It turns out that this episode actually was the second season premiere, and it looks to me like this season will be as good (or better!) than the first!! I checked Showtime's website again today, and it looks like they are offering a promo for the Tudors, where you can watch the full season premiere episode for free by visiting here: http://www.sho.com/site/order/preview.do?source=tudorspromo1 I wonder if they are doing that in order to get more subscribers...I'm definitely considering!
Overall, I think this episode was well-made, and beautifully shot. The characters are well-developed, and for the most part, I think I understood what was going on. I think that people who are not as interested in this time period in history will need to watch much more closely in order to follow the storyline, as the episode seemed to jump around frequently between multiple main characters. Keeping them all straight is a task in and of itself!
I do think that the show focuses a lot of the punishment and torture that was common during this time period, and that can be very disturbing. During the two episodes we watched last night, we saw one man burned at the stake and another man graphically boiled alive as punishment...one for a difference in religious opinion and one for attempting to murder those with dissenting opinions from the King's. It would be absolutely horrible to be alive during this time - how would you ever know what the King's mood was? You could inadvertently offend him or his soon-to-be wife, Anne, and quickly lose your lands, titles, money and even your life. All for small slights!! Crazy.
The second season premiere definitely makes me want to continue watching the show, and I am interested to see how they handle the marriage, coronation, pregnancies, eventual downfall and ultimate death of Anne Boleyn. Will the show continue on after her into Jane Seymour's queenship? Or skip ahead to the reigns of Henry's children: Edward, (Bloody) Mary and Elizabeth (the Virgin Queen)? I am a huge fan of this time period in British history, so I am sure I will watch no matter what they do, but the fact that this show is very well-made makes it all the more fun to follow along!
Anyways, if you haven't seen the first season of the Tudors, I highly recommend you watch that, and then jump on the second season bandwagon with me. :)
If you've seen The Tudors, let me know what you think so far of season two!!