The Tudors (Showtime) and Spartacus (Starz)


Now, I have to admit that I like watching The Tudors. Not because it's anywhere near historically accurate, it's not, and the producers don't claim it to be, not because there isn't nearly enough sex and violence on television already, there is, but because the acting and fictional portrayals of such historically significant figures is just that good. Jonathan Rhys Meyers does a phenomenal job making people like myself both hate and pity his character of King Henry VIII. In short, The Tudors makes for really good drama with sixteenth century props and costumes thrown in for good measure.

This is why I'm rather perplexed as to why The Tudors makes sure to have lots, and lots, and lots, of "love scenes." Yes, I get it, kings, nobles, and the people of the court of the real King Henry VIII ran around fornicating and sleeping with each other's wives. Typically, and I'll get to how Spartacus: Blood and Sand fits into this review in a moment, bad television needs as much nudity and gore as it can cram in in between commercials to cover up for bad acting and writing. The Tudors, as I've just said, lack neither the acting or writing talent to normally preclude nakedness for the sake of nakedness.

If you haven't seen the trailer for the Starz channel's new Spartacus: Blood and Sand, I'll save you the trouble of opening a new tab to and typing in "Spartacus: Blood and Sand - Official Trailer" and just tell you that Starz felt the need to serialize the movie 300, but with more nudity and violence, because that's about all there was to see in 300. If you want to actually see the trailer, go ahead, but I don't want to be banned for even linking the YouTube trailer here.

What is my point of spending 10 minutes writing this when I could be typing my term papers? Besides procrastinating, I'm trying ot make the point that The Tudors doesn't have any need to lower itself to the level of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Much of the impact and intrigue of those frequent "love scenes" in The Tudors could be retained if they were cleaned up for people such as myself who, as much as we enjoy watching nudity for the sake of nudity:(, would rather skip over it all and get back to the real strengths of the acting and writing. Spartacus: Blood and Sand, isn't out yet, but I can pretty much safetly say that it will just rely on lots of boobies for ratings. Same butchering of history for the sake of entertainment, very different results.

That's why I prefer the Six Wives of Henry the Eighth with Keith Richards. It's cleaner regarding is "wenching", so to speak.

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