HBO usually does a great job with their shows and mini-series, and their latest, The Young Pope, is right up there with their best works. Starring Jude Law and a slew of other amazing actors that bring this show to life, I have to confess this is one of the best shows I’ve seen this year.
The plot follows Lenny Belardo (Jude Law), the Archbishop of New York that becomes the first American to be elected as the Pope and also the youngest to become one. Going by his chosen name of Pope Pius XIII, and with the aid of Sister Mary (Diane Keaton) who raised him from childhood, and Cardinal Michael Spencer (James Cromwell) who is like a father to Lenny, the new Pope begins to take steps that will change not only the Catholic Church, but the world as well. When he’s not making huge decisions, we get to see what he’s like behind closed doors, and sadly he comes off as a bit of a prick. He smokes, demands to have things done a certain way, and is always planning and scheming something even when it doesn’t look like it. Between the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Voiello (Silvio Orlando) fighting to maintain control of the new Pope’s wild actions and what the church requires of him, and Lenny finding himself getting close to the wife of one of his personal guards (Ludivine Sagnier), Lenny’s true self and actions come into question of is he serving God or does he plan to use his power for personal ambitions?
Jude Law does an amazing job of making Lenny a character that feels real, as I’m sure anyone who follows the Catholic faith has often wondered what the Pope does when he’s not in the limelight. The series shows exactly that and what if the Pope was an extremely flawed person that’s torn between doing what’s right for the Church and using his newfound power for personal gain. Who’s to say that any of us would be any different? And that’s what makes this series one of the best you’ll see.
I’m also very glad I was able to view this on high definition Blu-ray, as the picture and sound are basically perfect. There’s also a few extras viewers can look at, such as behind the scenes features with the cast and crew on each episode, along with “An Invitation to the Set” that goes behind the scenes of the set while filming the show, and “The Making of The Young Pope” that gives a brief look into the production of the series. It would’ve been nice if those last two extras were longer and gave viewers more detail into the creation of the series, but at least there’s something to show what went into making it.
The Young Pope comes highly recommended whether you follow the faith or just love great political drama and intrigue. Jude Law and the other actors give some of their best performances and I enjoyed how this series delves into the going-ons of the Pope behind closed doors. If this confession sounds good, you’ll want to pick up this set for your collection and make an offering of time to it.