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The Tudors: The Complete First Seasonmay cover the same subject matter as the 1970 BBC seriesThe Six Wives of Henry VIII, but in every other respect it is a different idea of historical drama. Sexy and violent,The Tudorsenvisions Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) as a young man of both passion and ambition, driven by boundless sexual energy and the desire to establish a legacy early in his monarchy. When he isn't sleeping with any available beauty--heedless of whose daughter or wife a lover might be--he's getting fired up about going to war with France. He is amenable, however, to alternative ideas, including the counsel of his Lord Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey (Sam Neill), who wants his king to sign a treaty of universal peace with all of Europe. Henry's fiery temperament endangers such a move, but Wolsey persists in hopes of gaining France's support for his own, possible ascendance to the papacy. His ambitions are not to be, however, and his fortunes go downhill as Henry's desire to wed Ann Boleyn (Natalie Dormer) puts Wolsey in the position of petitioning Rome for a hearing on the legitimacy of Henry's marriage to Queen Katherine.

Henry's shrewd alliance with the king of Spain is also testament to his desire to have more influence over European affairs. But his even greater desire for another woman proves an obstacle there, too. Over the course of the ten episodes on The Complete First Season, Henry's confidence grows as a monarch while his self-interest undercuts his better judgement about making a difference to Europe's progress. While the series makes the historical events rich and captivating, it also makes Henry's love life a voyeuristic delight, full of candlelit flesh and romps in the royal bed. Some of the most fascinating characters in the show are those who figure out the link between Henry's libido and his exercise of power--including Boleyn's own father (Nick Dunning), who encourages Ann to keep up the good work. Sheesh. --Tom Keogh

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CastJonathan Rhys Meyers, Sam Neill, Henry Czerny, Callum Blue, Henry Cavill
DirectorCharles McDougall, Ciaran Donnelly, Alison Maclean, Brian Kirk, Steve Shill
Screen WriterMichael Hirst
DVD Release Date:  January 1, 2008
Runtime:  556 minutes
Studio:  Showtime Ent.
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review by . May 12, 2009
I had no intention of watching this series until one day I was channel surfing and saw an  attractive woman traipsing around.  So...I decided to tune in to see if she could act as well, and I was hooked into the series by all its creative facets - acting, writing, cinematograpy, art direction, etc.  I found out the show was The Tudors and that I was watching the first episode of the 3rd season.  I had to find out how it all started!I just finished watching the first series...Everything about the …
review by . December 25, 2008
I love all things Tudor. This is an excellent series. Lushly produced, fabulously designed costumes. Quite possible that some inaccuracies exist -f rom other historical books i have read, but this quite well done. Thoroughly enjoyable. I can;t wait for the next season! Highly recommended !
review by . September 26, 2008
I would never expect Showtime to produce first rate historical drama. That is not what they do. Showtime is in the business of slick entertainment, and that's exactly what they've given us in The Tudors. With the exception of PBS and, at times, The History Channel, it is fatuous to count on the entertainment industry to teach us history.     Viewed as mere entertainment, The Tudors is a success. It's got visual impact, conspiracy, treachery, sex, arrogance, and power plays. And …
review by . January 10, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: lush, seductive and enthralling      Cons: more style than substance, historical inaccuracies      The Bottom Line: The Tudors could easily reset standards for historical dramas in years to come, and I find myself thinking... Huzzah! and long live the King!      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. This four disc set offers up the tension, power, and lush sensuality of England's monarchy …
review by . January 12, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
"The Tudors"    Gorgeous to Watch    Amos Lassen    If you love beauty then you will love Showtime's "The Tudors" the mini-series based on the life of Henry VIII. Henry had a tabloid life and we seem to love tabloids. However, this a tabloid with gorgeous costumes, sumptuous sets and beautiful actors. I must admit that I am a tad skeptical about the programming of historical drama on prime time television. Showtime has done a beautiful …
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