What's most new about this season is Jane Seymour, now Queen, and now played by Annabelle Wallis (Jane was played last year by Anita Briem). I like Annabelle's performance much more than Anita's, whose Jane was bland. Annabelle has a soft, engaging power, and reminds me, in terms of accent and looks, of Princess Diana.
There are other powerful performances. James Frain returns with a superb rendition of Thomas Cromwell, Alan Van Sprang is new in the court as the feisty, piratical Sir Francis Bryan, and Max Von Sydow and his expressive face is in Rome as Cardinal von Waldberg. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII and Henry Cavill as Charles Brandon are as good as they've been, too - which is to say, quite good.
And there are some fine ladies in court. Look for Charlotte Salt as Lady Ursula Misseldon, and an outstanding nude scene, which made me glad that the FCC has not yet expanded its repressive rule to cable.
Censorship and the struggle for democracy is also very much in the air on The Tudors, where rebellion and religious intolerance serve as midwives to our ways of life. I'll be back with more after the season gets under way in April.
5-min podcast sneak-preview review of The Tudors
See also ...
Tooling Up for The Tudors and The Tudors: Transformations and Assassins ... John Adams Concludes, The Tudors Continues, The First Amendment Abides ... The Tudors and the Printing Press ... The Tudors Concludes and America Begins ... and links there to reviews of episodes from Season One.
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