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"The Borgias"
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"The Borgias" More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Engrossing. Amazing. Beautiful.

10/10
Author: Adrienne Cox
25 July 2014

This is by far the best historical drama I have ever seen! The acting was completely amazing and it kept me completely entranced up to the very last second! In fact, I was so entranced that I finished the series in less than a week on Netflix. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical dramas! My one and only complaint is not for the show itself but for the people who made the show. I do not like that it was canceled in the slightest! It deserves a fourth season! Save The Borgias Fan Campaign is still working to bring it back though and I highly urge anyone who is a fan of the show to come join it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A story cut short in it's prime.

8/10
Author: napchier from United Kingdom
6 March 2014

Incomplete, though I thoroughly enjoyed the series. A little artistic license should be expected, concerning certain deaths, the time line, and so on, but as a depiction of the events at hand it really does do a splendid job! Season 3 ended satisfactorily, however I feel robbed upon discovering that Season 3 is where it ALL ends. Sadly the production company felt it would be too expensive to finalise the story arc, with it's originally intended 4th and final season. It was meant to dramatise Pope Alexander VI's entire papacy, from 1492 until 1503. The series reached 1500AD, cutting us off from 3 short years, including war between France and Spain (probably where production concerns for the series were mounted), and the death of Rodrigo Borgia (Pope A VI) in 1503. They wouldn't even do a short movie to wrap up. So, what ever happens, if you start this, you'll never, ever finish it. You may just have to pick the rest up in a book.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Worth Watching In Spite of Reservations

7/10
Author: B24 from Arizona
26 May 2013

No period piece or series is without flaws. Principally, there must be a big name cast (historical big names, never mind the actors) given certain standard things to say and certain ways to say them. All this verges on cliché. The best part of this series is its ability to surprise from time to time with lovely sets and very nice photographic angles. I made use of my cable provider's library to watch the entire first three seasons in relatively quick sequence, which provided a greater sense of continuity than having to depend on weekly teasers.

A comparison with the more fanciful Da Vinci's Demons on the Starz network resolves many complaints one might have about historical verisimilitude. That series turns the same places, characters, and period ( c. 1500) on its head in a kind of cartoonishly pornographic way that The Borgias only hints at. I recommend watching the two in close company with each other.

Jeffrey Irons is a pro. I find no fault with his Pope Alexander. Indeed, I viewed the series in the same week as the installation of Pope Francis and was blown away by how little the papacy has changed in outward appearance in the last 500 years. One can only imagine!

Of the Borgia offspring as presented, Juan overacts horribly, Cesare walks as if the stitching around the crotch of his trousers impairs his mobility, and Lucrezia is far too demure in the role. Micheletto is however spot on as a complex assassin with a tragic flaw.

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26 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

The Borgias is great!

10/10
Author: Grant MacDonald from Canada
27 April 2011

I appeared with Jeremy Irons in David Cronenberg's: Madame Butterfly. Jeremy is one of the world's greatest actors.

When Cronenberg shouted ... CUT ... everyone was silent absorbing Jeremy Iron's speech! Riveted with every word!

I have seen each and every one of these shows in this series ... awaiting each & another with respect ... for the production elements ... actors ... direction ... set design and cinematography.

The story element is fascinating. Bravo to the cast and crew ...!

François Arnaud is an awesome actor as The Pope's son.

So great to see that part of this production was shot in Canada.

The Borgias is a masterpiece!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

seduction

Author: Kirpianuscus from Romania
24 January 2016

it is the basic theme of this fascinating series . the seduction of the power, the seduction as tool of the love, the seductive acting and recreation of Renaissance atmosphere, the seductive game with fragments of history for reinvent a period in its essence. it is a great show. and that is only fact who is really important. because it is the basis purpose. a series who use legends, history and admirable cast. for define the fight for power in its large traits. remembering figures from brilliant age of Europe, defining a Italy in search of its unity, rebuild the force of Catholic Church - fragile, vulnerable and dark. an inspired definition of power. with a Jeremy Irons in one of his impeccable roles.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Borgias pilot: Great start

8/10
Author: robertson111 from London, England
10 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have just watched the pilot episode of this Drama and I was thoroughly happy. As the battle of premium cable continues, Showtime continues to produce beautiful TV Series (I still like HBO better, though). This show, adds to their list. The show grabbed me right away with their beautiful theme music and the pictures in the background. I was immediately immersed into that time period. Now, I will talk about individual categories of the program. First, the best thing about the pilot was the costuming. Especially in the Pope coronation scene. Pope Alexander's gown was superbly knitted with precise details. The costumes for all the Cardinals and even Lucrezia were beautiful. The Borgias' costumes, in my opinion, were even better than in the Tudors. The writing was probably their worst category. I felt the dialogue was good, but there were numerous of scenes that were unnecessary. The plot was also a little hard to follow right away, and I sometimes didn't understand what the characters were talking about. The Directing, was phenomenal. Through out the episode nothing felt awkward and nothing felt out of place. The acting was good. The script did not give any big opportunities for anyone. Although, Jeremy Irons got opportunities in the script and relished them. Once again, Jeremy Irons acted award worthy, managing different emotions superbly. Finally, the music composition was breath taking. I was sometimes day dreaming, thinking about the music. Overall, The Borgias looks promising. It looks slow moving and has the potential to be a hit show with it's high production value.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hugely Successful Entertainment

10/10
Author: HoldenSpark from Southern California
29 September 2014

This huge melodramatic interpretation of the famous Borgia family of the 15th and 16th centuries is so smooth and fabulous to watch.

I just discovered it two days ago, 9/26/2014, on Netflix and after the first episode it was like binge eating potato chips, you can't have just one, you can't stop till you've eaten the whole bag. I just came off a 19 hour Borgia binge and had to make myself stop to sleep.

There is just so much worry in every episode cause it appears that the Borgia clan was just about to topple and be destroyed every single day, and so much loud dramatic music that just makes every single murder that much more worrysome, and every murder just seems even more necessary and that much more dramatic.

There is also wayyyy too much constant hetero sex. Way too much. We've seen every characters butt and ass many many times. So much so I've had to fast forward through the endless scenes of one character on top of another going up and down, up and down, up and down till finally, finally they got back to the daily murders and shakedowns of the Christian faithful.

But, what grabbed my attention was the loyal hit-man that the family relied on so much to do the everyday housekeeping murders and attending to the daily torturing schedules that made every double-cross just that much easier for the Borgias to quickly loot that person's lands and fortunes and add them to the hungry hungry coffers of the Catholic Church.

At first its not apparent what Micheletto's primary sexual orientation is, since he keeps it his most deeply buried secret (which says a lot considering the extensive body count he was responsible for adding to almost daily in perfect secrecy) but once we discover Micheletto's sexual preference we also get to discover a new part of him. Frankly, even before we were shown Micheletto completely naked, front and back, (played by actor Sean Harris) I had already become more and more focused on him because every time Micheletto was on-screen everything about the story become so much more magnetically intoxicatingly interesting. But, once they added his sexuality to the story, I couldn't take my eyes off him.

So, thats it. You've got to fall in love with this on-screen mass-murderer, this Torturer with a capital "T", this angel of death, this Micheletto! Cause, for some reason he's just captivating. And the rest of "The Borgias" is just luscious, luscious wicked fun.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Ah that pope Alexander! And Cesare, and Lucrezia! Yum!

8/10
Author: petarmatic from Sarajevo B&H
11 October 2013

I waited for such a series about Borgias for a long time and I finally found one! And what a series it is! Jeremy Irons is fantastic, albeit he is not so fat as the real pope Alexander. The rest of the cast is superb as well, so are the sets and costumes! What a story is that Pope, and his son Cesare and his daughter Lucrezia! Sex, poison, war, incest, fight for power all in one place. Truly a revolutionary Pope, he ushered a new era, the Renesaince. He changed humanity for good and probably started protestant movement in Europe at that time. The New World was discovered, he delimited Spanish and Portugese sphere of influence there. And while he was at it Cesare feasted in cutting people throats to protect him and the Family(yes people think it was the beginning of Mafia). Cesare was so cruel that everyone in Rome thought it unacceptable. Pope and Cesare died the same night. Were they poisoned? Probably! Curia could not have any more of that behavior, people all over Catholic world were asking questions, Martin Luther was looking everything with his eyes wide shut! I hope I will live to see another Pope like him again! Not like this Francis, he just talks about peace, give me some crusades, war, dear Francis! Well at least you said homosexuality is good! That is a start, soon you will have gay orgies in Vatican, eh? Who knows, may be you will soon OK pedophilia too. That would be a start. Your own Cesare and Lurezia could be in the offing...

Pity we do not have a chance to see the end of all of this, since HBO canceled the series. I could of feasted my eyes a little bit more on those fantastic actors, sets and costumes. How about a closure, HBO, ha? They deserve it!

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37 out of 73 people found the following review useful:

A lukewarm pilot

6/10
Author: vardamire from Poland
31 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, a show by Neil Jordan and starring THE Jeremy Irons? Must be a hit, don't you think? Not really, unfortunately.

I have pondered what was wrong about the pilot and I found it was simply not immersive enough. The opening sequence is passable but it's not a piece I would yearn to see again. Then we see some evidently (in a bad sense) CGI'ed Renaissance Rome which serves as a background for the short written (but IMO redundant) introduction. And then the characters drown in completely off-character dialogue to explain to the viewers what is going on.

After that I was completely turned-off and didn't even care much that the cardinals' names were in some part made up (Orsino Orsini? the guy that never was a priest and was married to Giulia Farnese?), the fighting sequences were really bad and the pope's coronation theme is Haendel's (sic!) Coronation Anthem No. 1. Oh wait, and they had apparently blunt daggers, as Micheletto doesn't get a scratch from them (or maybe he is just a really tough guy). As for the acting, Feore and Irons rock but the rest of the Borgias family seems bleak in comparison. Arnaud's performance is good but not superb and Grainger's Lucrezia is stiff and not convincing. And this is THE Lucrezia we're talking!

Long story short, watch if:

+ you like costumes; they are amazing in this one, Gabriella Pescucci has done a superb work here

+ you haven't seen The Sopranos or The Godfather, they eat Showtime's Borgias for their breakfast

+ you don't care about historic accuracy and are not turned-off by off- character explanations

Don't watch if:

- you didn't like The Tudors

- you know the real history

- you are a martial arts geek

- you expected abundant and very graphical sex scenes

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Very good in costumes and clothing, but with major problems with period's mentality

7/10
Author: Filipe Neto from Portugal
19 February 2017

This series was produced by a Canadian TV channel and had three seasons. It focuses on the figure of Pope Alexander VI and his bastard children and their political games. But the series has several problems that I have to point out. First of all, it doesn't have a closed conclusion. At the end of third season you understand that it should have continued, but audience concerns probably spoke louder and dictated an early end, so you get an unfinished story that would need, at least, a few more episodes to properly shut down. Another problem is the exaggeration of the sex scenes and the way the series faces some potentially shocking elements in the plot. I will explain: when you study the Renaissance and their popes, you understand that they were anything but holy. They were noblemen who used the Church to gain power, for themselves and their dynasties, not hesitating to run over anyone who opposed them. Therefore, for a pope or cardinal of this historical period, having lovers and children, or even having someone killed, was quite normal, it wasn't shocking, but the series shows this as something horrible because we, in the 21st century, think it's horrible. This difference of mentalities is essential to understand this pope but never appears in the series. In contrast, the series has made an effort to realistically show the Renaissance environment, and this paid off: the CGI-loaded scenarios are excellent, although sometimes we can see obviously the use of digital resources, in a way it spoils the effect. The costumes were also excellently done, movie quality, and faithful to the period. Jeremy Irons leads the cast, giving life to the Pope in a great performance, at his best level. Alongside him are François Arnaud (in the role of Cesare Borgia) and Holliday Grainger (Lucrezia Borgia), two actors who stand out throughout the series, giving life to two historical characters who, even today, are controversial. I also liked the work of Gina McKee (in the role of Caterina Sforza), Lotte Verbeek, Peter Sullivan, Sean Harris and David Oakes. On the other side, I hated the way that Colm Feore (a good actor, with great talent) played the role of Cardinal della Rovere, one of the pope's opponents. But it's not Feore's fault. The problem is the way his character was developed in the series. Its very few 15th century and a lot of 21th century. In the real life, Rodrigo Borgia and Giuliano della Rovere aren't so different. They think in the same way but they're in opposite sides of the board. Just that. But the series have transformed Della Rovere in a champion of 21th century morality and this simply doesn't make sense. It's anachronic. I will finish with a recommendation: this series has lots of sex scenes, discrete or more obvious, and some violence also, so keep it away from children and teen's eyes.

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