Doubt that Showtime's Tudors is the coolest historical drama on TV? Watch it here
Showtime may be spending big bucks to lavishly re-create the 16th century reign of notorious English monarch King Henry VIII for its historical soap opera The Tudors.
But star Jonathan Rhys Meyers was adamant with me when I saw him in Los Angeles earlier this year that there was one bit of historical accuracy the show would never present.
He's not doing the pudgy, bearded look. Ever.
At least Meyers was honest enough to admit his vanity (would it be catty of me to note that he entered rehab not too long after our exchange?). And his decision has hardly affected the appeal of this series, which nevertheless feels accurate enough to make viewers feel plopped right in the middle of Henry's bloody, self-centered reign.
As the third season opens, Henry is midway through his six wives, having just taken Jane Seymour as a wife after dispatching Anne Boleyn for her ultimate transgression -- failing to bear him a son. He's also about to embark on a particularly bloody bit of repression -- putting down groups of subjects who dare to violently resist his ransacking and dismantling of Catholic monasteries and churches in England.
The series returns to new episodes at 9 p.m. Sunday, but Showtime has been cool enough to put the first one up on YouTube, in advance, for free.
So check it out below and see why I wait so impatiently for each set of review DVDs. *