I know it was as The French King Louis XVI that Mel Brooks once said "It's good to be the king" but that motto holds true in all manner of popular culture. A few weeks ago one of my favorite TV shows, Rome, ended it's run after just two seasons. However, that show stood as yet one more portrayal of the lavish and opulent lives lived by great rulers. Luckily, I didn't have to wait too long to get my next fix of a royal soap opera. Showtime debuted The Tudors this past weekend and their portrait of Henry VIII makes Mark Antony and Cesar look like a loser.
Let's just say the young Henry (Played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers) gets his freak on... a whole lot. If power was attractive in 44 BC, it still worked just as well in 1529. The young Henry is like a sports hero, a rock star and a CEO all rolled into one. The kind of man that par rents unabashedly push their young daughters onto, in the hopes that his fancy may swing their way and that they may become the next Queen. In the first episode we are showed the end of King Hank's marriage to Catherin of Aragon and foreshadows his introduction to two of his future wives: Ann and Mary Boleyn (played by Natalie Dormer and Perdita Weeks). They were the two that ended up headless in the old Mnemonic to remember the fate of Henry's wives: Divorced, Beheaded, Died. Divorced, Beheaded, Survived. The first of the 10 hours of the show also featured Henry bedding Bessie Blount, who would go on to give him his first son: Henry FitzRoy. That's a lot of history for one hour!
I can't wait for the rest of the show, and I'm just sorry they are limiting themselves to one, very short season. These historical dramas can really be done justice on cable, unlike what either TV or a feature film can do. Obviously you can't have the nudity, sex, cursing and violence on over-the-air TV, and a film can only push the 3 hour mark which forces much of the story to be left out. These series' on HBO and Showtime allow the story to really be fleshed out. It's just some good work out of Showtime! I can't wait to see what happens next for Henry and Ann (even though I already know) and what extra sub-plots the writers will have for us.