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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Historical > The Tudors – The Complete Second Season (Showtime DVD)

The Tudors – The Complete Second Season (Showtime DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Episodes: B



ALL HAIL KING HENRY!  A second season of the highly addictive Showtime series The Tudors has arrived on DVD (and hopefully soon on Blu-ray).  If you are just joining the series, you will most likely be quite lost as each episode highly depends on every one that preceded it.  Season One of The Tudors was epically portrayed and addictive to watch.  Each episode was more revealing about the world of King Henry VIII and with its fair share of violence, sex, and backstabbing the series became an instant hit.


Season Two picks up right where Season One left off (As it ended quite abruptly); with Henry (Jonathan Rhys Myers) continuing his quest to rid himself of his first wife (Catherine of Aragon; played by the brilliant Maria Doyle Kennedy) and wed his newest lust Anne Boleyn (the beautiful Natalie Dormer).  Be aware that the following entry contains SPOILERS.  Soon enough into the season Henry gets his wish and essentially banishes Queen Catherine of Aragon and weds Anne Boleyn after strong arming the church, making enemies with Spain, disobeying The Vatican’s orders, and all in all taking power into his own hands.  The path to power did not come without any casualties; Henry lost Cardinal Wolsey (Sam Neill), his sister, Sir Thomas More (Jeremy Northam), and many other seemingly innocent loyals to the crown, but lust beat all.  The strangest part is watching Henry (a seemingly brilliant king) fall victim time and time again to Anne and her cohorts web of deceit and lies; as they themselves politically rape and pillage their way to the seat of power.  Anne gained Henry’s affection and trust through her talents for manipulation and lust alone, but it seems that once he receives what he had desired from the temptress, Anne Boleyn, that he is quickly growing tired of her demanding and noticeably corrupt actions.  The second half of the season deals more with the issue of Henry tiring of Anne and looking to take others to his bed; against Anne’s best efforts to prevent that.  The Lady Jane Seymour toward the end of the season strikes Henry’s interest and the fanning of their lust begins; though a few heads may roll in the process.  Season Two of The Tudors is extraordinarily engaging and interesting to watch devolve into moments of utter chaos as the kingdom’s troubles seemingly come and go like waves in the ocean; if only it were that simple.


Whereas the series is amazing to watch and certainly a guilty pleasure to watch; for those history buffs out there the series may be unexpectedly bothersome.  The series takes great liberties with the characters’ ages and actions, but more so disrupts the historical timeline.  The series makes it seem as though many events happened close together and alter historical players’ ages/looks to make the series sexier, when in actuality many events happened much later in Henry’s life and were not so close together.  The events that surrounded Anne Boleyn did not occur until Henry was in his late 30’s or early 40’s and most of the dealings with the religious figures and Vatican are quite inaccurate.  With all this said, however, the inaccuracies are forgivable for entertainment’s sake and the creators have openly stated that the series purpose is entertainment and not to be historical documentary.


The characters are all around interesting as they display one formal, polite self in public, but rip off their masks to reveal the darkness of their gritty souls in private.  The manner in which the series divulges the characters’ deepest secrets and true intentions is slick, powerful, and impressively creative.  At no point is there a boring point in the series and the viewer always on the edge of their seat waiting to see what happens next.


The technical features on this 4 Disc, 10 episode set are not fit for a king, but slide by as adequate until the Blu-ray arrives.  The picture is once again presented in an anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 Widescreen format for 16 X 9 televisions that nicely gives off the intended “fire lit” atmosphere, but tends to have some grain, pixilation and compression issues in many scenes.  The colors are once again bright as each scene displays its own mood from “fire lit” too “white washed” with most of the picture quality being quite crisp. The sound is adequate with its 5.1 Dolby Digital Surrounds, but fails to give the ‘pop’ one would expect in some of the more heated scenes and comes mostly from the front.


The extras are somewhat lackluster as they seem to just be fillers so the set can say it has extras.  One featurette is Natalie Dormer (Anne Boleyn) visiting The Tower of London and the second featurette housing interviews with “descendants” of Henry VII that overall is very scattered and tangential.  The fourth disc also features some episodes of other Showtime series that this reviewer had no desire to watch (only being one episode each) such as Californication and This American Life.  There was also some Text Bios and a boring Photo Gallery that is worth no ones time.

The series is insanely interesting, well cast, and executed (no pun) even better. A definite watch and buy.


For more on Season One, try this link:





-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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