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Thursday, February 18, 2010:
What I'm watching: The Tudors Season 2
Mining one of history's most infamous figures to create a rich episodic drama, Showtime's THE TUDORS takes on the early life of King Henry VIII, played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (MATCH POINT). With enough rivalries, scandals, and debauchery to make MELROSE PLACE blush, the engrossing series follows the 16th-century monarch's ascent to power, political battles, and personal ruthlessness. In this second season, Henry creates the Church of England in order to speed his annulment with Katherine of Aragon (Maria Doyle Kennedy). But what will happen when his new wife, Anne Boleyn (Natalie Dormer), can't produce a male heir? No stuffy costume drama, THE TUDORS boasts a talented acting ensemble that includes Peter O'Toole (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA) as Pope Paul III and Jeremy Northam (GOSFORD PARK) as Sir Thomas More. This collection presents all 10 episodes of the second season.


Oh don't you just love a rousing, sexy, frothy drama? I sure the heck do, and this series fits that description to a "t".

In the first season, King Henry wants an heir, but his wife Catherine cannot give him a much desired son. By the end of season 1, he's become quite enamored (read: lusts after) Anne Boleyn. In season 2, his greatest wish is to make Anne his queen. After manipulating his way so that now he is over the church, he puts in place several figureheads to accomplish his goal: to declare his marriage to Katherine of Aragon null and void and marry the devious and nubile Anne. Mission accomplished (hey, no spoilers here, this is all history). But alas, young Anne cannot give him a son either. King Henry, who tends to see what he wants to see and interpret laws differently depending upon his mood, is then convinced that Anne is his downfall and believes the rumors that she's entertained several men in her bedchamber, including her own brother. Then it's off with her head!

You gotta love Showtime, and the melodramatics that are brought to this series. It's full of pretty people, my favorite being Charles Brandon (played by the yummilicious Henry Cavill) who was severely under-utilized this year. Though usually his function is to get nekkid and have all kinds of raunchy sex, and since he appeared to be in love with his wife this season, perhaps it's for the best. However it still would have been nice to see more of him.

Johnathan Rhys Meyers is better-looking this season as well with that goatee he's got going on. Makes him look positively wicked. His portrayal of King Henry amuses me greatly, as he tends to act like a child throwing a tantrum. Natalie Dormer as the scheming Anne is both evil and brilliant. I couldn't hate her completely, though she definitely has her moments. The last few episodes when she's found guilty of treason are grim and a bit terrifying. I almost felt sorry for her, despite all the damage she caused on her way to being Queen. It was a violent, bloody period in time.

I really enjoyed this season and am looking forward to season 3. I tend to get a little obsessive about things that fascinate me and in fact I rented the 2003 BBC version of "The Other Boleyn Girl", starting Jodhi May and Natashca McElhone. It wasn't quite as fun as the over-the-top 2009 (2008?) version with Natalie Portman and Eric Bana, but I liked it well enough. This version is also not quite as glamorous, and King Henry not quite as attractive. And no bloody ending. Bummer.

Do you watch The Tudors?

Do you like historic dramas based on actual events?

Any recommendations for similar dramas?



  1. Oh you KNOW I love this series! It's just SOOOO over the top. Smutty, smutty, smutty, and all those sumptuous costumes. And JRM is such a scenery chewer. It's just delicious.

    I can't wait for Season 4 to start!

  2. I love this one, too, and am re-watching the DVD's in anticipation of season 4 which starts up in April.

    Stacy, have you ever read the Philippa Gregory books about the Tudors? I read them all ass-backwards, started with Other Boleyn Girl, went forward to Boleyn Inheritance, then Virgin's Lover, then back to Queen's Fool, then WAY back to Constant Princess (about Catherine) then WAY forward to The Other Queen (of Scots.)

    One day I will go back and re-read them in chronological order...lolol...but I must say, they really are good if you like historical fiction! I particularly liked The Boleyn Inheritance--a great portrayal of Katherine Howard, whose story is so overshadowed by Anne's. (And I love Anne...I played her on stage, that's how I met Bruce!)

  3. Yes, I sure do watch this wonderfully over-the-top, sexy series! JRM looks like he's having fun playing such a multi-faceted figure as does everyone else. And yes, there's was not enough Henry Cavill in season 2 (or enough of him period). There's more of him in season 3, but a more mature Brandon definitely.

    Great series and sad that this upcoming season is the last.

  4. I love the Tudors as well. The end of the series will be here soon so I hope they come up with another series about this time period.

    Have you seen Elizabeth and The Golden Age. They are great movies about Henry's daughter. Kate Blanchett rocks!

    My secret wish is to visit London and see all the history about the Victorian period.

  5. I so love the Tudors. excellent, sexy and fast moving. The costumes are fabulous as is the scenery. And if you really want to dig deeper on this storyline, check out Philippa Gregory's books on which this series is based. The royal gardener books by Gregory would make another great Showtime series. Full of hot sex and lots of action.

  6. I did watch the first season of Tudors and like it. I have not seen season 2 yet, but it is add to my Netflix queues. I'm hoping to catch up on the Tudors soon :) Just how many season is out already?

  7. I can't wait for Season 3 either. I love the lushness of the drama, even knowing the ending!!!! JRMs makes a great sociopath :)

  8. I love the Tudors and have been watching the show since the very beginning. The sexyness meter in this series is off the charts and I love the costumes and of course, the romantic!

    Can't wait for season 4. ;)

  9. Oh, The Tudors is great! Just finished watching Season 3 here and oh it was good! Sumptous is the word I'm thinking of :)

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