Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Tudors

Showtime has always lagged behind HBO in the original programming department, but recently they've really made a concerted effort in that area. With the now-canceled Huff, Sleeper Cell, Penn & Teller's Bullshit, Weeds, and Dexter (which I haven't watched yet, but I've heard nothing but good things) they've really improved their track record, and they almost have me to where I'll be subscribing. The next Showtime original series, The Tudors is a historical drama about Henry VIII, played by Jonathan Rhys Myers (who I always confuse with John Rhys-Davis, but this is the young, hip actor, not the portly bearded guy from Indiana Jones, Sliders, and Lord of the Rings).

I only caught the first half of the first episode. For some reason, video on Showtime's site is always choppy for me, and I was into it enough that I plan on checking it out for real and didn't want the poor quality to distract me from the show. So don't consider this an actual review as much as a teaser, and this should be entirely spoiler-free. A few things stuck out... Jonathan Rhys Myers can switch gears from regal to mischievous in a heartbeat and remain believable, which has to be hard. Excellent casting, I think. And wow, there's a lot of sex.

I'm not a history buff, so I don't know how accurate it is, and that'll probably determine how those in the know will react to the show. I have to imagine they'll either love it or hate it. Or maybe love to hate it. But it wasn't bogged down in the history, for sure. Mostly character stuff, violence, and the aforementioned sex. The look of the pilot is pretty nice too. Filmed in Ireland with all the fancy costumes you'd expect from a period piece, there's plenty of eye candy (of the cinematography/set design/costuming kind... but I guess also of the good looking people without clothes kind as well). I didn't get too far into the plot, but I liked what I saw. I never got into Rome for whatever reason, but this looks more appealing to me. It may end up disappointing, but the first half of the pilot is good enough for me to figure out a way to watch it.

The Tudors premieres Sunday, April 1 at 10pm on Showtime. The first two episodes, if you're lucky enough for them to play smoothly, are available here. Obviously, don't watch this anywhere where having naked people cavorting on your screen will get you fired, dumped, divorced, or asked never to visit the library again. The super secret password is "king" (thanks, Pop Candy!).


Chris said...

It seems like the historical drama is really finding a niche, which is funny because my friend and I have been developing ideas like this for years. It's nice to be ahead of the curve. Do you watch Rome?

Darren Mitchelstork said...

I watched the first two episodes of Rome, but for some reason it never grabbed me. I know plenty of people who love it, and I don't really have anything bad to say about the show, but for whatever reason I just didn't get into it.

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