This Sunday, March 30, 2008, the hit Showtime series, The Tudors, with Johnathan Rhys-Meyers, will air the premier episode of Season 2.
This is not your typical retelling of the story of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. It is a lusty, sexy, dangerous version filled with passion. The characters are young and impetuous. The King in season 1 was barely out of his teens and beginning to feel his power. He is played brilliantly by Rhys-Meyers as proud and arrogant but ultimately insecure. His wealth, power, and privilege eventually allow him to pit his will against the Pope and God as he pursues his desire in the form of his mistress Anne Boleyn. She herself is a willing pawn in the hands of her father, who first sends her sister to seduce the King in order to advance his career.
In Season 2, Henry weds Anne and makes her Queen; now, he must convert his ministers and subjects to the new faith and force them to accept Anne as their Queen. This leads to a crisis between the King and his closest and most trusted advisor, Sir Thomas More.
The writers take some liberties with history and make outright mistakes from time to time in their effort to keep the storyline charged with dramatic tension. The costumes are stunning and, though usually well designed, they are on occasion comically incorrect, possibly to make them "sexier" for modern audiences. I am referring mainly to the Tudor dresses being worn without chemises or sleeves in some scenes. While one might argue that sometimes women wore incomplete garments in private, it is hard to believe that they would ever wear elegant dresses without a soft silk or linen under gown to prevent skin-chafing or to protect the expensive brocade fabric from sweat. Not only that—wouldn't it be uncomfortable to wear wool or other rough fabric directly against your skin while horseback riding the way Anne did in one scene?
Nevertheless, The Tudors is a lush, steamy, drama that becomes totally addictive. See for yourself. If you don't subscribe to Showtime you can view complete episodes each week online at Showtime.com. You can also order the entire first season on DVD or download individual episodes (for only $1.99) each or the entire season (for $15.99) to your PC or iPod through our Amazon store using the link below.
The winners of the Romantic Photo Contest
We had over 1,800 votes cast in the Romanitc Renaissance Photo contest. Out of 1815 votes cast, entry number 19, Ariel and Chris Kottke—the newly wedded couple caught in an unguarded moment—received 31% of the votes, making their photo our top winner.
First Place Winner
The runner up winners with 17% and 12% of the vote respectively were Maria and Matthew Connelly, "Her knight in shining armor," and the "Dread Pirate Eric and willing hostage, Guinevere Rayburn."
First Runner Up
Second Runner Up
The winners received gift certificates as prizes from Chivalry Sports. You can view larger photographs of the winning entries by clicking on the pictures above. You can view all the pictures and see their rankings in the poll by viewing the old article. The contest is now over but; as long as the survey is posted, people can still vote on the photos. Therefore, the rankings may differ from what they were on March 21, 2008, the day that the winners were selected. A big thank you to everyone who participated!