The Blog Formerly Known as Rebel Prince

Cult TV, Gen Y rants, and endless opera.

Archive for the ‘The Tudors’ Category

The Tudors: Season Three Review

Posted by therebelprince on July 23, 2009

As we enter the third quarter of Showtime’s marvellously campy The Tudors (see my earlier reviews of season one and season two,) a lot has changed. For a start, we’re down to only three of the original cast members – Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Henry Cavill and James Frain. The mood at court has changed in the 17 or 18 years since the show started, but no one really looks any different. In fact, possibly due to his much publicised drug and alcohol problems, Rhys-Meyers looks scrawnier than he ever has when stripped down. (Not that this reviewer is complaining).

Above: Max Brown as Edward Seymour, Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon and Alan Van Sprang as Francis Bryan: three characters who will hopefully redeem their season 3 presence in the show’s final season. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Tudors: Season Two Review

Posted by therebelprince on July 15, 2009

(Right: David Alpay as Mark Smeaton)

After the pomp and campiness that was season one, The Tudors season two premiered with a vast range of high and low expectations. Among the more sex-hungry viewers it was eagerly awaited, while jaded historical buffs waited with pins poised above their Michael Hirst voodoo dolls.

Hirst and the network (and Rhys-Meyers himself) have been legitimately candid about the whole historical-accuracy affair. Rhys-Meyers is not going to wear a fat suit, they say, to capture Henry VIII’s later-year rotundity (At least not until the final episode, I’d assume) because, let’s be honest, a lot of people are coming to see glimpses of the show’s naked star. And with that in mind, let’s get to work on this review. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Tudors: The First Season Review

Posted by therebelprince on July 14, 2009


Michael Hirst is no stranger to Tudor costume dramas, having chronicled the end of the line in his Elizabeth films. Here, we’re going back to the beginning (as his star used to say in the opening credits) to see the first season of his pop history lesson, The Tudors.

At heart, The Tudors is a speedy look at the 1520s through the eyes of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, left) and those around him. Rhys-Meyers has received a lot of press about his approach to the role: his Henry is a slightly petulant rockstar of a King, and the actor has had no qualms rejecting the offer of a fat suit. I’m actually somewhat of a fan (although as you’ll see in this review and the following two, he waxes and wanes), but it must be said the strongest element of this show are some of his co-stars: ┬áthe sublime Maria Doyle Kennedy as his first wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon; Jeremy Northam as the martyr Sir Thomas More (who we’ll discuss in detail in the second season review); and that king of lesser historical dramas, Sam Neill. Neill’s Cardinal Wolsey is pitch-perfect: his ambition and his sycophantic nature are neatly balanced by his wisdom and his awareness of the truth of the King’s actions. (I’ve been told by some that his Wolsey doesn’t bare much relation to the truth, but in Neill’s case I’ll let that slide. Read the rest of this entry »

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