Friday, March 21, 2008

The Tudors returns to Showtime on Sunday night

by Gael Stirler

This Sunday March 30th the hit series, the Tudors with Johnathan Rhys-Meyers will air the premier episode of Season 2.

This is not your typical retelling of the story of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. It is a lusty, sexy, dangerous version filled with passion. The characters are young and impetuous. The King in season 1 was barely out of his teens and beginning to feel his power. He is played brilliantly by Rhys-Meyers as proud and arrogant but ultimately insecure monarch. His wealth, power and privilege eventually allow him to pit his will against the Pope and God as he pursues his desire in the form of his mistress Anne Boleyn. She herself is a willing pawn in the hands of her father who first sends her sister to seduce the King in order to advance his career.

In Season 2, Henry weds Anne and makes her Queen, now he must convert his ministers and subjects to the new faith and force them to accept Anne as their Queen. This leads to a crisis between the King and his closest and most trusted advisor, Sir Thomas Moore.

The writers take some liberties with history and make outright mistakes from time to time in their effort to keep the storyline charged with dramatic tension. The costumes are stunning but often comically incorrect in order to make them "sexier" for modern audiences. I am referring mainly to the Tudor dresses being worn without chemises or sleeves in some scenes. While I can argue that sometimes women wore incomplete garments in private, I can't believe that they would ever wear brocade dresses without a soft silk or linen under gown to prevent their sweat from soiling the fabric. Not only that but it would be too uncomfortable to wear wool and other rough fabric directly against their skin while horseback riding as Anne was doing in one scene.

If you don't subscribe to Showtime you can see complete episodes each week online at You can also order the entire first season on DVD or download individual episodes or the entire season through our Amazon store using the link below Widgets