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

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
    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
    "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
    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
    "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
    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

Universal acclaim- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 46
  2. Negative: 5 out of 46
  1. Jun 17, 2012
    Excellent production and cast! This is a beautifully dramatized series of the most well known British monarchs of all time. The political and religious turmoil of the period is integrated beautifully and the pace of the show is great. Full Review »
  2. Feb 17, 2012
    This series is outrageously inaccurate, the l, therefore, unintenionally funny.
    Henry was a tall, red-haired, blue eyed man. He was famous
    for his fair complexion.
    As was his daughter Elizabeth.
    The actor portraying Henry is a small, dark-haired Jew - in fact, most of the cast appears to be Jewish. .
    Blatant falsification of history.
    Henry would have beheaded this little impostor very quickly. Producers spent a bundle on costumes which is the only thing that is good here - photography ain't bad either.
    The sexual content is revolting - especially the scene between two men - This series was made for sexual and violent content, it has nothing to do with history and having Henry ask "Says who?" when it was pointed out to him that his horse couldn't jump over a wide creek was very funny.
    Not to mention some of his courtiers fleeing from one thing or another calling out to each other:" I'm outta here."
    This series is strictly fiction.
    Enough already!
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 15, 2011
    Despite some historical inconsistencies, this tv show is well designed, sometimes a little too slow and too much dialogue which can sometimes make lose interest of the viewer. Full Review »