The good: The show is beautiful. The costumes, settings, brilliant to watch. The power of the church and crown really shines out. The show shines best through periods of intense drama, such as when illness erupts, tempers flare, and betrayal is on the rise. The series focusses directly on Henry and those closest to him, and Rhys-Meyers grew on me as an increasingly egotistical and tyrannical ruler. There are many great actors and actresses who really give you a feel of poisonous realm of court life. The disappointing: This is a period in which there are rich historical accounts and plenty of action. I was hoping for a more substantial feel of LIFE in the time of Henry VIII. The picture we are shown is very limited and similar to the majority of historical dramas- selective and brief looks into bits and pieces of the king and courtiers, while the rest of the players, commoners and peasants, are merely faceless crowds and the odd line here and there. I wish the show had opted the way of "Rome" to flesh out what life was truly like in the days of Henry on the many levels of society, and bring more colour to an array of influential characters. The acting never seems to show a sense of true feeling and emotion, only scheming. Also, as a smaller but growing annoyance, while the actors and actresses are indeed very beautiful, they sometimes don't seem authentic enough to the time period. Modern standards of beauty replace the standards of the time. Unless of course ladies and gentlemen of the court had access to gyms and personal trainors, I don't buy those perfectly toned bodies. I have no problem with sex scenes, except they often feel like a clip from a modern day porn film with costumes randomly slotted in when there hasn't been nudity in awhile. It can take away from the authentic feel of the show. Despite these disapointments, the show still holds my interest and I continue watching, so it's obviously doing some things very well. Definetly worth a look!
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