More On The Tudors: Iconoclasm Is Not Painless

From the Comments, chacha said: I wonder whether this message will actually be posted since it is not complimentary.

# chacha Says:
June 7th, 2007 at 8:45 am edit

Sorry, I think that John Rhys Meyers is horribly miscast. He’s very good at playing angry, wounded youths but here his “authority” is expressed through bulging eyes and temper tantrums. He’s in over his head.

This show cannot be taken seriously. I don’t mind liberties been taken with history but Henry composing Greensleeves – that’s a stretch & it doesn’t showcase his musical talents (which is historically accurate). Could’t the producers come up with something else or was it too expensive to hire a composer?

There’s no electricity between Henry & Ann (who is also miscast). It’s as if the writers said “we need more rock stardom and sex. The audience won’t want character development.” I think that they underestimated the audience which would have responded just as positively & probab;y even more so to a higher standard of production.

I loved HBO’s Rome” and the sex in this show pale in comparison but the sex in “Rome” was tightly integrated with the story, in other words it was not gratuitus.

I love the other characters – Maria Doyle Kennedy, Sam Neill, Steve Waddington, Jeremy Northram (who is underused), Henry Czerny & I could go on & on. Even Hanry Cavill has his moments.

The costumes & settings don’t make up for the torpid script & the underwhelming performances of the main characters.

Such a great comment! My response:

Jonathan Rhys Meyers is miscast. But I think the opening sequence . . . “you think you know a story . . .” takes care of the matter. When I watched the first episode, my reaction was more in line with yours. But Rhys Meyers has grown on me, especially when I remember how young Henry was when he came to the throne. Till now, my image of Henry VIII was a mix of the fully adult Richard Burton and Robert Shaw — and Ray Winstone was also quite a hearty Henry a few years ago.

To enjoy The Tudors, you have to leave the story you think you know at the door. Meyers has grown on me, and I love his scenery chewing. The tantrums his Henry throws are dangerous, but not reckless. (For an example of reckless tantrum throwing, see Bush, George W.) I hate to say a bad thing about an actor, but Natalie Dormer is on the verge of awful as Ann —

edit: I do enjoy those headpieces she wears!

— she just doesn’t have the inner whatsit to match Rhys Meyers. Who would? I mean that seriously. The one tragedy of this production is that there is someone out there who would have made this her part but didn’t get the part. But who? I’m going to think about that.

And as for Greensleeves, I am in the camp who does not believe Henry wrote the song, but I have no problem with the use of it here. I’m more bothered by some of the other historical inaccuracies.

But I don’t care! I love the show for what it is, and I don’t hate it for what it is not.

I do feel sorry for poor Thomas More in this one. Jeremy Northam is excellent, and much more sympathetic than Paul Scofield’s More in A Man For All Seasons. You mention Steve Waddington — I think he would have made a perfect Henry VIII in the traditional mold.

But then, The Tudors is the iconoclast of Henry VIII treatments.


2 Responses to “More On The Tudors: Iconoclasm Is Not Painless”

  1. Susan Higginbotham Says:

    I’m enjoying “The Tudors” also. Only thing that’s bugged me is the storyline about Henry’s sister.

  2. missfiddyment Says:

    Yes, that bothered me too. And I really don’t get why they changed her first husband to being the king of Portugal instead of France.

    Just an aside, I keep seeing Henry Cavill as he was in The Count of Monte Cristo and it jars against this rutty guy here!

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