Watching: The Borgias

Having concluded my Sherlock Holmes marathon prior to leaving on vacation, I didn't give much thought about what to watch next. But serendipitously, one of my favorite blogs, The Art of the Title, gave me a very good hint: The Borgias.

A friend recommended this series earlier this spring, and it had completely slipped my mind until I read the blog post about the art of its title sequence.

The Borgias is admittedly a little sex-crazed like the Tudors *blech* is --or HBO's Rome was, from what my friend told me--however, the show's solid underpinnings come from Jeremy Irons' portrayal of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), and the amazing turn of events that lead potentially catastrophic situations into veritable coupes de grace for the Borgia family. Very creative, and, yet, a little too reliant on suspension of disbelief.

I completed watching the first season just last night, and found the last couple of episodes satisfying, compared to the beginning of the series. I found the pilot episode a little wishy-washy, without a clear outline of expectations or much of a plot.

A pet peeve of mine are re-enactions of historical events and characters--typical of archaeology documentaries of late--because they tend to focus on the sensationalization of certain particulars (lust, murder, etc.), but not in a good way. However, going into The Borgias, I knew this would be fiction, and was anyway eager to see how Jeremy Irons would fare with a cast of considerable unknowns. He's held the ship afloat quite admirably--I must say I was surprised--though there's been a little bit floundering here and there.

I remember seeing Joanne Whalley in a television miniseries spinoff of Gone With the Wind, and admired her grace, even if the role didn't seem to suit her all that well.

I'm not calling The Borgias one of my "emotionally invested" television shows, so I'll probably not look into season two until I've completed watching some of my other television shows. But it's definitely a potential contender.