The Young Pope

When the Pope dies, as we all know the Vatican elects a new leader of the Catholic church.  This time however they elect an orphaned American raised by the church after he is abandoned by his hippy parents.

Lenny Belardo is the Archbishop of New York and with his election, the old school Cardinals think they can manupulate him into doing their bidding.  Lenny however has other ideas, he immediately makes the nun (Diane Keaton) who practically raised him his personal secretary ruffling more than a few feathers.  His spiritual mentor Cardinal Spencer played by James Cromwell is more than a bit pissed off as he was looking to become Pope so there is some conflict there.  Also, the shifty football loving Cardinal Voiello the secretary of state has his own agenda and is always up to something behind Lenny’s back.

Lenny however is no puppet and he sets about attempting to radically change the Church, completely outlawing all gay people in the clergy, investigating historic child abuse and basically going completely ‘old school’ in the Catholic beliefs.  He also alienates a majority of the catholic congregation by refusing to seen in public and not even riding the famous ‘Pope-Mobile’.  He does have a very caring compassionate side and befriends a childless couple who work in the Vatican and forms a close circle of lower ranked officials as he can trust them unlike the old brigade who are always plotting something including Blackmail.

The series follows the beginnings of Lenny’s reign and has several stories running concurrently.  You might get the impression, it’s all a bit heavy going and too ‘religious’.  I myself have a basic knowledge of Catholicism due to some relatives following the faith and I found it more than simple to follow and most importantly the series is incredibly addictive and riveting.  It’s also at times very funny as the humour comes from the drama unfolding on screen.

It’s a Sky/Canal+/HBO co-production so it reeks of quality, the acting in particular from Jude Law as Lenny is outstanding and surely some awards should be forthcoming.  The supporting cast is equally good and the series has an awesome musical score which is difficult to describe but very cool and effective.

Along with HBO’s Westworld, The Young Pope is the best TV show this year and one of the best for quite some time.  Fantastic stuff and everyone involved should be very proud of their achievement.

  • Starring Jude Law  Diane Keaton  James Cromwell  Cecile deFrance  Silvio Orlando
  • Director Paolo Sorrentino
  • Distributor Dazzler Media