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March 31, 2007

At least the clothes were pretty...

TV and Movies

I just watched the first episode of The Tudors via Netflix. I don't have time to do the research necessary for a full review - I'm completed bogged down by schoolwork drama - but here are a few quick thoughts on my first reaction:

* I have heard that this is the most expensive TV show (to produce) ever. I'm not sure why, with such an astronomical budget, they couldn't manage to hire decent historians or scriptwriters. More about both of these aspects below.

* That said, the sets and costumes were quite impressive. Overall, I thought it did a pretty good job of conveying the atmosphere and environment of young Henry VIII's court.

* The script was pretty uniformly awful, although the computer on which I was watching had some volume issues, so I can't be sure whether the lines I didn't hear were as bad as the ones I did. There was a lot of very clunky exposition, of the "I'm a humanist, so I have an abhorrence for war" variety. (Yes, really. I laughed for about five minutes at that one.)

* I understand that certain liberties generally need to be taken with history in order to form it into effective television (or film, or fiction). I really do. But The Tudors seemed to just... mess up, at times. I understood why they made certain decisions to fudge the facts, but others seemed pointless and therefore just sloppy.

* Most of the casting was decent and believable, if not ideal. Katherine of Aragon was pretty good, and it looks like Anne Boleyn will be too. (She was only in this episode very briefly.) Most of the secondary characters were fine. The little girl playing Mary Tudor is adorable.

* Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry, though? I'm sad to say that it just doesn't work. And it pains me to say this, as he is usually one of my favorite actors. He's great at what he does, but this just isn't it. He's too slight, too waifish, too brooding, too quiet. I just didn't buy it. He's adorable, as always, (especially when he grows a beard partway through! But we all know how I feel about beards,) but he's not Henry VIII. And this was my main problem with the whole thing. I can forgive a lot in a historical drama, but I can't get past a completely unbelievable main character.

The actor playing the Duke of Buckingham would have been perfect as Henry. Perfect. Taller, bigger, reddish hair, assertive, more of a presence. Just as attractive, in a very different way. And I could actually believe he was strong enough to lift a lance, which helps. I can only assume that they felt they needed more of a "name," and it's really too bad.

Posted by Kat at March 31, 2007 08:30 PM

I hate when they don't get it right. Which is why I can't watch Camelot, even though I LOVE the music! Love at first sight for Lancelot and Guinevere, I don't think so!

Posted by: chrisknits at March 31, 2007 09:59 PM

I haven't watched Tudors yet, though I had it on my list. I'll keep your comments in mind and watch with a more discerning eye when I do!

Posted by: carrie at April 1, 2007 09:21 AM

Thanks for the review. Sounds like I'd get alot of knitting done while "watching" that one. If it were a very well done period piece, there wouldn't be much knitting to show for it.

Posted by: Carol at April 1, 2007 04:15 PM

Okay but what are you knitting, we seem to have lost touch with you since Dewey came!!! You are missed.

Posted by: Maureen at April 2, 2007 11:03 AM

Thanks for the info on the Tudors - this looked really good in the previews, but it sounds like it might be a "can skip!"

Posted by: Robin at April 2, 2007 05:32 PM
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