Sexy History (Part II), The Tudors and Desperate Romantics

So this is the second part of my series of reviews of the new trend of sexy historical costume dramas. In this one I will look at two series which are the Tudors and Desperate Romantics. Those two series are the next two I watched, chronologically speaking after I watched Rome. As I said in the first part of this series Rome introduced a new way of dramatising history. The Tudors and Desperate Romantics seem to be the first series that used that formula. I have to admit that it took me time to get used to both these series but I eventually got caught up in the story and enjoyed them for what they are.

So first let’s look at the Tudors. Much has been written about the series, both positive and negative. I’m not interested in picking a fight with anyone who’s written about it. This is not meant to be a polemic, simply it is a way for me to think about these series in the context of this new trend. I am aware of the historical inaccuracies of the Tudors, and the various criticisms of the series. However, I think that it works despite all these short comings. So what is the Tudors about and what are it’s defining features? Well like Rome one of the most striking things about it is just how sexy it is.

The Tudors follows, more or less accurately, Henry VIII’s reign from a little before his first meeting with Anne Boleyne. The story follows Henry’s various marriages and the sometimes bloody, sometimes amicable, sometimes tragic, relationships he had with his wives. While many people pointed out that the series isn’t always historically accurate, it is important to remember that this is a dramatisation of history and not a documentary. I don’t think that this criticism stands as the broad historical facts are there and are used to tell a story of love, hate, sex, power, and lust. The fact that sometimes the writers take a bit of liberty with the facts is not only to be expected but I think necessary to make the series entertaining.

What is striking about this series, as opposed to Rome, is that the violence isn’t that graphic. We do not see the most violent acts, as we did with Rome. There is some violence of course, but it is mostly suggested rather than seen. The other striking thing is that the focus is on sex. Everyone is gorgeous and a joy to look at. Every episode, especially in the first season, has Henry, or someone else from his court, having sex or doing some sort of sex act several times (although to be fair he usually has sex acts performed on him, know what I mean? Hey? Huh? you know? Right?… I am such a sad individual). In many ways the Tudors stresses sexiness over all other aspects. And it works, Henry VIII looks good and throughout the series remains looking like a sexy Greek god, even though we know that he became quite large later in his life. But it doesn’t matter as the point is not accurate representation but a more titillating account of the time.

The other series that I wanted to talk about is Desperate Romantics. This was a BBC 2 Series that dramatised the lives of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The Pre-Raphaelites were a group of nineteenth century English painters, poets and critics. The Pre-Raphaelites are an interesting artistic group. They have been categorised by some as one of the first avant garde groups. I don’t know much about them which made me enjoy the series as a drama without worrying about how accurate or not it is. This I think was the purpose of the writers of the series. I think that it wasn’t aimed at people who knew the history, but that it hopefully would lead them to investigate a bit more afterwards.

Now, this series, I have to say, while being excellent, is not as good as the others I have written, and will write, about in this series of posts. It’s focus, very much like the Tudors, is on sex. The Pre-Raphaelites appear to be a group of horny twenty somethings who are trying to make a name for themselves in the art world. However, the series doesn’t have very graphic sex, like Rome or the Tudors. The sexiness is more atmospheric than visual. That being said, there are a few scenes of full frontal nudity and quite vigourous sex. The characters are very interesting and quite complex. They are all driven by both personal ambition and more venal desires. All in all it is an interesting series.

That’s it for me for today. I have to admit that I found it difficult to write this post for some reason. I don’t why exactly but I wasn’t completely focused while writing this post. I apologise if it is not one of my best efforts. I will continue this series of posts, I’m not sure if I will write the nest one tomorrow or later on in the week. I have other stuff to talk about as well. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it regardless of my bad focus. I’ll see you all tomorrow for a new post. Take care and be safe. Love you bye.

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One Response to “Sexy History (Part II), The Tudors and Desperate Romantics”

  1. Tim Sullivan Says:

    What so many in the United States are worried about is the capturing of the Arab Spring being taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and that true democracy defined as the right to be left alone, will not bloom.

    Many westerners believe that the Muslim Brotherhood are Islamists.

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