Chuffed to Bits: Discovering “The Tudors”

I’m the first person to admit that I’m late to the party when it comes to The Tudors.  I’m an HBO kind of gal, and don’t have Showtime (which is the cable network that originally aired it here in the States, prior to BBC America showing edited reruns).  But I’ve been hearing about this show for years from friends who absolutely loved it, and were completely addicted.  And if I’m honest, the show already contained three elements that sold me on it right from the jump: 

  1. Jonathan Rhys Meyers.  I’ve adored him since first seeing him as the footie coach in Bend It Like Beckham, then his portrayal of Elvis in a television miniseries (for which he won a Golden Globe), and also his role as a young musician in August Rush.  He’s incredibly easy on the eyes, he’s a hell of an actor, and he sings, too.  The thought of seeing him as King Henry VIII intrigued me.
  2. Henry Cavill.  This man is so handsome, it hurts to even look at him.  He was Stephenie Meyer’s first choice to play my beloved Edward Cullen in the film adaptation of the Twilight saga (although, those who know me are well aware that I have a very strong, erm, admiration for Robert Pattinson).  Henry was wonderful in I Capture the Castle and Tristan + Isolde, and his role as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk on The Tudors is no exception.  A dear friend of mine and fan of the show says of Cavill, “He’s my TV husband.”  Superman never looked so good.
  3. It’s a sexy, English history lesson.  This show goes well beyond the Herman’s Hermits song, I’m Henry VIII, I Am, which is forever embedded in my brain—courtesy of my parents’ fondness for oldies radio—and beyond what I learned about the Tudor Dynasty in school.  Whilst it’s not 100% factually accurate, it’s pretty damn close.  Of course, it’s also dramatised and sexed up for the telly viewing masses.  And I’m totally okay with that (see elements #1 and #2).

So there I stood at my local Target, the box set in my hands.  I did what I often do when I’m debating a retail purchase; I placed it in my trolley and continued on with my shopping, arguing interally with myself about whether or not to buy it.  With a trip to the UK just mere weeks away (and the thought of all the cheesy Royal Wedding memorabilia I would undoubtedly want to acquire upon my arrival), I ultimately decided against it.  I sighed wistfully as I put the box back on the shelf and walked myself to the register, with only my travel-size toiletries in tow.

But the universe has a funny way of working things out.  Upon returning from my trip, I spotted a notification about a deal of the day from the very same box set I’d been lusting after just weeks prior was now on sale at 60% off the original price.  After a squeal of joy, a few clicks of the mouse, a self-administered pat on the back for demonstrating patience, and a handful of days for shipping and handling, I was finally the proud owner of all four seasons of The Tudors.  Huzzah!

The rest of my telly viewing habits have suffered ever since.  I’ve had a few marathons, finishing entire DVDs in one sitting, and enjoying every scandalous, juicy, lascivious moment.  Well, with the exception of the beheadings and the stake burnings.  Yuck.

As I write this, I’m up to Season Three.  I’m really impressed with the box set bonus features as well (Yes, I’m a nerd and watch that sort of stuff).  And as much as I want to finish it up so I have a sense of closure, I’m savouring every remaining episode, because part of me doesn’t want it to end.

I have another trip to England in the works for later this year, and my inner history buff is very keen to visit some of the locales that were included in the show.  Hampton Court Palace, Hever Castle & Gardens, and the Tower of London are on my agenda.  Now if only a Henry Cavill/Jonathan Rhys Meyers sighting could also be arranged…

Read More at Anglotopia


  1. avatarPhaedra says

    I agree 100%, and ironically, I began the seasons over again last night! Henry Cavill is definitely delicious eye candy, and every time he’s on the screen, I can’t help but grab a tissue and wipe the drool from my mouth!

    I wish that Showtime would continue on with the rest of the Tudors, Mary, Elizabeth I (even though there is a ton more out there on her), or even go back an bit and do other Tudors. (It wasn’t named “Henry VIII” after all!)

    Enjoy! I LOVE the show!!

  2. avatarShaw says

    I totally agree on all counts! Henry Cavill would qualify as my Trophy TV Husband, Don Draper as my Appropriate Age TV Husband. Love this column and look forward to every one!

  3. avatarCarrie says

    Great read, Amie! So glad to see you decided to write about your favorite Brit actors! As you know, I am a fan of British actors also, but my current “interest” is Bradley James, the actor who plays Prince Arthur (before he became King Arthur) on Merlin. Although he is probably too young for me – but that doesn’t me I also can’t “admire” him too! He is not only handsome but also exactly how I would imagine Prince (or King) Arthur to be: a true nobleman. (That is, in his portrayal of Prince Arthur.) Some of you Tudors fans may recognize Irish actress Katie McGrath who plays Morgana in Merlin as having played a minor character in the Tudors, and she was also a costume assistant for the Tudors. Her portrayal of Morgana is somewhat bittersweet; she seems very delicate and even likeable, yet there is a vein of rebellious vengefulness within her. Plus she is amazingly beautiful. The intriguing web of conflicts between her, Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and King Uther makes for fascinating drama!