The Tudors: Season Three

The Tudors: Season Three
The Tudors has never been a bastion of historical accuracy, more a fictional interpretation of King Henry the VIII's life that has become increasingly weighted towards the fiction end of the spectrum with every season. As King Henry's timeline has progressed, the show has taken increased historical license in order to create dramatic tension, resulting in a third season that's best described as "historic-ish" fiction. The dramatis personae have strayed towards caricature, with the courtly intrigue becoming more "good guys versus bad guys" than an attempt at portraying the realities of the time. Also, as season three progresses, the compression of time becomes increasingly obvious and distracting, as it's well known the real Henry the VIII sustained massive weight gain as he aged, while Johnathan Rhys Meyers remains young and fit, which no doubt helps audiences overlook the fact that a 50-year-old man has taken a teenage mistress by the end of the season. Season three picks up just after the beheading of Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, and his subsequent marriage to Jane Seymour, quickly outlining their brief time together and the birth of Henry's only male heir, then concluding with his failed marriage to Anne of Cleves. And while it is Henry's love life that figures most prominently in the series (and pop culture history), the storyline is rounded out by Henry's ongoing dispute with the Holy Roman See, the establishment of an Anglican Church, a fomenting revolution and Henry's declining health, caused by an unhealed, seeping leg wound. The special features are less than special, only including a few throwaway deleted scenes and a blooper reel, which feels out of place for a period drama, but people like to watch actors make mistakes for reasons I will never comprehend. If you've enjoyed the first two seasons of The Tudors, season three is pretty much more of the same: a lot of semi-fact-based courtly politics and a bit of gratuitous nudity to make things hip and exciting. Just don't base essays on this series if you want to pass grade nine history. (Peace Arch)