Monday, February 16, 2009

The Tudors - the good, the bad, and the beautiful

I watched the first three episodes of The Tudors and enjoyed it immensely. Like so many others, I love reading about and watching movies about the soap opera that was the Tudor dynasty, and this rendition doesn't disappoint. HVIII is rightfully played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a sexy, energetic monarch, and Jeremy Northam and Sam Neill, two of my all-time favorite actors, shine as Sir Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey, respectively. I think the tennis matches that HVIII engages in is right in line with Mr. Darcy fencing in the BBC/A&E P&P--I remember reading in Emma Thompson's notes on making Sense and Sensibility, how it was necessary to show Elinor and Marianne doing everyday activities (like cutting rushes) and not just sitting around and talking. The best costume dramas fill in the gaps and show us what the leading players did besides rant, rave, intrigue, and seduce.

I can't decide whether I like Maria Doyle Kennedy as Katherine of Aragon or not. While Kennedy's acting is great, she seems to be stereotypically cast. I've always rather liked the portrait of Katherine shown above, which defies the Carmen look she is often given in movies, etc.

I haven't yet seen The Other Boleyn Girl, though I did read it (of course!) so I am liking this version's Anne Boleyn, who thus far is a coquette but not a monster. What's clear is the degree to which Anne's father and uncle wrote the script for her relationship with the king.


  1. I adore the Tudors, though I haven't seen the TV series. But yes.

    I wish films and books would portray Anne Boleyn with less stereotypes. The demon-woman in The Other Boleyn Girl does seem a little too extreme, but I also think she would have been more than just a pawn in her family's game for the throne. Far more than just a coquette, in other words.

  2. Hi Jane, I'm glad I've found your blog (through your comment on the AustenProse blog!). It seems I can comment on yours, so here I am. I do like anything about the Tudors, but didn't watch this series. I started to but somehow I couldn't take to it. Have you read any of David Starkey's books on the Tudors?

  3. Hi Margaret (BooksPlease)--thanks for stopping by. My PC is the problem--I cannot comment on my blog even these days. I have to use a different PC--not sure how to fix the problem.

    I haven't heard of Starkey's books on the Tudors, but I'll look for them. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Tuesday - well, I finished disc 2 of season 1 and I'm still liking how Anne is portrayed in this version. She's ambitious, but not unrealistically so, given her background, etc.