Showtime’s newest period drama series, The Borgias, debuted this week, and these are the few things I gleaned from it:
1. People in the past were very low-talkers. As with The Tudors, I have to jack this show up to max volume and turn each ear in turn toward the TV in an attempt to discern the better one. Why couldn’t anyone in history speak up?
2. …Because there is always a servant lurking in the shadows, that’s why. Attention, historical figures: your secrets WILL be outed by a servant, generally a girl who will be seduced or tortured for the information.
3. History may have been quiet, but it was hot. Even the Pope wastes barely a day before finding himself a mistress and, ahem, boning up.
4. Popes could openly have families? But not wives? The level of transparency in this area baffles me: the Pope has to hide away his wife, but openly references his son? Confusing, though not entirely shocking.
5. Siblings were… really close then. Or at least the Borgia kids. I predict that the eldest brother and only sister will go too far at some point in this show, and will probably have to sit through five seasons for it.
6. Cardinal Borgia-cum-Pope Sextus was indeed a Spaniard. This was a point of contention at a family dinner recently, and I’m mostly pleased that my knowledge of Renaissance clergymen bested my father’s.
7. ……. That might be it. I dunno, I couldn’t really hear much. More to come, I suppose, as well as likely comparisons with other up-my-alley shows Camelot and Game of Thrones, both premiering this month. I need a new obsession.