Monday, April 25, 2011

The Borgias Season 1 Episode 1 The Poisoned Chalice

If you have not been watching Showtime's The Borgias---what in the name of all that is holy are you waiting for? Five of the season's nine episodes have aired, each more gripping than the preceding. Brimming with intrigue, spectacle, suspense, horror, and heat, heat, lord have mercy on our souls heat!

Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI né Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia is deliciously wicked. This Il Papa outsmarts his rivals quicker than they can genuflect, has a fiercely loyal family and more schemes than there are beads on a rosary. This 15th to 16th century papacy is of an era when The Holy See was capable of having a wife children and mistresses, and fully indulge that status. But it is not without consequence. As the saying goes "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Murder, torture and betrayal are standard practice for this power obsessed Pope. Even if many of the abhorrent deeds are not done by his own hand, they are by his edict. The drama is of course all the more astonishing as it is based on actual events.

Neil Jordan's scripts, direction, and production are crisp and authentic, and the entire cast is great.

The Borgias airs on Showtime Sundays at 10:00pm with multiple repeat airings. Please check your local listings.

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