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SilverStormm

The Borgias

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Given that the new pope was della Rovere, if only 1/10th of what we saw was accurate, I'm not surprised he damned pope Alexander!

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aha, I missed Piccolomini - given the length of his reign I guess it was a case of blink and you miss it/him.

 

I'm one of those who requested the forum, and here I am. (and I didn't find it easy to find, but I'm dense like that).

 

In other news, it seems that the marriage of Juan Borgia was skipped (no need for it, I guess, we got enough insight into his character without it) but I find it interesting that in the scenario the Italian noblewoman that was the mother of the four kids of our dear pope became a Spanish courtesan. Makes sense in light of season 3 but a bit of a reconnect nonetheless.  

 

I'm curious about della  Rovere's real influence about the French invasion, I remember he was one among various triggers, and I know said invasion didn't go as smoothly as shown, though it was a delight to watch, in no small part thanks to the freakish nature of the French king. 

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He did look fatter in his portrait, thought!

 

(Then again, can you imagine Jeremy Irons in a fat suit !?)

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I concur, takeittotheBanks. I've like the evolution from sweet innocent girl to 50% sweet and 50% cutthroat later on, which makes a lot of sense both in the story and more generally. The character was also badass is saving the pope's life. Even the incest part kind of made sense, icky as it was, in the circumstances, which is no small feast. I'm both looking forward to seeing Holliday Grainger in other roles and afraid to see her in something that's not Lucrezia Borgia, if that makes sense.    

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Hey, you'll soon be tired to have only me here so far, but here it goes :-)

 

Makes sense that they didn't eliminate Piccolomini - if the show had lasted, he would have been a nice transition - wasn't he rumoured to have died of poison? Surely, this could have been tied neatly to the Borgias in the script.

 

I disagree with you though on François Arnaud as Cesare, I found him amazing and it might well be the role of his career for a while. I'd love to see Orson Welles' version (well, Orson Welles on anything is gold), and never saw Tyrone Power's, but  I think I

remember the character played by Tyrone Power telling his mother, "we live by a new rule, the end justifies the means".  Then the mother slapped him and told him that was the way of the devil.

 

is a reflection of a time when movies (and I'd classify the Borgias as a superlong movie rather than a series) had to be moral overall. Not sure though of the movie it was and the year, so take it with a grain (or a ton) of salt.

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I didn't request the forum, but am pleased to see it anyway. takeitotheBanks, when I first glanced at your post at the top of the page, I thought it was going to say "I think they tried to keep as much historical accuracy out of it as they could." Heh. I'm still annoyed that the Sforzas all became cousins just for the sake of a few quips. However, since I felt like they threw out history with the same joyful abandon from the second Jeremy Irons chowed down on his first piece of scenery, bless him, I just went with it and enjoyed the silliness and the pretty.

 

Returning after reading the other threads...It seems to me that what they did was take every rumor, regardless of historical evidence or consideration that they almost all originated with Della Rovere's camp, and throw it onscreen. And then also messed with the facts behind events, like the first French invasion, in order to boost other storylines. Which is fine, it's not a documentary. I would really have loved an After the Borgias show where they went over what really happened.

Edited by ABay
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Grainger as very good. My own quibble is that she went from sweet to cunning a bit abruptly, but that's the writing and not the actress.

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The only thing the Tom Fontana-produced Borgia series has over this one is that they found actors who really looked like the major players, or at least like the portraits that have come down to us. I couldn't make it through 3 whole episodes, though, so I think this one went the smarter route by casting actors who could act, even if they looked nothing like the real people.

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Lotte Verbeek is in Outlander as Geillis Duncan? Douglas? She befriends, more or less, Claire.

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Not as recent, but seeing as the topic is "seen them elsewhere?", I'd strongly recommend to anyone who has not seen it the mini-series Pillars of the Earth, where David Oakes plays a very flawed villain that you (I) somehow cannot help but feel half bad for, based on the page turner book of the same title by Ken Follet. There is just enough badassery and flawness in Oakes' acted characters that he seems an obvious choice for playing people you love to hate while feeling very sorry for them at the same time.

 

Than again, seeing how sweet and vulnerable he looks on his Imdb picture, I think the guy could play anything.

 

(Off topic but current because of the centenary of WW1: I also loved Fall of Giants, book by Ken Follet that is very informative about WW1, while entertaining, as well as Winter of the World, around WW2, the first two of his Century Trilogy).

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I was also wishing we could discuss (or rather I could read other people's informed posts about) history, in the same way watching Boardwalk empire taught me a lot about a range of things, ranging from the real gangsters or not gangsters behind to story to the Magdalene laundries, or that a Mad Men forum that has since disappeared was full of interesting info about advertising in the sixties, sometimes based on personal experience.

 

It would surely have been easier if it had been possible to watch and comment as we watched, but we could maybe try to recreate the experience somehow by choosing a theme and sharing what we know about it. I've been quite fascinated by the Medicis for a while and last winter, during my third trip to Florence, I bought tons of books that helped me follow some of what happened in the Borgias with a bit of previous knowledge (French invasion, Savonarola, some papal shenanigans, for instance), but I'd like to fill in the other bits. OTOH, I'll also gladly contribute whatever knowledge I have, but seems you two have it too :-)   

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One think I've kept wondering over my many years of reading historical fiction (Zevaco in my teens, Dumas in my 20s), and later real historical books, is whether as it seems to be implied you can indeed get yourself immune to poison by ingesting progressively higher dosages, such as what happens his with Della Rovere's minion (although the poor guy still bit the dust, it seems from - pseudo- history that some were luckier). Intuitively, I would say you can, as that's the basis of both homeopathy and vaccines, but then again if that is right why weren't all these gorging themselves on poison tablets the way I take my vit C and random other thingies each morning?

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I think the only way to salvage this thread is to organize a rewatch. Could be as little as an episode per month. And even absent newcomers, I thing the forum would be more lively with specific things to discuss - plus it would make it easier for all those peolpe who are just getting to watch to come here without risking spoilers.

 

Anyone game?i

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I love this episode*, so much wiliness on display. From what I've read though, the bit about buying votes via cuisine du jour were fabricated by rivals. But why let facts get in the way of a good story? Also, Sforza knew he was too young (comparatively) to have a shot at the papacy this time around and supported Borgia from the start; they two of them were allies from way back and it was only Sforza's stance with regard to the French that eventually drove a wedge between them (I can't recall the details).

 

Borgia was, however, a good organizer as Della Rovere says, and improved the administration of the church as both Vice Chancellor and Pope. I think that's true, but it also sounds like the faint praise from a rival.

 

I flove Versucci and Piccolomini, the Statler and Waldorf of the Consistory. And Master Burchard! I would've liked a lot more of him.

 

*By which I mean the first episode. I've been here since summer and apparently will never understand the logic of this site.

Edited by ABay
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Steven Berkoff (Savonarola) is on The Witches of East End season 2, episodes 10 and 11 so far (don't judge me, I have some guilty pleasure too and I kind of like witches:-)...).

 

As an aside, I've always thought that he was miscast for the role of Savonarola as he didn't look anything like him and that Colm Feore (cardinal della Rovere) would have looked the part much more, but they both made it work nonetheless.

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I have to read about the rulers of Naples - how sick was this Last Supper obsession? And because the one by Da Vinci wasn't done yet (as far as I know, hadn't checked the dates, but seems likely if he was still more of a "weapon designer"), there's no way to know who the dear son was representing.

 

Any good books you can recommend? I'll trade you some good sources on Medici history, if you're interested! 

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Welcome ABay, and yes indeed the first episode was so good, which is why those who watched it stuck around. Please come back when you see more, you might provide the right impetus for episode discussion.

 

In the meantime, enjoy, lucky you, you're in for a delightful time :-)

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Hello NutMeg. I've watched the entire series several times, including when it first aired, and have posted in the forum several times. I'd intended to rewatch once again and post here episode by episode, but I don't think that's going to work out after all. Oh, well.

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I'd be happy to match your watching, but it has to be during a quiet time for me - I'm a freelancer so not much visibility, except I usually take a break during school holidays. Would love to watch it again, as I binge watched, which is never good for pondering :-) so will be sure to be in touch when I do in case you are about to rewatch too. In the past, whenever I binge watched something, I always made a point to check TWOP forums between each episode, and not only was it very insightful but it also slowed down my "appetite" and made me enjoy each step/episode much more. Something I've missed while watching The Borgias [as well as House of Cards, sorry it's off topic, but the experience of wanting to read others' viewpoint was the same).. 

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I loved seasons 1 and 3. Season 2 dragged for me except for the last few episodes. Those are my very broad 2 cents to this topic. 

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Holiday Granger has a small role in the latest version of Jane Eyre. She is also Bonnie in Lifetime's Bonnie and Clyde two-part miniseries.

 

I really want to see the actor who played Cesare in something substantial! He was amazing. 

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Isn't Francois supposed to be in something about a female pirate, soonish?

ETA: it's called Red Flag, it will be a limited series, and he'll be the male lead opposite Maggie Q. The news was from spring, and I didn't see a prospective air date.

Edited by ABay

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Did anyone watch the Canal+ version, Borgia (without the S)?

 

 

No, but you're picking my interest. Worth watching?

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Did anyone watch the Canal+ version, Borgia (without the S)?

 

 

Definitely, I requested a forum for it. The actors who played Cesare and Lucrezia looked like they were plucked out of a 15th century painting.

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No, but you're picking my interest. Worth watching?

Yes. I watched season  1 and 2, and thought it was well done. Except, the actor playing the Pope. They used actors from around the world - Italy, France, Ireland and America, etc.

Edited by medra
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I was really disappointed Showtime cancelled this one.  I would have even appreciated a two-hour episode to just close out the major plot threads and do an epilogue.  The show deserved better.  That's what they get for going up against Game of Thrones and the other big Sunday shows.  Should have put it on a different night.

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The Family is a 2001 novel written by Mario Puzo.[1]The novel is about Pope Alexander VI and his family. Puzo spent over twenty years working on the book off and on, while he wrote others. The novel was finished by his longtime girlfriend, Carol Gino. The Family is effectively his last novel.

Pope Alexander VI (formerly Rodrigo Borgia) believes God will ultimately forgive his many sins simply because, as Pope, he is infallible and divine. The Family focuses on this cunning, ambitious despot and his children—the ruthless Cesare and the beautiful but wicked Lucrezia.

A passionate love story runs through the novel, but it is a sinful one. Lucrezia lost her virginity to her brother Cesare when she was only thirteen, and the two have loved only each other ever since. Alexander marries Lucrezia off three times for political reasons, to Giovanni Sforza (Lord of Pesaro), Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie), and finally Alfonso I d'Este (Duke of Ferrara). She remains submissive to her father, if not to her many husbands and lovers. Her final marriage, to Alfonso d'Este, was a success, though neither partner was faithful: she gave her third husband a number of children and proved to be a respectable and accomplished duchess, effectively rising above her previous reputation and surviving the fall of the Borgias following her father's death.

Pope Alexander aims to unify Italy’s feudal states under papal rule. Cesare, who exchanges his cardinal’s miter for a warrior’s helmet to become commander-in-chief of his father’s armies, carries out conquest after conquest to fulfill Alexander’s grandiose ambitions. As in Puzo’s The Godfather, the lovemaking, the opulent festivities, the sub rosa plotting, and the complex double-dealing are interspersed with outbursts of violence, including one memorable scene in which the reformist priest Girolamo Savonarola is torn apart on the Rack.

Puzo claims about novel that the Borgia family was in essence the first true Crime Family. Which his earlier novel

THE GODFATHER is the story of an American-Italian Crime Family - The Corleones which is set in the early 1940's.

The novel THE FAMILY is Puzo's pre-quel to THE GODFATHER novel.

I believe if Puzo did not write THE FAMILY neither Borgia series would have been made into both well done productions.

THE FAMILY is highly recommended reading. It will further help enhance both series.

Enjoy!!!

Edited by NolaBorn

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Well. I had hoped for more Francois Arnaud. If he hadn't basically forced himself into one comment (and an important one at that) he would never have been given an opportunity to speak by this interviewer.

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On 2/3/2018 at 8:16 PM, Anothermi said:

Well. I had hoped for more Francois Arnaud. If he hadn't basically forced himself into one comment (and an important one at that) he would never have been given an opportunity to speak by this interviewer.

Yeah, that was pretty disappointing, especially because in other interviews I've seen of him, he is a smart and funny guy. Since it looks like he plays one of the lovers in this movie, the shallow part of me hopes that if his role doesn't have a lot of screen time that we will at least get some shirtless sexy times.

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