• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 1, 2007
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. 100
    Showtime's glorious, gorgeous "The Tudors" is the best series since "The Sopranos." Period.
  2. Now that lusty and incredibly bloodthirsty historical dramas have proven their power on premium cable (think HBO's "Rome"), Showtime is jumping in the act with a portrait of one of history's most notorious womanizers and political schemers.
  3. 80
    With everyone's motivations in this handsomely mounted but adrenaline-fueled series so on-the-surface, Dormer's enigmatic, time-halting loveliness [as Anne Boleyn] is a boon for The Tudors, and damn near worth losing your head over.
  4. The series, a feast for the eyes, boasts stellar performances and a historically authentic aura but only occasional flashes of the kind of action and suspense you might expect from such a period piece.
  5. A highly entertaining and addictive costume drama.
  6. With all the intrigue of a Shakespearean drama and all the coiled intensity of youthful power-brokering and rampant sexuality, it's hard to not like this version of Henry VIII.
  7. 75
    The show is a lusty soap opera that aspires to the pulsating, cutting-edge glamour of Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth. It's a little ham-fisted for that. [2 Apr 2007, p.37]
  8. 75
    Despite some passing references to Henry's fondness for "humanism" and new, middle-class men, no one is likely to mistake The Tudors for a treatise on the socioeconomic pressures that reshaped England during Henry's reign. Still, the show does a fine job of showing the interplay of passions and politics that shaped so many of his decisions.
  9. 75
    Although it's not quite as much smart, trashy fun as "Rome," it is still an engaging romp that moves along at a stylish pace.
  10. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    70
    Less lurid than HBO's Rome, yet still quite the pageant of pomp and friskiness, it's a throwback to the old-fashioned miniseries of yore, spiced with pay-cable frankness.
  11. Good fun, and not as bastardized as its advertising campaign suggests.
  12. 70
    Do we ever feel as if we're really there, in Henry's court, half a millennium ago? Perhaps not, but a splendid cast and sumptuous production details make "The Tudors" a rollicking and resplendent show, if never a deeply affecting one.
  13. 63
    In fact, "The Tudors" suffers from being merely capable on most fronts, a decent diversion. The direction is effective but artistically flat, and so are several scripts.
  14. Even though "The Tudors" adds another jewel to the crown Showtime has been forging of late, this particular jewel isn't all that dazzling.
  15. 60
    Ultimately, this series diminishes the king.
  16. Enjoyable but not exhilarating, engaging but not hypnotic.
  17. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    60
    "The Tudors" is not the great series that it might have been, but it's certainly a watchable and diverting one.
  18. 60
    "The Tudors" takes all of the intrigue and power struggles and tomfoolery of the House of Tudor and gives it six-pack abs and a rock-star swagger
  19. There's not a lot of depth to the proceedings, and the series is at its weakest when it tries to make some Important Point. But it's a good deal of fun watching Meyers and the rest of the ensemble smartly bringing to life the deceit and internal politics of this royal chess match. "The Tudors" is a spicy soap opera, decked out in really fancy trappings.
  20. 50
    Still, for all its ferocious ambition to be more than just another heavily corseted, respectful historical drama, "The Tudors" falls flat in more than one arena.
  21. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    50
    As a glorified romance novel, it's perfectly fine, but don't expect Shakespeare.
  22. 50
    Written by Michael Hirst , who also wrote about Henry's daughter in Cate Blanchett's "Elizabeth," the series goes only rock-opera deep, moving full-steam ahead without much accounting for character motivation.
  23. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    50
    "The Tudors" could actually use a touch of the over-the-top wildness that undermined the substance of HBO's "Rome." If we could blend the two together somehow, we might have a kickily effective history mash-up.
  24. I don't want to beat up on Meyers here. He does justice to Hirst's Henry, if not entirely to history's, and being young and good-looking is hardly a crime. But like Tony Soprano, Henry VIII brings more to the table than charisma: Corrupted by absolute power, he's a bit of a monster.
  25. Though it starts out with a fair bit of energy, in spite of regular paroxysms of royal lust and pique, it becomes less engaging as it goes on and grows finally rather dull.
  26. It's unfair to lay every fault on the actors when the dialogue is so insubstantial, verging on sophomoric and mawkish in a few exchanges
  27. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    30
    One hesitates to say that [Rhys Meyers] phones his performance in. It's more like he dictates it to an assistant who then submits it via fax. You too might lack an appropriate sense of conviction if delivered this script.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 49
  2. Negative: 5 out of 49
  1. GabrielaL
    Apr 15, 2008
    7
    Great costumes, and setting; fantastic cast; but one can not ignore the enormous historical inaccuracy and Rhys-Meyers limited interpretation skills.
  2. JenniferH
    Nov 20, 2009
    4
    If so many viewers realize there is a lot of historical inaccuracy, maybe we are not as stupid as they think. Why not educate with historical If so many viewers realize there is a lot of historical inaccuracy, maybe we are not as stupid as they think. Why not educate with historical facts which are quite juicy enough? The series lacks depth of character. So much overt sex can be tiring, as if we all had one-track minds and I don't believe we have. Full Review »
  3. scottT
    Sep 24, 2009
    4
    Juvenile script, overacting (particularly Rhys-Meyers) and shallow. Fails to even bother exploring the enormous dynamics of the period. The Juvenile script, overacting (particularly Rhys-Meyers) and shallow. Fails to even bother exploring the enormous dynamics of the period. The sex is great, but essentially it's a soap opera. Full Review »