The Tudors presents the rarely dramatized, tumultuous early years of King Henry VIII’s nearly 40 year, omnipotent reign (1509-1547). In addition to his famous female consorts and 20+ year marriage to Catherine of Aragon to the infamous dalliance with Anne Boleyn, the series delves in to Henry’s most notable political relationship and the deconstruction of the Roman Catholic Church in England.
While The Tudors takes a considerable bit of “creative freedom” with the historical events of King Henry VIII’s reign, it still makes for enjoyable and dramatic television. Jonathan Rhys Meyers simply is King Henry VIII. In addition to Meyers, Henry Cavill, Maria Kennedy, Jeremy Northam, and Sam Neill all give stellar performances.
Divulging a bit more into the “creative freedom” I alluded to, characters are combined which will make the series a bit aggravating to follow for the average history buff. For example, Henry had two sisters, Margaret and Mary, yet in the series, he only has one sister, named Margaret. What I love about the inaccuracies with this character is they have her marry an entirely different king (Margaret married the king of Scotland in real life) and then in addition to that, they have her kill him. Simply no attention is paid to being historically accurate with this series.
The special features are well worth a look even though most of them have to do with other Showtime shows. I can appreciate their attempt to promote their network, as they do have a fine list of shows, but I would have liked to see a little bit more focusing just on The Tudors.
All of this aside, The Tudors is thoroughly entertaining, beautifully filmed, and my god is the cast gorgeous! Just don’t watch it and think that you’re learning anything about history. It’s pure Hollywood entertainment, and that’s where the line is drawn.
Review by Emma Loggins