The Tudors (Or, Look – Breasts!)Posted: October 9, 2007
A strange subject for a post, you might think. It gets stranger. Enjoy!
The Tudors is the name of a new UK TV series, all about, well, the Tudors. Or, at least, Henry VIII, he of the 6 wives. Now, I happen to love that period of history, partly because it’s reasonably well documented, partly because I studied it in some depth, and partly because it’s full of sex and death.
This is something that (I hope) made Philippa Gregory lots of money; she found the great scandals and controversies of the time, and made them into novel form, choosing the explanation that involved the most sex and death. And so, for instance, the premise of The Virgin’s Lover is that Elizabeth I, our famous virgin queen, married to England (and not to be confused with Elizabeth II, the elderly woman who is at present our reigning monarch and is clearly not a virgin), was in fact having a rather heated affair with her advisor, Robert Dudley. It’s an entertaining thought.
Anyway, the BBC evidently latched on to this idea even more enthusiastically than I did, because what I saw of the first episode was, quite simply, sex and death.
There was no real form of introduction, no easing in of characters, but in the half an hour I watched, there was a sudden, violent and bloody death and two gratuitous sex scenes, each involving a large amount of breast.
Needless to say, they somehow managed penatrative sex whilst simultaneously retaining their underwear. Funnily enough I find this a lot stranger now than I used to as a child.
It was a strange position to be in – I was deeply irritated by the pointlessness of that much sex being aired, but at the same time, I was well aware that had I been even two years younger, I would have been watching avidly, trying to work out how the hell it worked, and where their legs were going.
Which is almost as bad as guys using porn “to see how it’s done”, because the whole thing was ridiculously unrealistic. Apart from the breasts, which were almost certainly real!
I was disappointed, to be honest. I felt that it could have been a lot better, and it annoyed me that it wasn’t.
Especially since that was my first attempt at watching TV on my own for years.
I mean that, actually. I can’t remember the last time I sat down to watch a program purely for myself.
So I think I’m going to conclude, once again, that all in all, I’d rather read a good book.
And Philippa Gregory is high on my list of authors.
(A surprise contender for the top list is Stef Penney, who wrote The Tenderness of Wolves. It seemed to be a “book group” book and I was all set to ignore it, but Mum had a copy, I got bored, and actually, it’s a really good read.)
And I’m also going to conclude that even when TV sounds like it might be half-decent, it’s probably shite.