Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Tudors: Verily, my Lord is so modern!

If you type in The Tudors on You Tube's search 'tool', the first suggested result for the programme is 'sexiest scenes' - which shows that the programme's makers most definitely know where its audience is, as they say, 'at'. It's all about the romping.

An easy criticism often levelled at this lavish period costume drama, beginning its fourth and final series on BBC Two, is that it is 'historically inaccurate' - but that's to miss the point: the inaccuracies (whatever they may be - I really don't care) are part of the fun. In fact, in some ways, The Tudors is so modern it's almost a comedy.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers' King Henry VIII, now in his forties and not far from death (assuming the producers follow his life span, y'know, roughly), is still as gym-toned as ever.

Padded out costumes do not a fat ginger man make, and gammy leg aside, the King's real-life decline and 21-stone frame do not seem that evident when on TV he's played by such a handsome actor.

"Obligatory sex-romps"

And when the King's fifth and latest bride, the 17-year-old Katherine Howard, fond of frolicking in the pouring rain wearing nothing more than a blowy nightie on account of the stiflin' summer heat of 1540, does a seductive dance for her husband behind a large billowing sheet - as may have been the custom in the 16th Century - you can't help but notice she appears to be beautifully back-lit by what can only be a great big bleedin' spotlight.

And in between the obligatory sex-romps (on average, two per episode, love-scene fans), the Queen and her ladies-in-waiting only ever seem moments away from checking their Facebook on their iPhone.

King Henry VIII aficionados probably aren't going to settle down to enjoy The Tudors for what it is, and may instead end up in mourning for what they think it should be, but pay them no heed - this is series four and there's only ten episodes before everyone who loves good telly misses it for evermore (or, erm, buys the boxset. Or goes on to this overwhelmingly thorough fan-site.)

And The Tudors' sexiest scene according to the mucky viewers of You Tube?

A Tudors clip-montage set to Gimme More by Britney Spears.

Of course it is.

Update: "they" - whoever "they" are - took the video down. Boo.

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