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The Borgias: The Complete First Season

Jeremy Irons , François Arnaud , Neil Jordan , Jeremy Podeswa    DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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The Borgias: The Complete First Season + Borgias: The Second Season
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Product Description

Brand New, sealed,True Borgias Season 1.

From the Studio

Sex. Power. Murder. Amen. "The Borgias" is an explosive story of history’s original crime family. Conspiring with his ruthless sons Cesare and Juan, and poisonously seductive daughter Lucrezia, the charismatic Rodrigo Borgia’s reign as Pope Alexander VI embroils the Catholic Church – and all of Europe – in scandal.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enter the Renaissance Sept. 16 2011
By Ovidius
I thought The Borgias was excellent. I would give it four and a half stars only because I agree with the criticism that there are too many gratuitous sex scenes. We get the idea already, the pope had a mistress, Cesare and Juan were sleeping with their brother's wife, etc.

From the first episode, with its long shots of processions and so on, I realized The Borgias would be boring for people not interested in the period or at least with history in general, but if one is interested in either I don't see how you couldn't enjoy it. The sets and wardrobes are amazing. The production is lavish. The acting is great. The casting is good. Jeremy Irons is superb--the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) changes in his expressions indicate his thoughts, mood and burden. His is a very convincing, though not very spiritual, Alexander Sextus. Cesare's performance is excellent and the portrayal is refreshingly sympathetic, yet still nuanced. All the performances manage to exhibit economically the psychology of the people. The dialogue, formal language and diction are compelling and entertaining (love all the conditional tenses).

I would wish they could have followed history a little more closely but understand the need for compression, and nine episodes for two years is already generous. I've read a lot on the period but this helped me to get some things that didn't sink in from reading books, like just how monumental the invasion of Charles VIII was for the Italian psyche. How it inspired Alexander to increase the power of the papal states. How it affected the thought of Machiavelli and others. How it helped give birth to the balance-of-power concept.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Borgias - Season 1 July 21 2011
By Jonny
The title of the series, The Borgia's - the complete series one, holds the promise of at least one other season to come; I for one, welcome the continuation of this series.

I found the story engaging, the acting superb and the period costumes and settings, engrossing.

Given the historical record represented, one wonder how the Catholic church ever survived. While this is only the story of the Borgia's, several other Bishops of Rome, over the centuries, were just as loose in keeping faith with God's 10 commandments.

In my opinion, this is excellent viewing, very graphic in areas, not for the squeamish, or those that are shocked by open sexuality; the series is definitely meant for a mature audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertainment Jan. 21 2012
great entertainment value without the commercials Fast forwarded credits between segments or take a coffee break . Basically covers drama and action movies . Just good entertainment
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Bored with The Borgias Oct. 8 2011
Excellently produced and acted series about the Renaissance Borgias. Though the writers guess at the thoughts of the main figures and sometimes the connection of events, no doubt there is more than a little of bit of history here, especially about Cesare. In any case, the viewer will love the costumes, sets and the general telling of what went on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous and good fun Sept. 4 2011
By lotara
This gorgeous soap is riveting thanks to Jeremy Irons in the lead. I also love the rest of the cast like Joanne Whalley and Colm Feore. Beautiful European locations and sets make this a feast for the eyes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Terrible sound editing! April 7 2013
There was background noise constantly! Crickets, fountains, characters exhaling, chains, echoes, doors squeaking, clothes rustling, bells... And the never ending music. All of this was fine, except that generally the background noise was so loud the performers were hard to hear properly. It became irritating very quickly - which was disappointing because the costumes, the sets, the acting, the storyline were all superb.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Acting & Cinematography; Solid Writing April 5 2013
There is a great deal to admire in this series. Visually it is superb. The costuming and sets manage simultaneously to be both beautiful and realistic to the period; or at least, they seem so to my untutored eye. The actors uniformly do an extraordinarily good job. So much so that it is difficult to know whom to focus upon in this review, because whatever choices I make I will be omitting mention of some truly outstanding performances.

However, I am going to begin in the obvious place: with Jeremy Irons' interpretation of Rodrigo Borgia. I do so if only because so much hinges on this pivotal character. The Telegraph critic Rachel Ray criticised this series on the grounds that it "lacks the amoral aura of a psychopathic family", and specifically criticised Irons' own performance as "disappointingly undiabolical". On a strictly literal level Ray's perception of this series is entirely accurate. However, I would argue that it also entirely misses the point.

The Rodrigo Borgia we find in this show was never intended as an inhuman monster who would not have been out of place cackling maniacally atop Snake Mountain. Rather, what we gaze upon here is far closer to the true face of evil as it most often exists in the real world: ordinary, resigned in the face of the dictates of Realpolitik, and when confronted with the moral reality of where such dictates lead, by turns a true believer, actively self deluding, and at times even self doubting. Not unlike a concentration camp guard who can go home at night and be a loving father to his children. I am very much reminded here of political theorist Hannah Arendt's famous phrase "the banality of evil".
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