The Tudors

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Where was this Henry VIII when we were sitting through boring high school history classes?

"The Tudors" shows the early 16th Century monarch as young, cocky, ripped like an Abercrombie model and the instigator of more bodice-ripping than in any novel featuring Fabio on the cover. This is a Henry we would've pulled an all-nighter for, so to speak.

Unfortunately, a hot and horny ruler isn't reason enough to tune in for young King Henry of England's adventures. Though the 10-part miniseries picks up considerably about halfway through, it meanders quite a bit through the machinations of plotting priests, traitorous court members and Henry's string of dalliances before getting to the meaty stuff.

The premiere starts off promisingly enough, with Henry (a very well cast Jonathan Rhys-Meyer) declaring war on France and hopping into the royal bed with a married (not to him) woman within the first few minutes. But the rest of the first hour trudges along, covering Henry's love of jousting and tennis, his conspiring with friend Charles Brandon to—what else?—bed more women and his growing unhappiness that his marriage to Catherine of Aragon has failed to produce a male heir to the throne.

There's also the discovery that he's about to have an illegitimate child with one of his many mistresses, but, again, that's really no shock to anyone. Henry's overactive libido and many women are the only things most of us probably already know about him; too bad little else is delved into very deeply to intrigue us beyond that.

Besides, in another week, new episodes of "Entourage" premiere in the same timeslot on HBO—although King Henry's old school exploits are entertaining, they can't trump those of Ari and Vince and their quest to rule Hollywood.

"The Tudors" premieres Sunday, April 1 at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Heads of StateGovernmentTelevisionEntertainmentAdulteryThe Tudors (tv program)Showtime (tv network)
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