Review of “The Tudors”

Henry VIII has come back to life in the Showtime series, “The Tudors.”  Now on Netflix, viewers can follow the life of Henry VIII and his six wives in four seasons while Henry VIII was alive during the 1500s. “The Tudors” actor, Jonathon Rhys Myers, portrayed a believable interpretation of Henry VIII and his turbulent reign.

As a king in the 1500s, only a son could be a successor, and King Henry shuffles through six women in order to have a successor.  Little did he know, men determine the sex of the baby.  In “The Tudors,” Jonathon Rhys Meyers illustrates King Henry’s frustration and disapproval of the women who give birth to daughters.

Jonathon Rhys Meyers plays the ever-conflicted Henry VIII, yet Meyers’ personal life has been physically and emotionally challenging due to his health. Meyers was born with a serious heart condition that could have drastically affected his quality of life. In addition, he has had problems with alcoholism, which have almost cost him his life. As someone with high anxiety due to dramatic events that have happened, he has had problems finding himself and getting on the right track. While this is the case, he has been able to lose himself in the characterization of his different roles in his movies and television shows, and he has become very successful as an actor, especially as Henry VIII in “The Tudors.”

I find this series to be absolutely fascinating.  Since I was in high school, I have been fascinated with Henry VIII’s story.  It baffles me that King Henry VIII could get away with murder, false accusations, adultery and much more.  Something I appreciate about “The Tudors” is that the creator, Michael Hirst, seems to place most of the blame on Henry’s greed and over-ambitious motives.  When I studied this in high school, I was sympathetic to Henry’s plight because I felt he was trying to act in the best interests for his kingdom by having a male heir.  Not only is this show entertaining, but it also helps me gain perspective about what I look for in any potential relationship: honesty, integrity, passion and kindness.  While I personally understand King Henry’s successor dilemma, I am appalled that he would treat his wives as if they meant nothing.

Out of all of the historical movies and television series I have seen I think “The Tudors” is the best.  Hirst’s direction of the series allows the viewer to understand some bits of history and be entertained at the same time.  In addition, the actors are dedicated to illustrate the story and share why it is important to tell years later. I know that there are many movies out there about this subject, such as “Henry the Eighth” and “Elizabeth,” but The Tudors encompasses every wife, every story, and any internal and external conflict that could have happened during Henry’s reign.  If you are interested in this time period, this series is definitely something that should not be missed.

Below is an interview with King Henry himself, Jonathon Rhys Meyers.  He gives excellent insight on King Henry’s persona, his own motivations for playing such a complex character, and some highlights from filming.

 

 

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