The Tudors Review: A Grouchy, Bored King
The King was in a rough state this week, wasn’t he? He’s all grouchy because the war with France just can’t happen fast enough and, to top it off, that nasty leg wound is acting up again.
Plus, he had a very un-exciting wedding to Catherine Parr. They mumbled their vows and looked at each other without the passion one would hope newlyweds would share. Actually, their expressions were sort of like that of celebrities at this year’s Cannes Film Festival upon seeing Lindsay Lohan stumbling onto the scene: Unimpressed and quasi-annoyed.
They’re like, “Eh... let’s just get this over with already.”
The King looks like he needs a warm bottle and a good nap. He appears totally bored with his life and seems to barely be able to muster enough energy to keep his eyes open. We saw many physical issues manifesting themselves within his highness: coughing, wheezing, hacking, limping, bleeding, groaning, sneering, speaking in a husky whisper, and endless rolling of his eyes.
This limp is a bit suspicious, however. Do you notice that it totally disappears and reappears at random? And I don’t mean that sometimes it is feeling better and other times it’s worse. In one shot he will be limping and then in another shot within the same scene he won’t be limping anymore. Wake up, Jonathan Rhys Meyers! The show isn’t over yet! He needs to take limping lessons from Hugh Laurie. That guy has the fake limp down.
So England began its battle with France in this episode. We can easily spot the French soldiers because they were feathered berets and blue velvet capes. I am not kidding. We can also see that much preparation went into setting up the English camp near the battlefield.
There are striped tents, horses, homey fires, people walking around in period dress, fakey fortresses; basically exactly like my local Renaissance Festival just without the birds of prey and the tourists with fanny packs and kids on leashes. And what is up with the King’s tent? First of all, it has like 10,000 candles in it and several silver candelabras. It also has tons and tons of red velvet and very heavy furniture.
Imagine the poor peons in charge of packing up this kind of crap! I’d be like, “Um, does the King really need this 5,000-pound armoire for his tent on the battlefield? Because there’s not much room in the horse-drawn carriage.”
The King seems to have the easiest time of anyone while “in battle.” He lounges upon fur-strewn couches reading letters, he wanders around the camp checking out the action, he puts on his pissiest face and bosses people around, and says the occasional inspirational speech to the soldiers. Meanwhile these soldiers are immersed in a living hell.
They’re filling cannons with gunpowder and straw, trudging through mud a la the HBO series “The Pacific”, getting dysentery and collapsing, and, worst of all, digging some endless tunnel to get special access to the French fortress. These guys in the tunnel have it especially bad. They’re all sweaty and covered with soot and dirt. Basically they look like Derek Zoolander when he spent a day working in the mines with his pop and brother. Not pretty.
This week, I paid special attention to all the titles everyone has. These titles seem to be essentially interchangeable as one person is referred to in many different ways. Here is an incomplete list of the official titles given to nobles on this show:
- Your Grace
- His Grace
- Your Majesty
- His Majesty
- Majesty (just on its own)
- My Lady
- My Lord
- The King’s Highness
- The Queen’s Highness
- Your Lordships
I know I must be forgetting some. Thoughts?
I was pleased that this week’s episode included even more ye olde music. You know how I have a soft spot for that crap. I also have become quite fond of the trumpets and the official proclamations whenever important people arrive at important places. You know, like when they say, “His Lordship the Duke of Suffolk!” when the old dude wanders into a room. I decided that it would be nice to have someone follow me around with a trumpet and announce me when I enter a new place or whenever I do something notable.
For example, “Her Highness now gets into her car to drive to Whole Foods!” or “Her Majesty is now going to pick up her dry cleaning!” People would be like, “Oooh…she’s so important!”
Because I am.