Yeah, I'm still on The Tudors.
Series 2 was bonkers nutso. Anne Boleyn finally got what was coming to her, after many many scenes of Henry shagging literally everyone he met. Apparently Henry thought nothing of bumping into an innocent dude on the road, just out for a drive with his missus, and then boinking the missus into oblivion. Without even asking.
Thomas More got his head cut off - his very handsome, young head. It was missing some of the realism of, well anything. Every execution is beautiful. Every person still looks beautiful. Everyone is still young. In this court, no one gets old. Oh, and before that Wolsey died. By SLASHING HIS OWN THROAT. Of all the things that didn't happen in real life that didn't happen the most. The most ludicrous fuckery with reality of the entire series. He did die before Henry could kill him, that's true and there are rumours that it could have been self inflicted poison, but it most definitely wasn't like that.
It seems at some point during the second series, the writers either got bored with the actual real story or just decided to go off piste. Either way, what they ended up with was a crazy mishmash of nuttiness and over simplistic explanations out of nowhere on the reformation.
The hilarity comes with the random sudden boring explanations they inexplicably give.
"Who is this Luther you speak of?"
"Oh you know Luther. He is spearheading the European reformation and is denouncing Popery as evil."
"Oh yes, that Luther. I shall read this book."
"Yes, but do not show anyone."
That's the kind of super clever repartee the most intelligent minds of the time were apparently coming up with. Explanations that a moron could understand thrown around to and from the preternaturally intelligent Anne Boleyn.
In between the shagging it's important to at least try to stick to some semblance of what was actually happening I suppose.
And so to series 3. The first scene introduces a couple of new people. Francis Bryan - he was real enough. The Vicar of Hell he was called. Another of Henry's cronies without scruple and with plenty of guts, he orchestrates Cromwell's downfall.
When you watch Henry VIII's life condensed like this into hourly episodes all you see is death. All of these people he killed. Most of them at one point were really close friends of his, as well as, of course, these women he supposedly loved. Basically, your main thought is what an unholy bastard he was. A giant, spoiled man baby who couldn't reconcile his urges with his duties. Constantly conflicted between his dick and his conscience. He's like every awful ex boyfriend you've ever had, rolled into one. With the power of life and death. Eeesh.
Anyway, back to the Jane Seymour years. The thing about these years, although seemingly ridiculously portrayed as the calm after the storm, they kind of actually were. Once Henry had embarrassed himself thoroughly with the whole Anne Boleyn thing he decided he wanted someone nice and pure and all of that shizzle. What he meant was, a woman who wouldn't challenge him. A woman who wouldn't push him to do mad shit like ditch the Pope and cause a massive schism within the church.
Jane doesn't do any of that. She's well nice. She's a meek little bugger and she definitely didn't look like someone who would be better placed in the cast of Baywatch. She's tall, blonde and goddess like in The Tudors. Sigh. Just ONCE get an ugly one in. Henry himself has slicked back hair and a slightly bigger moustache. You know, rather than a 50 inch waist, a disgusting ulcerous leg and thinning ginger locks. Still, who needs realism.
All of this is pretty much par for Showtime's version's course.
Bryan, by the way, wears a massive hat and an eye patch and is clearly cast as the swaggering villain of this bit. At the wedding Sir Francis meets Lady Ursula Misselden. Urm, who?
I've been reading about this period of history since I was 14. I've become acquainted with pretty much all of the cast of characters. I know which Thomas is which and I know who all the peripheral people are. And never once have I come across Ursula Misselden.
Aaaaand that's because she didn't exist. They've invented another beautiful woman to jump on Henry's bits even though he was faithful by this point. Yep, actually faithful. He was old. He was obese. He was ill. He could barely get it up. He was not a virile sex beast hunting around for nubile bodies to mount, like some kind of dog on heat. He was probably only faithful because it had all become too much effort not to be, but faithful he was, according to reports at the time.
Here, he's still humping things like a defective sex robot. I mean, they actually thought this show needed more tits? Seriously?
I look forward to Thomas Cromwell dying by someone blowing him away with an AK47.