 2010 | Reply

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