This week was chock full of new releases, among them the Tom Cruise vehicle Oblivion and the Matthew McConaughey movie, Mud. You can check out the lengthy list of August 6 releases here, but if you’ve been waiting to hear about the newest The Borgias Blu-ray and DVD release, wait no longer.
The Borgias: The Third Season Blu-ray
The third season of The Borgias is less emotional but more expansive than past seasons, featuring plenty of court intrigue, incest, religious and political maneuvering, love affairs, and more than its share of deaths. Showtime’s family-based drama colors in many of the lines in the lives of Pope Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons) and his family, but the flair quickens the pace of the series and adds charm.
It’s amazing that a season of The Borgias only lasts for 10 episodes. The amount of stories the series manages to tell within the span of one episode is astounding, and maintaining quality within each plotline is more impressive. In Season 3, the Pope is first consumed by a plot to take his life and then runs into trouble with Italian Catherina Sforza, who wants to take down the Borgias. Cesare (François Arnaud) is busy trying to secure deals with France, all while blatantly becoming more enamored with his sister, Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger). She, for her part, is still busy drumming up danger and talking her way in and out of political trouble, all while managing to run around looking perfectly comfortable in the world’s tightest corset.
The Borgias was recently cancelled by Showtime during its third season. It later finished out, but unfortunately, this didn’t give the series a great opportunity to wrap things up. As a contained season, The Borgias: The Third Season is close to perfect, offering emotional highs and lows and some pretty skeevy moments in between. In one powerhouse scene, the Pope Alexander has an emotional meltdown before begrudingly planning an entire empire with his son Cesare. Irons has always been good in the series, but in Season 3’s penultimate episode, he’s arresting. However, as the finale proved to be the end for the historical drama, it’s more than a little disappointing. Blame the network, not the show, right?
Following the death of the series, Showtime hastily released the final season of the series on to Blu-ray and DVD. There’s no pomp with the Blu-ray set and there are few bonus features. The biggest extra is actually the pilot episode of Ray Donovan, a new Showtime summer series that is sort of effectively replacing the period drama. Additionally, the set offers a segment called “Borgias Bloopers,” which is about exactly as exciting as you would guess.
While I would have liked some extras looking at the real history of some of the characters and maybe even a wrap-up featurette concluding the series, the bonus features have never been particularly spectacular for Showtime sets. Some of the details can easily be appreciated, however, including the cross that pops up onscreen when the menu is loading. Additionally, an episode guide is available behind the discs in the box.
You can nab a copy of The Borgias: The Third Season over at Amazon.