Who knew that history, let alone English history, could ever be so interesting?  With all that royalty and fashion and housing design and shifting allegiances, Tudor England is a nightmare to remember.  But, with the first season of The Tudors now in a special edition boxed set from Showtime, it’s heaven to watch on television.

The complete first season of The Tudors is now available on DVD in a special edition boxed set from Showtime.  Pick it up today and enjoy all ten groundbreaking episodes and some great special features.

It’s Henry the Eighth, Catherine of Arragon, and Anne Boleyn which are the focus of this first season of The Tudors.  It’s fittingly appropriate that the love triangle dominates this era, as it symbolized so many struggles going on in England at that time – the struggle for which countries they would ally themselves with as the Continent began to change, whether humanism or fiefdom would rule the kingdom, and what effect the Reformation would have on England.  Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Moore show both sides of the Catholic and humanist positions, and accurately so.  In fact, I have heard it claimed, yet am unable to verify this independently, that this show is 80% accurate as far as the plot, the characters, and the general breadth of what is said and done.

The special features on this disc include some absolutely horrid featurettes on the production and costume design of the show, along with a look at some of the historical sites in London that they are seeking to capture in the show.  What redeems the special features are full episodes of Californication, Penn & Teller Bullshit, and This American Life.  The episodes of Californication and This American Life alone are worth the purchase of this set.  David Duchovney and Ira Glass set the screen ablaze on Showtime, respectively, but the real star remains The Tudors.

Whether Showtime will cough this morsel up or not, the fact remains that The Tudors was created to compete with Rome on HBO and steal away some of those historical drama nerds.  Sam Neill is beyond belief as the corrupt Cardinal Wolsey  Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a decent Henry the Eighth, although I hear he’s not as good looking with short hair.  This show is not cheesy, and if there’s one thing which snatches it from the jaws of being too weird or kitsch for television, it was that directorial decision.  And for that, Showtime should be lauded.

The Tudors is great television, and Showtime’s best show currently on the air.

This DVD boxed set is available at Amazon.com.

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