Da Vinci's Demons : Season 1

  • Network: Starz
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 12, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 131 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 131

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  1. Jun 24, 2013
    6
    Ultimately I was disappointed with Demons considering it's creator. When the show was announced I wondered what 'demons' the title was referring to and it's these demons that for me detract from the narrative's stronger elements. The show is strongest when Da Vinci is caught up in the power struggle fought between the Medici's and the Pope through his sly nephew Count Riario.

    The
    Ultimately I was disappointed with Demons considering it's creator. When the show was announced I wondered what 'demons' the title was referring to and it's these demons that for me detract from the narrative's stronger elements. The show is strongest when Da Vinci is caught up in the power struggle fought between the Medici's and the Pope through his sly nephew Count Riario.

    The 'demons' element weakens Da Vinci and has him fighting a repressed childhood memory while hunting for clues of his mother. He is contacted by the Son's of Mithras, who instruct him to access the Fountain of Memory to find the Vault of Heaven where he will find the Book of Leaves. Seriously, you couldn't make it up. The Book of Leaves will probably be followed by the Turd of Glory.

    In terms of historical accuracy the show is tongue in cheek and pretty good fun. For me Da Vinci is a bearded old man, but here is he reinvented as a cool, fast talking, talented sword fighter. I wondered if Goyer would stay true to dialogue of the time but this was answered in the first ten seconds of the opening episode when Hugh Bonneville, in a cameo as the Duke of Milan, responds 'Balls!' to be told he was late! Tom Riley is charismatic as Leonardo and is well supported by Elliot Cowan as Lorenzo de Medici and Blake Ritson as Count Riario.

    The production is glossy and features some decent CGI used to illustrate Da Vinci's brain at work as he plots and develops his inventions.

    The finale was disappointing finishing not just following a cliffhanger but midway through one which I found incredibly unsatisfying. At only eight episodes, the season was the perfect length, short and punchy and the show has been renewed for another round in 2014.
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  2. Sep 6, 2013
    6
    While clearly lacking historical accuracy, Da Vincin's Demons is a fun, beautifully-set adventure, like an Italian Renaissance Sherlock Holmes. I'm sure that humorously erroneous book reports from junior high students are sure to follow.
  3. Apr 17, 2013
    6
    It could go either way, too soon to tell. I want to like it, the subject matter certainly could turn this into an epic show... Hopefully the story line takes a more serious path, rather than trying to be too lighthearted and "fun", which there were (cringe worthy) snippets of in episode one. Another small gripe I have with this new Starz series is the gratuitous male nudity. As withIt could go either way, too soon to tell. I want to like it, the subject matter certainly could turn this into an epic show... Hopefully the story line takes a more serious path, rather than trying to be too lighthearted and "fun", which there were (cringe worthy) snippets of in episode one. Another small gripe I have with this new Starz series is the gratuitous male nudity. As with Spartacus, once again, they really need to learn their viewing demographic... this isn't the Bachelor after all -"guys guy" TV show viewers do NOT want to see other "guys" junk every episode. If the sillyness and male nudity continues, you've lost another viewer. Expand
  4. May 25, 2013
    5
    I really want to enjoy this show, but I just can't *quite* buy into it. (Partly because none of em can pronounce the name Medici correctly). The casting is fine, although I have trouble picturing Tom Riley growing into the images of Leonardo da Vinci that have come down in his sketches: somehow, he just doesn't seem substantial enough. Sets, costuming and make-up are all lovely, but theI really want to enjoy this show, but I just can't *quite* buy into it. (Partly because none of em can pronounce the name Medici correctly). The casting is fine, although I have trouble picturing Tom Riley growing into the images of Leonardo da Vinci that have come down in his sketches: somehow, he just doesn't seem substantial enough. Sets, costuming and make-up are all lovely, but the stories just don't hang together. Overall, I'm disappointed. Expand
  5. Apr 4, 2014
    6
    Even a "historical fantasy" has to have some internal logic, and Da Vinci's Demons is frequently dragged down by ludicrous writing. Apparently, it's easier to let random innocents hear your secret plans and then kill them for dramatic effect than it is to talk in private. Someone walks in on you doing a job you were paid to do? Hide, because it's dramatic. And while Da Vinci's realEven a "historical fantasy" has to have some internal logic, and Da Vinci's Demons is frequently dragged down by ludicrous writing. Apparently, it's easier to let random innocents hear your secret plans and then kill them for dramatic effect than it is to talk in private. Someone walks in on you doing a job you were paid to do? Hide, because it's dramatic. And while Da Vinci's real inventions are pretty wild, I'm pretty sure the automated flying metal birds in the pilot were not among them. Likewise, the other gratuitously salacious elements, including multiple pedophile priests, and nudity (which, unlike many shows, is fairly egalitarian) and violence aplenty, are simply too much.

    The series' high points derive from its engagement of the real Da Vinci's contradictory and unique character, a whimsical score by Bear McCreary, and the female lead. Despite being frequently nude, she seems to be having the time of her life playing dress-up in fancy costumes the rest of the time, and effectively conveys a sense of being both vile and appealing at the same time. The show is quite cynical about religion, and to anyone easily offended it may offend. Me, I count that as another high point.

    Shot in Britain with largely British actors (despite being said in Italy and elsewhere), the series lacks a sense of authenticity. The intrigue and splatter are sometimes interesting, but given that the guy who wrote The Dark Knight is in charge of it, the series is something of a disappointment. It'll never be great, but it may get better.
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  6. Apr 14, 2013
    4
    Like many other shows, this one suffers of underbudget production problems, dubious acting, as well as a superficial approach that tries to please too many audiences.
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    May 3, 2013
    63
    To work, this overheated alchemy needs a magnetic Leo, but Tom Riley is miscast--too smart-alecky and brash. [13 May 2013, p.46]
  2. Reviewed by: Geoff Berkshire
    Apr 15, 2013
    70
    While the first two episodes of "Da Vinci" are overly convoluted, the action moves at such a rapid pace and unfolds with such giddy enthusiasm that it's easy to just sit back and enjoy the ride.
  3. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Apr 12, 2013
    75
    Its real appeal should be to viewers who like their TV history entertainingly out there.