Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Tudors of the perfect teeth
Are you watching the Showtime series The Tudors? The second series is about to end (next week) and if you haven't started I suppose it might be a bit late to jump in.

However, if you ignore the questionable history and just watch it as a very well-dressed soap opera, it's rather fun. Truly, it's grown on me. I was dubious last season, the historian in me yelling impotently at the screen as they played fast-and-loose with the historial record. But this time around I've given up all hope of truth and have just wallowed. Yet there's one thing about the series that still has me amused:

Apparently everybody at the court of Henry VIII was beautiful. And everyone had perfect teeth.

If you haven't seen the show, you might want to check out the cast photos to see what I'm talking about. Henry himself, the corpulent and less than gorgeous much-married king is played by the far-too-attractive Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Granted that Henry was a bit of a rock star in his own day. And yes, he didn't start his reign as an overweight barrel of a man. But I sincerely doubt he was 21st century glam.

Compare the two above photos of Mr. Rhys Meyers and the Holbein portrait of the king. Rather different, aren't they?

And it's like that in the whole series. Every woman is stunning. Every man is a stud. Even the clergy are sexy. Hell, Peter O'Toole plays the pope! In spite of his advanced age, there are still glimpses of the dashing young Lawrence of Arabia in the man that make his popeness delicious. (OK, he was one of those carnal popes with sons and grandsons wandering around St. Peter's, but still!)

I can understand wanting eye candy for the leads. After all, people don't really turn in every week to see plain, overweight people getting it on. But do all of the extras have to be so damned attractive? Can't we have a serving man with a wart? An ambassador with a bit of a paunch? A lady-in-waiting who'll probably be waiting a very long time? There's not been a single person on the screen who didn't look like he or she came from the food court at the Malibu mall, rather than the royal court at Westminster. It's the most decorative cast in history. It's like London 90210.

And oh yes, apparently the Tudor court was the high water mark for British dental perfection. Straight, white, glorious teeth abound ... from the music masters to the executioners. I guess flossing was written into the English reformation.

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