The Tudors Review: King Henry is Like Your College Boyfriend

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It is becoming clearer and clearer that King Henry is seriously confused when it comes to his relations with women.  As made evident last night, he hates who he’s married to and covets pretty much anyone who is not his wife, even when one of these coveted women is his former wife.

He's like that mean guy you dated in college who seemed head over heels in love with you for the first few dates you had.. and then instantly cooled off and never called you again.  Perhaps the King is somewhat like every man Jennifer Love Hewitt seems to date - only he actually marries his ladies of the moment while poor J. Love can’t seem to get a dude to commit. 

This is what is happening now to Queen Catherine.  The King is hot/cold with his ditzy 17-year-old wife.  Sometimes he tosses jewels in her direction and invites her into his bed and other times he looks at her with irritation and ignores her.  He was especially pissed when Catherine told him she might be pregnant and then found out she wasn’t.  This earned her several days of silent treatment and grouchy sneers from her hubby. 

The guy should give her a break; pregnancy detection methods weren’t exactly a sure thing back then. 

Mary Tudor

But what's so strange is that he is back with Anne of Cleves, the ex-wife who he thought was totally hideous when they were married.  She seems very sweet and clearly not holding any grudges; she happily hops into bed with him when he asks even after being cruelly dumped not long before. 

I wonder what exactly it is that he sees in her:  Someone nice?  Someone clearly not scheming and cheating and finding ways to hide secrets from him? 

With all this talk about pregnancy, it made me think about what the show has portrayed Tudor-era parenting techniques to be.  Here are the steps:

  1. Get wife pregnant (evidently not easy back then)
  2. Force wife to go through labor hell in a dank bedchamber with many people staring and whispering
  3. Immediately hand child off to anonymous wet nurse
  4. Give newborn a far away castle and a herd of servants
  5. Completely ignore child in said castle with said servants until child is school-age
  6. Occasionally visit school-age child, always with slew of nannies present in case an actual need of the child’s arises 
  7. Gift child with dangerous toys such as daggers while always keeping a safe three-foot distance from child
  8. Pray child doesn’t die
  9. Repeat until either you die or child dies

Poor cute little mop-headed Prince Edward.  He seems to have met his father a total of four times. Their bonding sessions consist of referring to each other as “Excellency” or “Majesty” or “My Lord” and a lot of bowing.  The nannies always stand nervously in the corner, wringing their hands.  They seem to want to prevent Edward’s father from rubbing off on him too much.  Father and son spend a total of about 30 seconds together about every three years.  How sweet!  No wonder these people had so many issues forming loving relationships as adults.

We got to see a Knighting ceremony in tonight’s episode.  The men looked like real dandies in their breeches and floppy hats.  And you’re telling me a garter belt is some grand symbol of Knighthood? How lame! 

What about a jewel-encrusted sword or a harem of skanks?  The whole ceremony seemed like a really lame fraternity on pledge night.  Where were the feats of strength?  Where were the ornate chalices full of wine?  Where was the ritual sacrificing of a pig?  It seemed to me that the guys were like (in a monotone voice), “You have your garter belt on?  Okay.  Cool.  I now proclaim you are a Knight.”  And then they all went home.

Finally, this Lady Rochford is a lot kinkier than I initially thought.  She seems to get a real kick out of watching Queen Catherine and Culpepper get it on through a peephole while she “stands guard”.  I suppose this was what served as porn back then.  She is also no snob about having sloppy seconds with Culpepper after he’s finished with Catherine for the night.  I can’t wait to see what she will do next. I am wondering if she will get in trouble when the shit hits the fan later on down the road. 

We shall have to wait and see!

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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