Friday, March 28, 2008

The Other Boleyn Biopic

While "The Other Boleyn Girl" is currently on the big screens in theatres around the country, I've been catching up with "The Tudors" on Showtime. As a history buff, it's nice to see series like "The Tudors" and HBO's "John Adams" receive such lavish treatments. (Maybe someone could something on the Norman invasion of England; hm, that'd be a thought).

"The Tudors" (Showtime, Sun., 9 p.m.) returns to the air this Sunday with its second season. It's an interesting series, to be sure, though it moves a tad slowly for me. Also, the writers take some liberties with actual history, which I'm never a fan of.

But what makes "The Tudors" worth watching is the performances. Jonathan Rhys-Myers is solid as the young Henry VIII, and Natalie Dormer is a rising star as the conniving Anne Boleyn. The supporting cast is very strong, with Sam Neill (not back for Season 2), Jeremy Northam, and others, plus is adding Peter O'Toole. But for me, the real revelation has been Maria Doyle Kennedy as Catherine of Aragon, an Emmy-worthy performance if I've ever seen one.

"The Tudors" does a good job of trying to explain the complicated politics of dealing with both the church and the state, and Season 2 will deal with the fallout of Henry's divorce in Season 1.

Meanwhile, I've found "John Adams" (HBO, Sun., 9 p.m.) to be pretty satisfying, thanks to its terrific cast of Paul Giamatti in the title role, the always-terrific Laura Linney as Abigail Adams, and a scene-stealing Tom Wilkinson as Ben Franklin. I confess I haven't read the biography that the series is based upon, but the miniseries is a good insight into the formation of this country.

WHY CAN'T DEAD PEOPLE JUST STAY DEAD?: As I've stated in this blog a lot, my biggest pet peeve is when writers and directors insult the intelligence of viewers by basing plots around the implausible.

Hence, I bring you "Prison Break," a Fox show that was exciting for its first season, had wasted potential in its second, and is now just a caricature. How can I say that after I stopped watching two episodes into Season 3? I can because of the news that Sarah Wayne Callies, whose character was FRAKKIN' DECAPITATED this season, is back. Full-time. Not in a flashback. I'm not making this up.

You can read's Michael Ausiello's interview with PB's showrunner here:

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: OK, so the mystery of "Canterbury's Law" has been solved. It's been moved to Friday's at 9 p.m. on Fox, not a good sign for any series in terms of survival. But tonight's episode should be new.

Stoked for next week's "Battlestar Galactica" season premiere? (If you aren't, you're probably reading the wrong blog.) Anyway, Sci-Fi is airing a half-hour recap of the first three seasons tonight at 10 p.m., followed by a behind-the-scenes special at 10:30 p.m.

On Saturday, "Torchwood" (BBC America, Sat., 9 p.m.) is all-new.

On Sunday, if you aren't into historical drama (and why aren't you?), there's a new "Simpsons" (Fox, 8 p.m.) and "King of the Hill," while CBS delivers its first new post-strike "Cold Case" at 9 p.m., followed by "Dexter" at 10 p.m.

After The Tudors, Showtime is also debuting Tracey Ullman's "State of the Union" at 10 p.m.

Finally, the NCAA basketball tournament is running throughout the weekend on CBS, while the Braves and the Nationals kick off Sunday Night baseball on ESPN, beginning at 8 p.m.


Jonathan said...

Baseball is back. So excited; Go Cubs! And Battlestar Galatica is back as well which is always welcome; while I am a viewer, I missed a couple of episodes last season and just gave up on trying to get back in it. So, I've got a weekend ahead of me of watching the third season on DVD so I can get caught up.

zodin2008 said...

Yes, Baseball IS back...Go BRAVES. And same with "Battlestar" and several fantastic shows are back in a few weeks including "The Office" and "30 Rock" and more "Lost".

As for tonight, not much except Basketball.