Tuesday, March 4, 2008

the Royal Soap Opera

Like my pal Bubblewench and my Uncle, DK I am a history freak.
I love almost every period in history. I have a hard time with some of the REALLY ancient stuff ( think King Tut, pyramids, ect. fascinating to look at, but, I can't get into the actual history of...)
One of my favorite time frames, though, is British history, the time of Henry VIII. I can name off all his wives, his chldren, who was schlepping who (usually) and spout my opinions on much of it. I took the online poll to see which wife I was. I was the first one, Katherine of Aragon. Sadly, she died alone, of what is supposed to be breast cancer, after he threw aside the religion they followed, created one of his own, and divorced her. It could be worse, though. I could have been Anne Boleyn.
I am sure we all know that Showtime is doing a series called "The Tudors". I don't have Showtime. (Or is it Cinemax? I don't have that one, either.)
However, someone at work pointed out to me the other day that they are showing the whole season for free this week. So, curious, I have been investing some of my time trying to watch this.
I won't say I hate it. I don't. I just have a few issues with it.
King Henry, for instance. That actor played Elvis in a mini-series, and I keep expecting him to break out with Heartbreak Hotel at any given moment. And, well, he's too damn pretty to be Henry VIII. Seriously.
I do like the actress they are using for Katherine of Aragon, though. Too bad they barely show her. Yet, at the point they are focusing on, Katherine was on her way out.
I also don't like the lady playing Anne Boleyn. Well, I don't know her in real life, so I can't say that. She also appears to be a fine actress. But, does she really carry off the crazy Anne? Could any actress do that job? She doesn't look crazy enough, or conniving enough (so far). And, they barely made an effort to give her some red hair. It is black with red highlights. At best.
Sam Neil as Cardinal Wolsey, though. That's just awesome. And Jeremy Northam is also doing a fine, fine job
My biggest complaint, truthfully, though, is that they have basically taken the whole time period, and turned it into a soap opera. Seriously. They make attempts at showing some of the political intrigue that was going on during that time, but they barely scratch the surface. People probably would not watch it if they did.
But yet, I am still watching it. I am curious about how far they will go. Of course, I won't see the whole thing, because a new season will start, one that I will not pay to see. But if I am curious, I bet, this time next year, I can watch season 2 for free, as well.


Daryl said...

As a New York Jewess I feel the need to correct your faux Yiddish:

schlepping means carrying/toting/hauling

I believe you meant schtupp which means well what you meant.

And if you want to see a great series on Henry VIII check to see if Netflix or one of those places has Six Wive of Henry VIII w/Keith Michel as Henry .. it was produced by Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970

Mimi said...

I agree, the Six Wives was brilliant. I saw the movie on Friday, not brilliant and definitely not historically accurate, but interesting and beautifully costumed and staged all the same.

I've not seen the show.

holly said...

no no no people. if you want some of that history, you come over and see me! i'm SITTING HERE lookin' at a castle every day on the way to work! history THAT! did i just use history as a verb?

i've SEEN henry's knight armour (good lord but they were shorter then)!

right. you know what to do.

mielikki said...

daryl- I stand corrected. I kind of knew that, but my brain? Tired. Gah. It's hard to readjust to working night shift again. Thanks for the recommendation, though, I will have to check it out

Mimi-you are not missing anything, really. I just snored through another episode.

Holly- I'm working on it! I really am! I was supposed to take a trip to the UK with 2 friends this year, but "life" has kind of gotten in the way. You never know, I may chuck it all, and just kind of "land" on your doorstep. All I have to do is go to Cardiff and ask for the crazy american, right?

holly said...

sadly, yes. there is now a map to my house available in the tourist shop.

sybil law said...

I've seen the show, and you are dead on. It's beautiful to look at but really not very good. They tried to make something as good as Rome that was on HBO and failed, miserably. (Rome was unbelievably good. Of course it got canceled!)
Oh and it is on Showtime.
I am hoping it gets better this season. I have HBO and Showtime for the shows. Besides ANTM, I don't watch any regular shows on tv, so I have to pay for the good stuff!