Borgia, that is…wow! We have been watching the Showtime mini series The Borgia’s and have gotten through Season 1 and Season 2. Season 3 is coming up beginning this April. It’s been an interesting tale, full of intrigue, deceipt, lust, and power. As I’m sure you know, I love stories of Renaissance Italy. I’m always drawn to that era, but I don’t think I would have liked to have lived through it. Human life didn’t seem to have much value back then. If someone got in the way of someone else, whether it was for wealth or love or jealousy, they were conveniently taken care of. Even siblings and family members were not exempt to revenge!
The story of the Borgia’s follows the life of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia). He was a Spaniard of common descent who rose to power within the Vatican. He had many mistresses and, prior to becoming the Pope, fathered four children. The male children were given roles of power within the Vatican, while his daughter Lucrezia was married off to wealthy and prominent families in order to gain more power for his papacy. The success of the papacy depended on how much power he could wield to get what he wanted, and his daughter was a tool he could use to build alliances with various ruling families. The head of the Borgia clan was an interesting dichotomy of a man. Both ruthlessly ambitious and utterly devoted to his family, he used his position in the Catholic church to acquire power, influence, and wealth. He was incredibly shrewd and managed to outmaneuver his rivals at every turn. He took care of anyone that got in his way. He enjoyed the carnal pleasures of life, particularly the company of beautiful women, and this left him open to his enemies. It didn’t seem like the main focus of being a Pope in those days was to do God’s will…and the Popes were not what I would consider holy! They seemed to break every commandment…and merely confessed their way out of it!
According to this mini-series, which I’m sure has been embellished for the sake of creating some excitement, portrayed each member of the Borgia family as being ruthless if someone got in his or her way, or if the family’s honor was at stake. They were all tortured souls with hidden demons. I’m sure some of the facts are true and therefore give us a glimpse into life in Italy during this period.
The show is gruesome at times, with stabbings and tortures at every turn. It’s love-making scenes are, at the least “R” rated, if not “X” at times! The depictions of the grand Italian cities and architectural elements within the Vatican and the palazzos are beautiful, and hopefully fairly realistic. Jeremy Irons, with his “regal sneer” is the perfect actor for the role. He portrays a man of extreme power, and his voice has that perfect snobbish air to bring home the point!
I am anxious for the new season to begin to see what treacheries are in store for Lucrezia and family…