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The Borgias: The Complete First Season (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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".Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Beautiful visuals. No subtitles. Good luck reading the lips of the mumblers.Published 19 months ago by brian willis
delightful movie about an era that you may have heard about but knew very little about...disturbing how the women were treated.Published on Jan. 20 2013 by Darrell Price
I didn't catch any of The Borgias on TV, however, I thought I'd purchase the first season after reading many good reviews. Watched the entire season in one sitting. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2012 by kate
Im a history major, but am not actually familiar with this story in detail. Nevertheless I am happy with the show. Quite good. A nice new Sopranos.Published on Sept. 5 2011 by James Powell
I must say....sat down to watch the 1st epsiode and was so hooked on it couldn't wait till the next week. Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2011 by Rocking Freddie