Friday, September 24, 2010

The Tudors: Historically Dramatic

Occasionally hysterically dramatic as well, but overall I'm enjoying the show.

I'm quite glad they didn't go with a true historical representation of the life of Henry VIII. See, thing is, he was married to Catherine of Aragon for close to twenty-five years, taking issue only towards the end there. It was only when he got older (heh, early 40's being 'older' at the time) that he started obsessing about having a male heir. Yet, that's really all anyone seems to remember.

Well, it's not the calm, happy times people want to hear about is it? That Chinese curse about interesting times is true on so many levels. Conflict. Must have it in all good storytelling.

So, the show really plays fast-and-loose with events, and it's come under some fire for that. For my part, who cares? Keep it interesting. One shouldn't be silly enough to turn on Showtime and expect a documentary. Criticism of the nudity and sex should be similarly dismissed. Showtime, right? It's not Skinimax, but pretty close.

Now, my complaint (if we even term it such) is the rather obvious nature of the intrigue. Buckingham plots openly in front of servants and staff against the king. And for some reason this never makes it back to the king's ears? Sure, the guy got whacked eventually, but it took a direct betrayal by a co-conspirator.

The obvious plot against Woolsey is another. The archbishop's detractors are well known at court. Yet Henry seems surprised at their revelations to him about Woolsey's failings. Perhaps this is an attempt by the writers to make Henry seem a very young king, but he's been in power nearly ten years by that point.

That aside, I'm still quite enjoying the show. And in doing a little research the vast differing opinions between the critics and the fans is perfectly predictable. I sometimes wonder if critics ever actually were fans themselves. Hell, I'm a trained writer. It's true that I have a hard time simply reading a book for pure enjoyment without analyzing technique, form, etc. Yet I can still find myself swept along with the story. Critics, with their entire job to be critical, must suffer from the phenomenon even more so. Can't help but feel sorry for them.

And that's my cat-waxing for the day.