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From the ghost land of the easy life.

01 September 2008

The Tudors :
I've been watching the Tudors lately. As far as a tv show goes it's very interesting and pretty to look at. Being that history is something I've always been interested in I can't take the show too seriously since it takes great pains to dramatize certain things and downplay, rewrites or ignores others to forward the story. Once I started watching I got hooked, at first I was a bit put off by all the emphasis on sex, but let's face it it's a cable series and sex is what makes them go boom right? Looking past that it's nice to see a show that regardless of the titles given to the events like the restoration or the excommunication or execution - it's nice to see a show that to me gloriously revels in the theme of power and what people will do with it, to get it and to keep it.

I myself have had a fascination with the kings of old since I discovered Arthur when I was 8, however I have travelled down the road through the monarchies of Russia, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Britain with equal abandon. I like to find out who did what to who and why, royalty is the original soap opera. Especially how it is portrayed here in the Tudors. This is fairly dramatic soap opera fare but soap opera none the less. I love the costumes and the banter, althought the time line is sketchy and somewhat impossible for me to follow since Henry the 8th rarely changes in appearance yet years go by in a coupls of episodes. What most brought to mind the soap opera anaolgy for me wasn't so much the wailing whinyness of Queen Anne, but the soap opera ploy of have a kid, the kid leaves for a bit and when it returns it is suddenly much older then the time that seems to have passed. It happens with Mary and Elizabeth the King's daughters, and I may have missed it but I'm still not sure it was mentioned that Charles had a child until the boy appeared.

It's nice to see a show that wants to go back and show that intrigue and deception, passion and brutality existed then as it does now. Dress it up however you may but people are still using sex and jealousy to get what they want, still using threats and force to get things done. Those in power still have money and finery and women whille in that time were powerless pawns here portrayed as puppets of their reaching families; can have a mind of their own and desires that drive them to good and evil. For the most part to me th Tudors is interesting in showing how all people at the time may have been, without over emphasising the social structures or conventions of the times to limit the characters we are allowed to imagine the people of the day and judge them with our current values.

Using current values to look at the events of times past isn't always a good thing. It leads some characters to be vague and purposeless for their behaviour isn't explaind in the context of their social norms they are presented as if they were someone from today and I'm fairly sure someone from today would most likely have been killed on sight if not once they spoke, for the differences in customs from now to then are so great. Yet in this series the customs are only hinted at or outlined to us, not followed to the letter. I think the show would be less entertaining and elegent if that were the case because the social niceties of the time were many. By using the events and people I feel the series does a nice job of creating interest in the history of the time and weaving a fanciful tale of how it all could have been. Historical innacuracies be damned, it's a good one to watch.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 11:45 AM

MenTal fUrbAll