Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Tudors: Series 3

I kept missing this due to other commitments but I managed, episodes 1, 6, 7 and 8.

Enough to see Joss Stone as Anne of Cleves.

It was a bizarre piece of casting in that the lady in question was described as a 'Flanders Mare', which tends to suggest she looked like a horse. I don't particularly like Joss Stone or her music, but she is quite a pretty girl and certainly doesn't have the pendulous breasts and big stomach of her historical counterpart.

Mind you, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry is hardly true to reality either. At this stage of his life, Henry VIII was in his late forties, unable to exercise due to the boil on his leg and becoming very fat and spiteful. In the programme, they have tried to show this by giving him a moustache and goatie beard and making him slick back his hair... presumably to look more nasty.

Watching a scene where pus was drained from his boil, it was very hard to imagine that the King was close to death when he was exhibiting the most deliciously muscled and extremely healthy torso.

I guess the series just wouldn't look as gorgeous if any of the main characters were fat, old or ugly. This is Hollywood history of course.

In the script, Henry goes on about not liking his new wife because she smells bad and does not having her bits in the right place so he can't consummate the marriage. He cannot get it up for her but he is quite able to wank in the night and have wet dreams so it must be her fault.

I think Joss Stone actually does very well on the acting front, not that it is a particularly demanding role. But the scenes in the bedchamber where she is obviously terrified of a man's advances were well played and one could imagine Henry recoiling from her in the light of the sexual chemistry he had with his previous wives.

Once he is introduced to the charms of Katherine Howard, a young girl whose upbringing has resulted in her being very easy with her favours and totally confident in the power of her body, the sexless marriage to Anne of Cleves is most definitely over.

The series itself is, as ever, beautifully produced with the most fabulous settings and costumes and I shall try to avail myself of the missing episodes by rental through LoveFilm once it is released in December. Or maybe I will be lucky enough to get all three seasons in a boxset for Christmas.

I am looking forward to what must be the last season and the fates of Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr, Henry's final two wives. It remains to be seen whether the series will be commissioned to continue further with the reigns of Henry's three children.

Pic courtesy of:


Gorilla Bananas said...

I've noticed that unattractive women are rarely played by unattractive actresses on film or TV. Perhaps they should have got a male actor in drag to play her. And Henry should have been played by fat ugly old man.

Roland Hulme said...

We stopped getting Showtime, so missed out on season 3- but you're ABSOLUTELY right about the too-beautiful cast (and Henry was ginger, let us not forget that.)