Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

The Tudors

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Henry VIII courts drama in adult period piece.

TV Showtime Drama 2007
The Tudors Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 18+

Extreme graphic violence and sex

I’m not sure this show is for anyone. I guess it is beautifully shot like the critics say. The historic inaccuracies bother me, but that’s not my main issue. Let’s start with the violence. During this show there is a lot of violent torture, several men burned alive, one man actually boiled, many beheaded, hundreds hanged including women and children. One sweet woman working in the fields with her farm animals is raped by a roving band of the kings men - just because they can. All this is shown in graphic detail and goes on much longer than necessary. Let’s face it. It isn’t necessary at all. I had to fast forward through these scenes. Now, the sex. Everyone is having graphic sex with everyone. It’s quite impressive and very graphic, in every episode. Clearly the women exist simply as toys for the men and to produce heirs. The sex is graphic and goes on and on. By the time I had watched Henry’s 5th wife Kathryn Howard have sex basically nude and in every possible position, I was done with it. And for all the world, she actually looks under age. Some of the professional critics say this “a guilty pleasure,” I’m not a kid but also not a prude. My advice is that if this is for you, then knock yourself out. If you want to see a truly beautiful series that is historically accurate with none of this nonsense, try “Victoria.” My husband and I both loved it.
age 15+


This show is fantastic, absolutely brilliant. Inaccurate but fun. There is quite a bit of violence throughout the seasons but the main problem is the sex. Every episode has at least one sex scene or a scene containing nudity, both male and female. The male nudity consists of butts and the extremely brief glimpses of a penis. The female nudity however is far more graphic. Big female butts are seen quite often, accompanied by a vagina or two. Every single woman in the series shows their boobs multiple times in the show. Anne especially has some graphic sex scenes where she is fully nude. When the women aren't naked they are wearing dresses that showcases their cleavage and emphasizes their boobs as if that is all they are there for, just to show their boobs and be love interests for the men. If you have seen Game Of Thrones this will be fine.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (19 ):

Though the fact that it airs on a pay-cable channel allows The Tudors to be extraordinarily sexy and violent, the approach to the plot feels like something we've seen before, perhaps on public television or a mainstream period film. Unlike Rome -- in whose footsteps The Tudors is clearly following -- the series looks at the politics of the day from the top down, which is a perspective many viewers are already familiar with. The handmaiden the king impregnates is silenced; the children hardly speak; and the folks who tend to drive the action are the king and his closest advisors. Altogether the series is good enough and may eventually develop into something more than the sum of its parts, but viewers might not feel as passionately about The Tudors as its characters do about sex, violence, and politics.

The cast is marvelously peppered with character actors -- like Sam Neill as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and James Frain as Thomas Cromwell -- and, overall, the acting is good (if a bit exaggeratedly Shakespearian at times). That said, the problem with seeing so many familiar faces is that it can be distracting to recall where you've seen them before.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate