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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 February 2012
I found this series almost as good as the Tudors, who were made by the same production team I believe. There is a lot of the usual gore and blood, but less of the sexual nudity as in the Tudors. A number of people from that series also appear in this. I'm certainly looking forward to the next series though, like the Tudors, it isn't historically always correct in what it portrays.
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on 11 January 2012
A historical film of one of the most powerful families in Italian history. The acting is superb and the characters are portrayed magnificently against a background of opulence and decadence. As a Catholic of Italian descent this film was a must buy for me, but who hasn't heard of The Borgias! A compelling film which I would heartily recommend to anyone.
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on 8 February 2013
I enjoyed the first season which contained 3 discs The sets were superb. So much so that I purchased the second season from a competitor of yours. The price was much lower than from Amazon. I enjoyed the 4 discs too. Can't wait for the third season.
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on 3 January 2012
"The Borgias" is not just another historical drama and while it may be chatty or slow at times, its opulent production perfectly captures the flamboyance of the Renaissance period while its stellar regular and guest cast breathe life into the characters, most of whom have to share screentime due to the crowded ensemble and the complexity of the political-social-financial-religious state of the times.

Scripts by Neil Jordan are not flawlessly accurate but still provide a unique peek to the lives of the characters without passing judgement or reproducing the most common salacious rumours about the notorious dynasty. Characters are rendered sympathetic and even relatable even though the show retains an entertainingly scathing, sarcastic, ironic and cartoony style that aims at the hypocricy and self-righteousness of the Church while successfully avoiding the usual soap-opera shenanigans.

When it needs to be dark, the show doesn't shy away from it and neither does it apologise, with gore and nudity being treated with a tasteful subtlety, measure and understatement to respect the viewer and elevate it above the usual "sex and blood" treatment of most -if not all- historical epics.

The cast list speaks for itself: the inimitable Jeremy Irons leads as Rodrigo Borgia a team consisting of brilliant newcomer Francois Arnaud as Cesare (who carries the show more than a few times), the lovely Holliday Grainger as the alternatively innocent and angelic/calculating and devious Lucrezia Borgia, the reliable David Oakes as the messy Juan along with excellent veterans such as Joanne Whalley, Simon McBurney, Derek Jacobi, Steven Berkoff, Gina McKee, Ronan Vibert, Michel Muller and featuring groundbreaking performances from Colm Feore as Borgia nemesis, Della Rovere, and Sean Harris as the family's hired killer, Micheletto.
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on 11 May 2012
The borgias is such a lovely show as it is completly different to what is being shown on television these days. Like the tudors, the borgias offers the audience lavish costumes, exceptional dialogue, biting and intriguing history.The violence, passionate sex scenes, politics and corruption help display just how poisonous and cunning the borgia family were. A must have for all history lovers and fans of the tudors. Even though this product did come late, my mother still loved it. The packaging is absolutely exquisite as it has a nice hard cover containing an informative book. This made an excellent last minute mothers day present for my mother as it had many other exclusives just besides the dvd in it.
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on 22 September 2014
The Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia uses bribe, manipulation and even murder to get himself elected as pope and to preserve his power. There are no limits the Borgias will not cross in order to keep the power in their hands.

The show presents the life of the Borgia family and the events during the Renaissance-era in Italy.

In conclusion: people who enjoyed “The Tudors” and “Game of Thrones” will probably love this TV show. The actors are well chosen and the historical atmosphere is realistic.
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on 12 October 2011
To be honest this Television show had a lot of hype. It was advertised on TV, Online and had a whole double page in the national newspaper! I was really hyped about seeing this! Needless to say, I think it is one of the worst shows currently on TV.

I found the balsa wood acting method adopted by the actors in this show to be extremely distant. It was like the characters were boring templates with no life, pushing me away from my viewing experience. It made me want to throw something at the TV. On top of that some of the accents are horrendous! The guy who plays the french king sounds like Tommy Wiseau (Google him if you don't know) and adopts a similar acting method.

One of my greatest disappointments was an excellent actor given what was essentially a bit part (I won't say the actor for spoiler reasons. Clue: He does a lot of Shakespeare).

Jeremy Irons is a good actor, but I just couldn't get into his character, nor any other character on this show. The girl who plays Lucrezia is talented but is written poorly. Her dialogue is as wooden as the tree which was cut down to provide the script.

People in my household love this show! They thought nothing can top it! One episode of HBO's "Game of Thrones" later showed them the way... Naturally....

Also, this is EXTREMELY tame.....And has laugh out loud bad dialogue.

"Smell those Douglas Firs"
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on 17 June 2011
When it came time for me to pick what subjects I wanted to study in my last years at high school, I plumped for Geography over History. History in my experience had amounted to an interminable series of dates and family trees to memorise, and the hell with that, I thought: I'll learn about glaciation. Something good and practical, you know?

I have a great many regrets in life - don't we all? - and that decision, I'll say, is a way from uppermost amongst them. However I have, in the years since, had cause to wish I'd had the opportunity to study both, because I really do adore a good historical drama, whether in one medium or another, and my education, alas, has left me practically clueless as to the veracity of such narratives.

That's the glass half empty perspective. The glass half full point of view is that I can forgive a vast amount of historical inaccuracy, thanks to my ignorance. I simply don't know any better! And that can come in handy.

To wit: all I knew about The Borgias, before the feature-length pilot episode of Showtime's new series of the same name, was that in last year's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood I, as Ezio Auditore, stabbed one Juan Borgia in the ugly face and dropped another - namely Cesare - off the battlements of a crumbling castle.

I know a little more now, though I've little doubt what The Borgias has taught me about the infamous Italian family fathered by Pope Alexander VI - played here by Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons with arched eyebrows and aplomb - is any more accurate a reflection of true events as the Templar conspiracy theory played out in the last Assassin's Creed. The pay cable station which gave us Dexter and The Tudors are in their infinite wisdom positioning The Borgias as Spartacus meets The Sopranos, and in fairness it's easy to see why: going from the first hour and a half, the presumably much-embellished tale of the rise and fall of "the original crime family" seems equal parts guilty pleasure and storytelling masterstroke. Creator, writer and director Neil Jordan - he of The Crying Game, and of late the lovely Ondine - brings to The Borgias an elegance and a clarity very far from the blood and balls of Spartacus, yet you can sense the potential for sleaze and salaciousness in every narrative margin. Be sure, there will be blood - there has already been blood - not to mention sex, secrets, and all the rest of it.

The pilot episode of The Borgias is essentially a showcase of the series' biggest get in terms of talent, the aforementioned Jeremy Irons. It is his journey in microcosm: from corrupt patriarch to Pope and back again, via a beautiful woman - the lovely Lotte Verbeek as Giulia Farnese - who comes to the Vatican to confess her grave sins, and an attempted poisoning, courtesy of Cadfael himself, Derek Jacobi as Orsino Orsini. Irons, for his part, chews the ornate mise en scene of every tableau he's a part of. One can only hope he continues as central a character to The Borgias as he begins, for daddy Borgia's support is rather less convincing thus far: Joanne Whaley as his suffering wife is no Edie Falco, though I suppose there's time for her yet, and David Oakes - last seen as the villain of The Pillars of the Earth - makes immodest every scene he's in. Meanwhile the jury's still out on newcomer Francois Arnaud as Cesare Borgia. There's certainly potential for the French Canadian to grow into this pivotal role; what he makes of it, or indeed doesn't, remains to be seen.

At that, there's a lot about The Borgias it would be fair to apply the same caveat to. It could very well devolve into a romp, or else ascend to the heights of Rome, if not David Chase's modern mafia masterpiece. All one can speak to at this early stage is the promise of this feature-length first episode, and one imagines - with no small amount of trepidation - that showrunner Neil Jordan is likely to be rather less hands-on going forward. Nevertheless, he gets The Borgias off to a sterling start.
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on 13 September 2015
Great series ,well acted and scripted ,absolutely beautiful costumes with attention to detail and accuracy ,lavishly costumed and with equally lavish sets ,visually beautiful with many scenes that look like early renaissance paintings .
Excellent character development especially in Lucrezia and Ceasari
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on 25 April 2012
After thoroughly enjoying Rome and Tudors I expected a great deal of a series based upon a history with the potential of the Borgias, on most points I was disappointed. Jeremy Irons is weak as the Pope and portrays him as a considerate man wracked with guilt, not traits I expected to see in a Borgia. The Cesare character is again far too weak, "suffering from the loss of the love of his life", and his constantly calling Lucrecia "sis", which may be historically accurate but is gratingly inappropriate; though I am told he looks good in leather. Lucrecia is portrayed as a caring, innocent, love struck teenage girl who is forced into unwanted marriage, this is carried on for too many episodes. The Borgia family appear to display little sense of political awareness despite forcing their way to one of the most powerful positions in the world. The women are subservient with no strong characters pushing themselves forward as powers behind the throne. In general the production quality is very high and looks as good as I have come to expect from HBO. The cast is of high calibre but the writing/direction lacks power.
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