Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: The Borgias

I have a bone to pick with Showtime's The Borgias mini-series. Now I am a huge fan of Neil Jordan, and have loved his work ever since my jaw slammed into the theater floor during the Crying Game. So I was super excited when I found out we were getting a Tudors meets Godfather style mini-series that he was helming.

The series started off strong but lost me about the fourth episode with its irredeemable characters and the amount of time spent on showing them in the sack. In one of the episodes, we actually see /every/ single member of the Borgia family getting it on, and two of them got an encore showing. Frankly, if it's not moving the story forward or the personal plots, then please, for the love of God, move on to something more interesting.

Here's an idea: since the series addresses how one of the Borgias becomes Pope and the family's attempts to rule Rome, how about some struggle with faith too? Or even some moral struggle that I can get behind. I need to believe that maybe, just maybe, there's something I can cheer behind these characters.

Right now, I don't even want to see them succeed. I'm cheering for the antagonists and they aren't completely fleshed out. My point is, the Tudors did it right because as much of a bastard as Henry was, we still felt for him because of the role thrust upon him and we were aware of the stakes of a King not producing a male heir in that time.

In Borgias, these guys stole these papal roles, they abuse them, and all of the struggles they face are the result of this stealing. I am having a hard time feeling like the Borgias possibly losing power is a bad thing. My advice, talk to Tony Soprano and King Henry; they can give you some tips about anti-heroes we love to watch rise in power, even through nefarious tactics.

Image courtesy of Showtime

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