Was I the only one hoping for more sex in The Borgias‘ two hour premiere? Yes, the new Showtime drama centers on Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons), a cardinal who bribes his way to the papacy in 1492, and the pope must be seen to be chaste. But even though he’s no longer sharing the bed of his longtime mistress Vanozza (Joanne Whalley), with whom he has four children, he now has a tunnel leading from the Vatican to his new mistress, Giulia Farnese (Lotte Verbeek). Let’s see him use it more than once for a horizontal variation on the upside down Spider-Man kiss.
Rodrigo’s son Juan (David Oakes), now head of the papal armies, apparently has a thing for brothels, which is promising. But his faux bravado just isn’t sexy. We want the real thing, and so it falls to Cesare (François Arnaud), a reluctant man of the cloth who’s already proven he will kill to protect his father and family and who made his entrance underneath a naked beauty. My fear is that Cesare will become so engrossed in all the delicious, deadly scheming required of him that he won’t have time to partake in the sins of the flesh. And SPOILER ALERT: I’ve fast-forwarded through next week’s episode, and he does not have sex once. He just invades the personal space of his sister Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) again in a way that makes me feel both uncomfortable and guilty (because if it’s a choice between nothing or that odd sexual tension with 14-year-old Lucrezia, well … ewww). A happier SPOILER ALERT: Fortunately, in the April 17 episode, Cesare meets a woman at Lucrezia’s wedding who wants to be “liberated” from her marriage. They only share a dance, but I suspect we’ll be seeing more of her.
What did you think of The Borgias? Has the tale of the original crime family, which is said to have inspired Machiavelli’s The Prince and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, lured you in? Do you agree that Cesare must be a lover and a fighter? How sad are you that his taste-testing monkey has already died? And did you find yourself wondering if badass Micheletto (Sean Harris) is what Charlie Sheen imagines when he refers to himself as a Vatican assassin?