Monday, March 24, 2008

The Tudors - Season One

Many people think history isn't sexy - unless you make it sexy.

Which is probably why Showtime's new historical melodrama, The Tudors, winds up looking more like a renaissance-themed GQ photo shoot than a gritty historical drama chronicling the life of a young Henry VIII.

Not that it isn't good - or wildly entertaining. It's just seeing handsome, nut-brown young men with à la mode crew-cuts and carefully waxed chests suggests that the producers felt more commitment to aesthetics than history. However good it gets, The Tudors is always going to end up looking more like Beverley Hills 90210 than A Man for All Seasons.

But looking past the absurdly anachronistic pearly-white teeth and San Tropez tans, The Tudors is a pretty solid slice of entertainment. The Henry VIII we all know - the obese redheaded man with a ginger beard and six wives - started out life as a dashing, handsome young King and it's these formative years which provide the focus for this series.

It's not very historically accurate. Wild liberties are taken with certain events (such as merging the identities of Henry's two real-life elder sisters into a single character, Princess Margaret - or making the character of acclaimed composer Thomas Tallis bisexual.) However, the spirit of the series remains pure - reminding us all that Henry VIII was once considered a sexy young stud and a powerful and decisive leader.

In some ways, The Tudors is perfectly marketed towards fans of the renaissance lifestyle - the people who attend the Renaissance Faires and dress up in historical outfits. Just like their embrace of 'Creative Anachronism,' the world The Tudors inhabit seems to be the middle ages as they were meant to be - free of bubonic plague, open sewers and poor personal hygiene.

So if you want to enjoy a medieval melodrama, you can't go far wrong with The Tudors. It's sexy, exciting and fun. However, if you're looking for a history lesson on DVD, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

The Tudors, Season One, is available now on DVD.

1 comment:

Kali said...

In response to The Tutors poster: If I wear only see-through lingerie at my next audition, does that guarantee
me getting the job??