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"The Tudors" His Majesty's Pleasure (2008)

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Why I Love The Tudors

7/10
Author: Dan1863Sickles from Troy, NY
30 October 2014

Nothing cheers me up like The Tudors. I love it because it's such a stupid show, so completely full of cheap sex and meaningless violence, so completely cut off from anything resembling real life.

"His Majesty's Pleasure" is classic Tudors all the way. I love the way King Henry VIII is such a worm, the way he oozes his way into one woman's bed after another without ever feeling any guilt. I love the way he's so slimy and evil yet he never seems to feel bad about anything he does. Oh, sometimes he says he feels bad, in fact when they cut off Sir Thomas More's head he actually screams "aaaaauuuuggh!" like he's Charlie Brown and he just missed the football. Or like he's in a horror movie. But the writing is so stupid and the acting is so bad that you can't help laughing.

Talk about the ultimate escape!

Of course, not everything about The Tudors is a joke. Natalie Dormer is amazing as Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife. I love Anne because she's so sexy and so amazingly glamorous, yet when things don't go her way she's just as brave and just as determined as any man. She's not afraid of anyone and she always says what she thinks. She makes me feel better about my life because I can see myself standing in her shoes and telling the whole world to go to hell. Yet at the same time I can feel better about being a total chicken, because wonderful brave Anne dies at the end, just like real heroes always do. And even though she's super brave and super sexy, there are times when she feels sadness and regret and loneliness, just like me.

One of my favorite moments in this episode is when Anne gets a visit from her sister Mary. Now Mary Boleyn is just as beautiful and sexy as Anne, but not nearly as bright, and she's just gone off and married a common soldier with no money at all. So then Anne, because she's a queen, gets very angry and tells Mary that she is banished from the royal court, because her new husband is totally inappropriate. And then Mary looks at her wide-eyed, and says, "But Anne, he knows about all the other men, and HE DOESN'T CARE!"

What happens next is really extraordinary, because Anne gives her sister a look that's totally cold and scornful. And then it seems to become a very sad look, a lonely look, and at the very end almost a wistful and envious look. (Natalie Dormer is amazing as Anne.) What you can see in Anne's eyes is the knowledge that her poor, dumb sister is really much happier than she is, because she has a husband who loves her and forgives her and will stand by her no matter what she's done. So then you just feel so much love for Anne, because she's so glamorous and sexy and brave, and yet so totally alone.

I love this scene because I love Anne. (Can you tell?) But now that I've written it all down, I realize that there's something very important about Mary's side of the story as well. She has so much joy in her eyes, but where does it come from? Her husband loves her, and he forgives her. And that gives her the freedom to forgive herself.

What's really happening here is not just that Mary got lucky, or that she's hooked up with a hot new guy. Mary is practically glowing in this scene because she's made a conscious decision to let herself off the hook for all the stupid mistakes she's made. Even if they seemed absolutely unforgivable when they first happened, and even if they happened a long, long time ago.

Sometimes The Tudors is a really stupid show. And sometimes it's not so stupid after all.

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