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Monday, April 12, 2010

The Tudors fourth season begins with LOTS of steam, and more than a bit of mean

     Showtime premiered the fourth and final season of The Tudors last night.  The drama centers on King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and his six wives, of which he is on his fifth, Katherine Howard (Tamzin Merchant), as this year begins.  But though his wife is 17, and they are having plenty of intercourse, they were far from the only ones.  Seymour's (Max Brown) wife has taken up with a new consort, and cast newcomer Thomas Culpeper (Torrance Coombs) tries to work out his feelings for the new queen by raping a peasant woman.  Yes, The Tudors went there.

     Speaking of Culpeper, The Tudors every years seems to drop a few characters who previously appeared in the theme song, and then add a few more, without warning.  This is jarring if you are new to the show, as you may wonder what happened to Sir Francis Bryan (Alan van Sprang), who, according to Wikipedia, was around throughout all of Henry's reign.  However, longtime fans may remember Sir Anthony Knivert (Callum Blue), who disappeared after season one, and may not be surprised.  I realize there are only a certain number of characters that the drama can accommodate in its limited time frame, but it's still a disappointment.

     However, it is one of the few disappointments of a very exciting, sexy series.  Among the good news this year is that Princess Mary (Sarah Bolger) is now full-time, and so will be seen much more often, including her instant clash with the new queen.  There also seems to be a war brewing, promising more action than usual for the series.  Add to that news that all six queens will appear in a dream sequence sometime this season, presumably as King Henry goes mad, and there is much to look forward to.

     In the meantime, the show continues the political backstabbing and frivolous sex that it is famous for.  Last night's episode did not disappoint, and it seems the show will go out the same way it came in: steamy and evil.

     The Tudors airs Sundays at 9pm on Showtime.

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