Monday, December 12, 2011

The Tudors - Final Thoughts

I finished watching The Tudors last night, the entire four season series.  Thought I'd share some final thoughts on it all.

First, I wonder if the creators knew going into the project that it would only be four seasons.  With the show Lost, the creators met with the TV execs and laid out a plan for how many seasons the show would be so they knew how to pace the story.  It seemed the finally season of the Tudors really started jumping through things.  Ok, I do realize most of the drama came earlier anyway but it just seemed to start flying through things, touching on things here and there, and suddenly it was done.  It seemed like in the third and fourth season characters were disappearing without explanations.  (Or maybe their absences were mentioned briefly in conversations and I missed them.)  I'm just curious about it now.

*HATED* the whole Katherine Howard portion of the story.  I realize she was supposed to be much younger than Henry and was supposed to be a scandalous breath of fresh air in his life but . . . really???  There were plenty of other young brides and mistresses and ladies at court, yet they made this one carry on like a spazzy ten year old.  Seriously?!  Her constant inane giggling made me want to fast forward through every bit she was on.  Her stupid reactions to, well, everything, were soooo freakin' annoying.  Oooh, it's snowing so let's giggle and stare wide eyed with our mouth hanging open because, you know, we've NEVER seen snow before.  Oh look, it's raining!  Let's giggle and stare wide eyed with our mouth hanging open because, you know, we've NEVER seen rain before . . . and then let's go dance it in like a five year old.  And let's use every possible chance we have to push the boundaries of child porn because she looks like she's twelve.  They could have done so much better with this part of the story.

I can't find a good pic of how Charles Brandon looked by the end of the show but even in his old man not-hotness, there was still some Henry Cavill hotness lurking.  I was very disappointed in what they did with his story though.  Granted, I'm no expert but I did consult the Wikipedia biography of him and there was no mention of the French mistress he took in his final years.  In the series, he and his wife were having problems but since they'd been the one good couple through it all until then I thought it would be worked out.  I don't know if the actress playing his wife didn't return to the show or what happened but suddenly when Charles was off fighting for Bologne he captures a French soldier who -oops, surprise!- happens to be this beautiful French woman.  Of course he keeps her prisoner.  Of course they start banging.  And then he's in love with her and takes her back home after the battle.  Huh?  And the story didn't really go anywhere after that.  This is one of the things that makes me wonder if the series was originally meant to be longer, especially since I see no mention in the bio of him having a significant mistress.  I did love, however, when his wife snubbed the mistress at his funeral.  Yessss!!

I really liked the nearly life-long relationship between Lady Mary and Ambassador Chapuys.  No, not THAT kind of relationship.  It was like a father-daughter relationship, like he was the one constant in her life.  He was always so sweet to her, and when he died . . . oh, yes, I cried.  Again, consulting the Wiki bios, there is little mention of any relationship between them but I loved how they added it to the show.  It was like the one good thing all along.  I'd really like to see a second series, this time about Mary's life.  I know she goes on to become the evil 'Bloody Mary' but I find her whole life sadly interesting.

Before I started watching the series, when I'd just catch bits of the show here and there from commercials or flipping through channels or whatever, I didn't think they'd 'aged' Jonathan Rhys Meyers much over time.  Even as you watch the episodes back to back in long marathons, the changes are subtle.  But then suddenly you're at the end and you realize, wow, they really had been tweaking him!  In the finale, when they flash through memories on a couple occasions, it's shocking to see how young they all really did look in the beginning.

So was Henry going mad by the end of his days?  They were rushing through things so much it was hard to tell what was really going on.  I know he was supposed to be this evil tyrant but I found myself feeling bad for him many times.  I want to know more about him now.  I want to know what HIS father was like.  I need to get some history books.  Ooohhhhh Santa . . .

Overall, I really liked this whole series and am glad I have finally watched it.  I think the second season was probably the best because of all the Anne Boleyn drama.  The third season was boring by comparison, and the fourth season seemed so rushed.  If you're a total history geek maybe you'll not enjoy this as much because you might be picking it apart for it's historical accuracies/inaccuracies . . . I don't know.  Remember, I'm an English history noob.  If you're not a history geek you can just enjoy the show for it's beauty and it's soap opera type storylines.  I say at least give it a try!


  1. Another thing that vaguely interests me that I'll probably never get around to watching. Cuz I'm lazy and cuz I don't have Netflix. :)

    I wish I knew more about these people. I find myself thinking, why didn't I do my own research on them back when I was learning about them and this period in English classes or before/after the England trip?? Then I remember I was running running running to keep up w just the schoolwork I had to do and working full-time. But I wonder why I haven't since. I feel like kind of a fraud cuz I remember so little of what I learned about the Tudors.

    Lemme know what history books on them you wind up liking.

  2. Doh, leaving these comments with my phone is leading me to write them with textspeak ...

  3. Dig out your trip pics right now and bring them to Christmas. Go now. NOW. I want to see them again, hehe.

    It's funny when I think about your trip, I think because you were in England everything is related to this. Even if you stood outside Windsor or wherever for 10 seconds and have one crappy pic I'm all 'OMG, she was where THEY were!' mentality. LOL

    I own the full series dvd set if you ever come to a time in your life where you think you'll watch it. Or if you even want to just try watching it. But I don't want to hand it over just in general because I'm pretty sure I'll be watching it again here and there along the way. I mean, I don't want to pass it to you with a 'whenever you get to it' way of thinking.


  4. Meh, I'll think about digging them out. They're in an annoyingly buried place and my inclination right now is to leave them buried ... sorry.

    It's wild having been in some of those places. It was amazing coming back and really understanding for the first time how young the US is in comparison. Standing in the ruins of a castle built in, like, the year 900 or 1100 or something. What?!?

    I'll borrow it now if having it watched in three months' time is sufficient. Brad & I could use an evening watching project.

  5. You don't have to dig them out. I was (half)joking, because you didn't want to dig them out last time I brought it up either.

    We felt that way about the youth of America when we were in Germany and standing in a church built in the 1200s or so.


  6. Good, I feel less guilty now.

    Yeah, isn't that the wildest feeling?!