Most people know about The Tudors when it comes to historical shows. It was basically the first ever big retelling of an historical era. And, it was very successful for the duration of its running time. But, what made it so successful? What was its secret?
It’s secret was having a decent dose of adult content (sexual), violence, politics, characters that kept us guessing, drama, and a dash of history. I also think that even though the show was mainly about Henry VIII and all the changes he wrought in his kingdom (and the rest of Europe), most people watched it to see what happened to each wife. Yes, we all know that he divorced Katherine of Aragon, beheaded Anne Boleyn, lost Jane Seymour, divorced Anne of Cleves, beheaded Katherine Howard, and died before Katherine Parr. The actresses who were selected to play each wife were all beautiful in their own way, and acted them superbly.
As for the politics, they perfectly discussed each problem and revolutionary change that took place in England. The dissolution of Catholicism and the beginning of the Anglican Church. We watched the Act of Succession tear England apart, and in a way, destroy the family that helped set it on that path in the first place: the Boleyns. We all saw how the Pilgrimage of Grace was brutally and cruelly crushed. As a student of History, I was impressed by everything they did. What was the secret? They presented a complex time in history in a digestible and enjoyable manner for all to admire. Series and shows are more capable of doing that than a movie. That’s why I’m contemplating adjusting my Scarlet Pimpernel screenplay into a series instead of the movie format it is currently. We shall see.
And on that note, it’s been real!