Who knew the infamous Boy King Tut was so smoking hot? The first part of Spike's three-part miniseries event Tut gave us all a new crush as Avan Jogia (best known for his lead role in ABC Family's short-lived Twisted) commanded the screen as the titular character. While the miniseries itself drags in the moments when it turns to the pharaoh's enemies in his court — even Ben Kingsley can't keep the political intrigue from being a snoozefest — Jogia's Tut makes the bloated run time worthwhile.
If you want top-notch political maneuverings in a period piece setting, then stick with Game of Thrones. If you want to watch a gorgeous young actor coming into his own, then check out Tut. Yes, the show is like the light beer version of Thrones, but it has its own perks. Jogia is at the top of the pro column, in case you were wondering.
Twitter was abuzz with appreciation for Jogia's smoldering good looks and his acting chops. The Tut he plays is curious, confident and compassionate toward his people. He wants to dispel all the rumors that he is a sickly child hiding away from the world, so he goes out among his subjects, learns to fight and marches with his men on the battlefield.
Over the course of the first installment, Tut grows from a little boy unwilling to shed the blood of his enemies into a shrewd leader who infiltrates an enemy camp to get his best soldier back. Even when he is nearly fatally wounded, Tut remains cognizant of the danger surrounding him. He fights for his survival and his position with everything he has, and if that isn't enough to make you fall for the character, then you have a very different set of priorities than I do.
Tut and his killer instincts aside, the best part by far is watching the blossoming romance between Tut and his mistress Suhad (Kylie Bunbury). Tut was directed to keep the bloodline pure by marrying his sister, but she's in love with their surrogate brother. Their marriage is a hot mess (emphasis on the hot), so there's nothing to keep us from falling for Suhad and Tut. Even the gods want them together; otherwise they wouldn't keep throwing them in each other's paths.
The couple wastes no time before they engage in a desert hookup, and no offense to Tut's sister and surrogate brother, but it is hands down the steamiest, most heartfelt moment of the episode.
As you can see, historical accuracy has pretty much been tossed aside in favor of making a period piece that is somewhere between bodice-ripping romance and a tale of political machinations. It is standard stuff as far as historical dramas go. I am certainly not going to tell you Tut is breaking new ground because it is not. As guilty pleasure shows go, though, you could do a whole lot worse than Tut, and thanks to Jogia (and the always remarkable Kingsley), you will not feel like you are wasting your time.
Jogia is bringing serious gravitas to the table. He's young, but Jogia is already giving larger-than-life performances. Spike could not have picked a better guy to breathe life into their Tut. I mean, he has managed to turn Tut into a romantic hero, and that concept is weird enough that it should make you want to figure out where Spike is on your dial just to see it happen before your eyes.
Whether he is leading an army or gently caressing Suhad's face, Jogia will make you swoon. He has a warrior's spirit and a lion's heart. Even though we all know how Tut's story ends, Jogia makes you forget he is doomed, thanks to that twinkle in his eye.
Catch the second part of Tut Monday, July 20, at 9/8c on Spike.
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