Apparently the Showtime channel has a new series- The Tudors. Sly and I watched the first two episodes online the other night and... Well, I must say I'm amused but not particularly impressed - and it's not a spectacular amount of amusement, either. But to begin with, the opening just makes me giggle. But then you get to things like jousting and I cry- complete with wailing and hair-pulling, even. The armor, the lances, the execution - everything. King Henry the Brat is apparently too cool for all the necessary bits of armor. Gauntlets or vambraces? Fie! His Majesty only requires pauldrons and leather work gloves! Any sort of gorget or anything to protect his Majesty's neck? His Majesty is invincible and has no need of such! Gard-cuisse for the lance? Bah, a thing for pansies and history buffs. Oh, and probably the most obvious- Padding? Nah. A long-sleeved T-shirt of an appealing blue colour will suit his Majesty just fine. And did I mention his Majesty has the temperment of an 8-year old child? Well, he does. And in his court, if you're not corrupt and plotting your own machinations, you're screwed. And even if you are plotting, you're still probably screwed. Our hearts go out to Sir Thomas More, humanist and decent man he appears to be (though he still seems to have his own set of problems anyhow). Queen Catherine of Aragon also seems fairly decent- a bit out of the loop, but that's not her fault, really.
Oh- And the diplomacy displayed by the characters? More like "what" diplomacy displayed by the characters? Tact? Subtlety? Not here. Threats are about as subtle as a flying half brick. And it's pretty obvious when someone is pulling someone else's strings.
The show does get some points - mainly in the pretty fabric department. I'll admit that the War of the Roses era really isn't my strong point as far as clothing goes, but at least most of the doublets look like there's some substantial weight to the cloth. More people need to wear hats, though.
Rather unsurprisingly given the setting and the characters, Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince has already been mentioned in passing, and not in a particularly good light, either. In fact, it seemed to be a very simplified and watered down statement of: Utopia = Good. Machiavelli = Evil. (Now guess whose side King Henry is on.)
Maybe not quite that bad, but they certainly didn't go to any lengths to expound upon the subject matter of either work - which is insanely irritating. I mean, what are people supposed to walk away with from an exchange in which it's said that Utopia and The Prince are complete political opposites of the other, if they don't know the details of either? Utopia may have been complete satire for all we know, really. And The Prince is merely realistic politics (and an interesting read ^-^). I certainly don't think of them as complete opposites. But then, who am I?
I'm not even going to try to figure out how historically inaccurate the show is. Yes, there are events that really happened, though I've no idea of the accuracy on the chronological side of things - And I'm not sure I want to know about the timeline, either. Who knows? Maybe it'll surprise me and actually be more accurate than I'm thinking if I take the time to actually look into it. Can't say I'm counting on it, though.
So yeah, when everything's said and done, The Tudors feels... well... Rather like a soap opera, really. I mean, it already has the hatred, immorality, gossiping, betrayal, extra-marital affairs, (poor) manipulation and a social structure so messed up you wonder how it's still standing. All it needs is for someone to pop up with amnesia and it will officially be a soap opera as far as I'm concerned.
...I still enjoyed watching most of it, though - if only for novelty's sake. >.> <.<
I saw The Tudors several times on PBS. They show it at least once a year or two up here. It was intresting to watch, but it seems like there was a tad bit too much narriating. Well, thats PBS sometime.
I do think they do reflect that the fact that the Tudors lived Soap Opera styled life. Afterall, the life of royalties are often under watchful eyes of their courts. Rumors were as common as air and someone is always pulling strings, blackmailing, or backstabbing to get things done... Or so. Then again, I'm not an expert on the histories of the Tudors or of the Royalites. lol