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.
In the early 16th century, Italy is ruled by the powerful Borgia family, led by César Borgia and his sister Lucrètè. In a ruthless power play, César plots to have his sister's husband ... 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
SPOILER:The recaps identify each episode as taking place during one month only, always following the month in the previous episode, but events in the episodes proper flow way faster than that. For example, the season 1 finale opens with Juan Borgia's death (June 1497) and ends with Perotto and Pantisilea's deaths (February 1498). The recap in the first episode of the second season, set 8 months after that, still claims to take place in 1493. See more »
It's difficult to make straight-face judgment about such big movies, but I loved it. For someone trying to understand Machiavelli, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Spanish Reconquista, the atrocities of conquistadors in the New World, the Xenophobia of the Italian Wars coexisting with the globalization of Politics (Avignon, Holy Roman Empire, America) and even a little of the soft underbelly of Catholic Faith, this is really good. Compared to others' sensationalism, this show is more like a loving son's explanation of a disreputable mother.. "yes, she was what you say, but look at the choices; and how did things change?"
It's also difficult to compare once immersed in one version of the Borgia story. But I thought the choice of Doman, and his accent, and all other actors well thought out. Narration by the Vatican Historian Burquardt puts it all into proper perspective, especially through the choice of Schefe's delivery. The comic is introspective and subtle and coated with the gut feeling one gets watching men executed by slow sawing in half, upside-down. Other productions seemed more careless to me, like casting the Three Stooges in an elaborate Hi-Def slapstick porno movie.
It's probably difficult to maintain the intensity, but there should be a season two.
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