Sep 192013
The Borgias Season Three

Oh, happy day, it has been cancelled, ending my misery.
Back in the day when there were only one or two historical-themed shows a year, I would have appreciated The Borgias more, but now there are Boardwalk Empire, Hell on Wheels, Mad Men, Copper, Vikings, and The White Queen, with Reign (about a teenage Mary, Queen of the Scots), Turn (the rebels’ spy ring during the American Revolution), Mob City (Frank Darabont’s show about Mickey Cohen, which I am really looking forward to), and Outlander (about a woman transported back in time from 1945 to Scotland during the time of Robert the Bruce) coming soon. Anyway, it is over, and I won’t miss it. The best that I can say is that viewers will have learned the basic facts about the Borgia Papacy. Except for everything that was made up by Jordan. Read More…

Apr 112013
The Borgias Season Three Trailer

The tag line of season three of The Borgias is “give in to sin”. Judging by the trailer, the sin is incest, which puts the series where Game of Thrones was in its first episode.

The previous season had ended in a cliffhanger as Cardinal della Rovere’s plotting against the pope had finally achieved results, although given the involvement of a key character, it seems unlikely that death will result. While the machinations between the papacy and the city-states for control of Italy will undoubtedly continue, hopefully this season will deal with the controversial Papal Bulls, which gave the Spanish king authority to enslave the inhabitants of the New World, what we now call Latin America and the Caribbean, if they refused to convert to Christianity.

Admittedly, last season was an improvement over the first season, especially the scenes with Machiavelli and the religious zealot Savonarola, so my hopes for the third season are relatively high. Anyway, season three is starting next week. Read More…

Aug 162012
The Borgias-Season Two

Somebody finally explained the concept of showrunner to Neil Jordan, creator and executive producer of Showtime’s The Borgias, who seems to be stepping back in season two. After writing every single episode in the first season, he only wrote the first half of the second season. Thanks to the absence of his stilted, heavy-handed scripts, scenes are allowed to develop, so the episodes do not linger in a swamp of over-acting, lifeless action and sex scenes that would bore a fourteen-year-old. Finally taking advantage of the art, sculpture and architecture of Italy, the show has become a visual treat. While I respect Jordan’s dedication and exhausting hours, the show will be the better for him stepping back. Way back. Read More…