It was the age of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, of enlightened creativity and unparalleled intellectual achievement. But it was also the age of Machievelli, of rampant lawlessness, incessant ... See full summary »
A portrait of the bloody dynasty that spawned a pope, Alexander VI, as well as the role model for Machiavelli's "The Prince," his son Cesare Borgia, and a legend of femme duplicity, daughter Lucrezia Borgia.
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King Uther dies suddenly. Britain is facing chaos. The sorcerer Merlin appoints the not so known son and heir Arthur as the king who was raised as a commoner, but his half sister has other ... See full summary »
Jamie Campbell Bower,
Written by David S. Goyer, the series follows the "untold" story of Leonardo Da Vinci: the genius during his early years in Renaissance Florence. As a 25-year old artist, inventor, ... See full summary »
It was the age of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, of enlightened creativity and unparalleled intellectual achievement. But it was also the age of Machievelli, of rampant lawlessness, incessant war and unspeakable depravity. At the heart of the world order was the Vatican, the arbiter of conflicts between kingdoms and empires. And at the center of the Vatican was a man whose quest for power would propel him to seek the ultimate prize, the holy see of Rome. He was a man whose name would become synonymous with ruthlessness, and whose reign as pope would be remembered as the most infamous chapter of the history of the Catholic church -Rodrigo Borgia. His four children -Juan, the oldest, a prideful, lazy, unscrupulous sexual predator, Cesare, a young man torn between a faith that was not his calling and his dark violent nature, Lucretia, a young girl discovering the secret power that a women's sexuality holds, and Goffredo, an innocent child who would come of age in a family riven by conflict- ... Written by
Give it a chance! This show takes some getting used to (especially if you come after more lavish Showtime production). The first few episodes are heavy with exposition, the mishmash of accents can be jarring and the young Borgia are immature and not very likable. However, it quickly becomes obvious that this is done on purpose: after all, the brothers, Cesare and Juan, are still hot-headed teenagers eager to prove themselves while Lucrezia is just a child. During the course of two seasons, through trials and tribulations, they grow and mature, and Cesare is very believable as a flawed character with conflicting motivations, and the force to be reckoned with, just like his legend suggests. Cesare and Lucrezia not only do they look like their portraits, they are doing a terrific job bring their complex characters to life.
Other cast is superb, too, even Doman, who might lack Irons' expressive voice but brings commanding presence necessary for the most influential man in the Christian world. All in all, the character development is one of the best I've seen on TV (worthy of anything on HBO), even the minor characters seem like real people with their own agendas rather than just the talking heads. This show is also truer to showing life and times: St. Peter is run down, just like it was, in all the night scenes it actually looks like the world lit only by fire.
As far as historical accuracy goes: remember, most of the dark deeds attributed to Borgias are due to the smear campaign of their enemies. I doubt that the real Borgia were really much worse than any other noble family squabbling over Italy at the time. I think Fontana successfully combines some of the legend with the actual historical events, not without some dramatic license, as expected. There's a wealth of details that makes Showtime's show look like Dallas in period costumes. After a somewhat shaky start, it became my favorite adult historic show since Rome.
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