“The Tudors”- the final season is here. Katherine Howard (Tamzin Merchant) is the queen and Henry is showing his age, although efforts to age Jonathan Rhys-Myers don’t make him look like the elder Henry VIII. He does not weigh 300 pounds and the stench of his leg ulcer certainly does not come through the TV, which is a good thing. Merchant is quite good. She is young, as was Katherine, and she has a naïve quality, especially when dealing with Henry’s daughter Mary. Seeing her quizzical in the cathedral when Mary stands next to Henry was enjoyable and believable. Judging from the show, and some brief history on the web, Henry was cuckolded by Katherine, as well as his assistant Thomas Culpepper, played by Torrance Coombs. I am sure that history was never this good looking, but what a triumvirate of genetic blessings. “The Tudors” has been worth the time invested. I have learned more about English history than ever before. As Mel Brooks said “It’s good to be King.”
“Nurse Jackie” is in its second season. Edie Falco plays Jackie, a drug-taking, but great nurse. She plays around on her husband (Dominic Fumusa), with seemingly no guilt. She has a very neurotic 10-year old daughter, who may be on her way to becoming psychotic. She has a pharmacist-lover played by Paul Schulze, who is unscrupulous. He has befriended Jackie’s husband and threatens to reveal his clandestine relationship with Jackie. Peter Facinelli stars was a self-absorbed physician- I know- a stereotype! Anna Devere Smith plays Gloria Alkalitis, the ER administrator. Falco is very believable, as she always is. From her days on “Oz” she has played strong female characters that control through dint of their strong personalities, but also through her sexuality. She is one actress that I would be happy to spend an hour with over dinner. Anna Devere Smith plays her cynical character perfectly. She infuses the right amount of humor to make her Machiavellian machinations believable. There are a few hanger-on characters that are not that compelling to me. One is a nursing student Zoey Barkow, played by Merritt Wever. She flies between being naïve, to being in-charge, to being manipulative. Another less than believable character is Dr. Eleanor O’Hara, played by Eve Best. One problem for me is that Best’s English accent and soft voice make it difficult to understand what she is saying. She has a lover, played by Julia Ormond, who has never been a believable actor. “Nurse Jackie” is a showcase for Falco’s talent and is she makes the show worth watching.
The final season of “24” is playing itself out. It is several notches better than the last 5 seasons. Jack Bauer has become a more vicious operative who thinks his job is to provide justice without benefit of trial and jury. Chloe(Mary Lynn Rajskub) has unbelievably been made a very dyspeptic acting director of CTU. The President, played by Cherry Jones, is an idealist who is willing to sell out her principles in search of peace in the middle-east. Who knows, that probably happens every day in Washington. Anil Kapoor, of Bollywood fame, played Kamistan President Omar Hasson. Annie Wersching plays a somnambulant, vombified Renee Walker. Freddie Prinze, Jr. plays agent Cole Ortiz, who is badly in need of some sum to color his overly white complexion. The real standout of this season, however, is Katee Sackhoff as Dana Walsch, an unscrupulous and devious CTU employee. I have been a fan of Sackhoff since her BSG days. Seeing the fear in her face as she is being held hostage by a group of mercenaries is gripping. Her terror is palpable. Her strength in the face of waterboarding is also powerful. Sackhoff is a muscled woman, who is built like a swimmer. I hope that she finds a strong character to play in a series of her own. In fact, she would make a wonderful special agent Jacqueline Bauer. Seeing her rough up male baddies would be a treat. This could be the idea of the TV century. Fox- give me a call and we’ll talk.