The Borgias: The Second Season
Coming into Showtime’s popular series The Borgias for the first time in its second season, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to jump right into the drama or if it would take some work to understand the characters and the various plotlines in the ensemble tale. Neil Jordan’s historical fiction narrative, about the Borgia family and the papacy in the late 15th Century, spends plenty of time dissecting elements of the past, from sumptuous clothing to detailed dialogue. However, despite there only being 9 episodes in the show's first season, Showtime seems to be aware of the various complications in The Borgias’ plotlines and offers fans a lengthy preview prior to the first episode of the Season 2 set.
As Pope Alexander VI, Jeremy Irons is a brilliantly drawn character. The man's a calculating member of the clergy who constantly breaks the rules and spends a lot of time protecting his person as well as his family, although he has a fondness for other women. Even if you didn’t catch his anti-hero character or the slew of storylines running parallel during Season 1, the first episode introduces all of the key players and their relationships, as well as sets up a slow narrative that gracefully draws audiences in for all of The Borgias’ sophomore season. Avid fans have mentioned the pacing being a little off in this narrative, but the pace gains momentum as Season 2 continues and by the end, I was so sucked in, if there’s was an oddness to the flow, I didn’t notice it at all.
You can order The Borgias: The Second Season over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: All of the bonus features available with The Borgias: The Second Season set are available via BD-Live only, which can be frustrating if your BD-Live access is as spotty as mine. The set does offer a few extras related to the series, but I actually really appreciated Showtime’s cross-marketing move a little more. Hoping to gain fans, the network makes available the first two episodes from Season 1 of House of Lies and Season 5 of Californications. It’s only enough of a sneak peak to really get a sampling of both shows, but even an episode is enough to know whether Californications or House of Lies is up a viewer's alley and worth continuing in the future. However, if you are already a faithful Showtime subscriber, there are a couple of other extras available with the set that are worth a watch.
Other Special Features:
“World of Borgias”
“Sho Original Interviews and Behind the Scenes”