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'The Tudors' recap: One major Cavill

Thetudors_l

Thetudors_lHere’s the funny thing about last night’s show: Nothing big really happened. Sure, George got married. Anne got dotty. The assassin got even wackier. Princess Elizabeth got shafted. But no one caught sweating sickness, died of consumption, lost his/her head (unless you count a maidenhead… which happens every episode), or did something quasi-terrible like, say, visit Katherine behind the king’s back. Yet I felt the pace was so fast and the plot so intriguing that it could have gone on another 60 minutes and I would have been totally game. Maybe it was that awesome sequence when the assassin Brereton dreamed of killing Anne and the action momentarily reversed itself. Maybe it was her harem nightmare (sexy, sexy!) or when Cromwell bullied Wyatt into submission (“Is that not which pleases the king the law?”). And who doesn’t think a farting Pope is funny? Either way, I was hooked… and then it just ended!

But I have bigger fish to fry. Good old Charles Brandon finally got a real plotline tonight. Okay, it wasn’t that major, but he did get to host the French Ambassador at his estate, have an affair with the bloke’s niece, and make his own wife cry. (She’s the bee’s knees, by the way. I loved her answer Brandon when he complained that Anne treated him worse than he treated his dogs: “Then your dogs bite back” she told him.) My question is why Henry Cavill (pictured) didn’t submit this as his Emmy episode. According to an April Los Angeles Times online article, he has chosen the previous show (episode 205) as his Supporting Actor entry. Huh? What did you do last week, Henry, besides look smashing and a little sad when Sir Thomas More died? We loved you last night when you grabbed King Henry by the neck for a heart-to-heart like the good old days. Or when you pleaded to your wife that you would never ever cheat on her again (we believe you… I think). Is it too late to change your mind?

addCredit(“Henry Cavill: Jonathan Hession”)

Sadly, Padriac Delaney (George Boleyn) isn’t on that Emmy list. Notsurprising, since he’s not in the main cast — but a bit of a waste. Itotally hate on George when he does things like, you know, rape his wife.Then love him when he’s goofily flirting with Mark or stalwartlycomforting Anne. It takes a good actor to shoulder such a switch.Padriac can go from monster to bumbler to hero like nobody’s business.One thing though: George and Anne really need to make sure they get ridof cousin Madge during their secret meetings in the Queen’s chamber.That spying little moon-face is going to be the one who turns them in.It’s no coincidence that Henry Norris (the fourth man beheaded withAnne) showed up tonight as Madge’s fiancé. I bet she gets pissed forsome reason or another and gets them all killed. (To PopWatcher E.B.Berman: Madge is played by Laura Jane Laughlin off the Irish miniseriesLegend, which also stars Padriac).

Mark Smeaton, again, was tops. But why is Anne putting him in such aprecarious position by quizzing him about personal and politicalmatters in her private rooms? What a selfish see you next Tuesday! He’sa musician (albeit a bright one), for God’s sake. Let him make musicand dance. He looked so worried and so miserable that I couldn’t helpbut wonder why he doesn’t just run away à la Thomas Talis. (BTW, I misshim and William Compton.) Which brings me to this: Isn’t it a littlestereotypical that the court musician on this show is always gay? Whatdid they do, check your sexuality at the door? Anyway, in my fantasiesMark and George’s pretty wife become great friends and run off togetherto party across Europe. Though PopWatcher Rebekah warned us she becomesinstrumental in Mark and George’s beheadings, which makes me wonder ifshe finds out about them and doesn’t take it too well.

Last night’s episode also had me wondering what’s going to happen tothe king. Has anyone noticed Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ hair is getting abit more ginger? Now Henry just has to get into that jousting match andugly up. Which brings me to this: A friend of mine had an interestingthought, though one that I can’t really go along with: He thinksanother actor should come in next year to play Henry. I hear y’allgasping in horror, but hear him out. In his words (via e-mail):

“Maybe the producers of The Tudors can get Ricky Gervais toplay flabby Henry VIII. Or that chubby knucklehead who plays the dumpydimwitted husband improbably married to the hot piece on that execrablesitcom Still Standing. Or Jack Black. Oh! He’d be good! Or Philip Seymour Hoffman. Actually, this would be a good idea for an episode of that Extrasshow. And they could have someone like Matt Damon binge-eating becausehe’s so covetous of the role of Fat Henry VIII in the final episode of Tudors. Oh, how about Giamatti getting in on the action, too?”

I know what you’re saying, maybe I should get new friends. I had to inform him that Extraswas over, but he does have a point: It is JRM’s show, hands down, butcan we stand to see him as the monstrous, smelling king? That said, canwe stomach anyone else in the role? Moreover, do we really need to haveHenry change his look anyway? The Tudors is historical fiction after all. Can’t he just get a bit older, that’s all? What do y’all think?

So please, tune in next week when Cranmer’s illegal German wifereappears from her box (she’s a mouthy one, that girl), a few more ofour faves bite the dust, and Jane Seymour makes her long-awaited debut.And thank you guys so much for all your feedback, especially all thehistorical info (Anne of Cleeves was pockmarked!). I’m also veryexcited to say that Irish helmer Dearbhla Walsh of Shamelessfame directed the next two episodes, which means they will definitelybe doozies (episode 208 is her Emmy entry). I have no qualms aboutsaying that she is one of the best directors working in internationaltelevision today. Who isn’t stoked for her upcoming AndrewDavies-penned adaptation of Little Dorrit staring Matthew Macfadyen? Okay, maybe that is just me.

 

Originally posted May 5 2008 — 4:00 PM EDT

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